For those of you who haven’t seen it, Padlet is an easy-to-use, free, interactive web tool that can be easily employed in any class format! In short, Padlet is like an online bulletin board. Anyone with internet access and the instructor-created Padlet web link can post a comment, link, video, or audio file on the board.
In my Honors Anthropology class, I used Padlet for brainstorming activities and to provide a springboard for the ensuing class discussion. For example, on the day that we discussed globalization, I pointed my students to my “Globalization” Padlet, which I also had projected at the front of the room. I asked students to use their phones/iPads/laptops to post their thoughts on globalization, clustering their ideas around the words “Good,” “Bad,” and “Neutral/Unsure.” Students accessing the Padlet page from their smart devices would double-click (or double-tap) where they wished to make their comment appear. A text box opens for them to type their comment. Within seconds, the comment (or link, photo, video, etc) will appear on the Padlet page for all to see. We used their ideas and comments as a springboard for our discussion on globalization.
Another potential use of Padlet is as a pre-class as an activity to encourage reflection on upcoming class topics. For example, a Speech teacher might direct students to post their ideas about what it takes to be a good listener to the “Good Listener” Padlet prior to a class session on Listening.
Instructors who facilitate group projects might find Padlet beneficial as a communication tool and resource repository for group work. Students working in groups might find it helpful to post their research to the group Padlet.
There are innumerable ways in which this really hand web tool can be employed! Registration is easy and free. You can create your own account at Padlet.com OR you can use your Gmail or Facebook account to log in. Once a Padlet is created, you can share the URL with your students and get the Padlet party started!