How often do you gather helpful points during a teaching session using a flip chart or whiteboard or sticky notes? They’re great but it would be even better if you could keep a lasting electronic record (without having to take a photo of the board!) or allow participants to continue adding to the discussion after the classroom session (without having to come back to the room!). This is what Padlet offers.
What is it?
Padlet is a ‘digital pinboard’, a website that offers a customisable blank page on which participants can post content – text, thoughts, comments, responses, photos, weblinks, video. To set up a Padlet, you simply create an account, create a board, customise its settings, share the URL with your learners. They go to the address on their computer or mobile device. There’s also a free mobile app.
A real example in teaching
You can use it to gather students’ thoughts and contributions before, during, and/or after a teaching session. For example, I have used it successfully in a postgraduate medical education session on Technology Enhanced Learning in Health Education. I sent a Padlet to the students in advance of the session – asking What is your experience of digital tools/technology as a learner? – to get them to think and contribute. I then used these contributions as discussion points during the session. It can also be used to gather feedback on a session, or students can create their own for collaborative group work and use it to present. There are many uses for it.
Is it free??
Padlet does have a free version and a paid for version. However, in April 2018, they altered their offering slightly which limited the features of the free version. New customers can have up to three Padlet boards; existing users get these three on top of all the ones they have already (fortunately). But there’s still no limit to the number of people who can access it or the number of posts that can be made. Here is a helpful post that explains the changes in more detail (courtesy of @SussexTEL): Padlet – some changes to a popular tool
If you want to find out more about Padlet or get some tips and tricks, contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).