I spend about three hours of my Tuesday evenings sharing, discussing, and analyzing various websites, platforms, and applications helpful to teachers and students in the education world. Of all the technologies that we’ve reviewed so far this semester, there’s one that I believe has a greater function for graduate students than for elementary school students.
At its core, Padlet is used as a live bulletin board. Imagine a virtual version of brainstorming using post-its, but without dropping paper everywhere or worrying about if your handwriting will be legible in a few minutes. There are several specific functions of the platform I find to be an exciting, more visually appealing version of more traditional websites.
- It can show information all in one piece: an alternative to a template on Google Docs or Word. The example provided in the gallery on Padlet is a guide to training for a half-marathon. Padlet allows you to create columns, grouping information into organized sections.
- It can act as a discussion board: an alternative to going through ELMS or any type of forum. Typical discussion boards or forums require refreshing to see responses. Padlet is updated live, much like how anything on Google Drive is if more than one person is on it. Another feature is “reactions,” as people do not necessarily have to comment to participate on the board. If reactions or turned on, people can react to an idea by hitting a thumbs up/down button or smiley face/frowny face.
- It can be a stand-alone website: an alternative to more complex websites that require money to create a domain or an overwhelming amount of time dedicated to getting used to a complex user interface. Padlet allows users to think of a simple note (a square, like a class post-it) as their main module. Users can drag it around, include videos, audio, images, and links to websites or another Padlet. A great example of Padlet’s example is this streamlined virtual library.
- Last, but not least, it’s a new, exciting way to present information when you’re out of Google Slide or Powerpoint themes…or Prezi. I knew I found myself, after four years of high school, four years of college, and another three years making presentations for students as a teacher, I was looking for a new way to show information. Padlet has that covered!