One of my favorite activities as an instructional designer is seeking out and experimenting with new applications. Some of these are web-based and work best on laptops or desktops, others are designed for mobile devices, some are platform specific (Mac, Windows, Android, iOS) and some work well regardless of your hardware and software. Finding apps that have potential for classroom use is always rewarding, especially if the app is free and easy to use. Enter Padlet, a web-based application that gives you a “wall” (think of it as a multimedia bulletin board) that you can drag and drop content onto in service of any number of pedagogical objectives.
A Padlet wall can be adapted for many uses. The first thought I had was to create an exhibit using photographs I had taken at a cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina that had been originally used for slave burials. It was easy to drag images and a text document onto the wall (which can be customized using a number of different backgrounds), and to use the built-in text boxes for annotation. Audio and video clips can also be inserted, as well links to web materials. In less than 10 minutes, I had a photo exhibition. I’ve recommended other applications for faculty who want students to create online exhibits including Google Sites, WordPress, and Omeka. These offer more features and flexibility, but for being easy to use, Padlet takes the prize.
Other uses include creating timelines, assembling evidence to support an argument, building a visual data set (the world map background might be particularly useful for such an exercise), or to create an online poster presentation. See the Padlet gallery for more ideas.
Padlet’s website lists the application’s features. It can be used as a collaborative tool with team members’ additions appearing instantaneously, making it great for groups that aren’t co-located. The privacy settings are flexible. I set my wall to public so that you could see it, but it’s also possible to keep it completely private or to give others access and set permissions as to their use. Moreover, it works on your laptop, desktop, phone, or tablet.
Take a few minutes and check out Padlet. How would you use it as an instructor?
Macie Hall, Senior Instructional Designer
Center for Educational Resources
Image Source: Screenshot of Padlet Wall by Macie Hall
Fun! I can see using this for collaborative brainstorming when students are not in class. Thanks for sharing.
Here is a 4.5 minute video tutorial on Padlet for those who want a quick start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhAxV2Yp_Mw
Thanks so much for this blogpost!
I’m going to try using Padlet to have my ninth grade English students make a wall about a character from Julia Alvarez’s novel In the Time of the Butterflies who demonstrates resilience by showing most/all of the traits of resilience as identified by the recent research study “21st Century Athenas:” creativity, purpose, self-care, growth mindset, and relationships (http://21stcenturyathenas.org/). Students will use textual analysis of passages from the novel to support their choices. We’ll start with this video as a how-to resource: http://youtu.be/UuzciL8qCYM
Thanks for posting this. We’re super excited to announce that the Padlet Pad app is out! Andoroid version coming soon! Click here to download: https://itunes.apple.com/ph/app/id834618886.