Padlet is a web-based application that enables you to create virtual notice boards or ‘walls’ where users can post comments and multimedia: images, videos, sound files, weblinks, texts in Word, PDF format, spreadsheets and presentations.
It is free, it does not require any installation – just an internet connection and it can be accessed from anywhere and on any type of device: mobile phones, laptops, tablets, or PCs.
While not originally designed as an app for education, its functionalities make it an incredibly user-friendly tool to facilitate asynchronous and / or synchronous student collaboration both inside and outside the classroom.
I have started using Padlet live in class with groups of French language learners to practice writing and translation skills. The procedure was quite simple: once the wall was created, and students given its url address, they accessed it on their mobile phone or laptop; the students worked on a task in groups and posted their contribution to the Padlet wall which appeared in real time on the class monitor. Texts displayed were then commented on and edited immediately. Creating texts for a ‘live audience’ made students pay more attention to content and form. Also, as students were typing, they were able to observe their classmates’ posts and if necessary readjust and improve their own productions. Padlet facilitated the inter-group collaboration, it increased students’ engagement with the task, encouraged them to self-evaluate, and helped them to support each other’s learning.
Despite some ‘freezing’ issues due to the classroom internet connection, students found the use of Padlet extremely easy, highly enjoyable, motivating and beneficial for the task.
As Padlet walls can be saved, shared and embedded they can serve as a repository of class work and used as a revision tool.
Padlet walls can be used for a variety of purposes for pre-class, in-class, post-class activities in different learning contexts, not just for language learning. The following are just a few suggestions:
- brainstorming an idea,
- starting a group discussion,
- researching a topic,
- showcasing students’ work,
- group projects,
- posting feedback,
- creating a multimedia glossary,
- sharing resources,
- curating websites links, etc.
There is no steep learning curve before one can use Padlet, no training of students required, once you’ve logged on to padlet.com, creating a wall could not be any easier, and its intuitive click, drop and drag interface makes it really simple to post contributions. This is why I think Padlet, one of the many collaboration tools available for T&L, should be included in your digital toolbox!
Fuchs, Beth. “The Writing is on the Wall: Using Padlet for Whole-Class Engagement.” LOEX Quarterly 40.4 (2014): 7.
The below short video is an example from Bond University, Australia on using Padlet for teaching business.