Published on October 4th, 2013 | by Mark Anderson49
How to use Padlet and why…
About 6 years ago, a web 2.0 tool came along called ‘Wallwisher’ which everyone raved about and it really was the belle of the edtech ball. It was very popular indeed, but over time, it became more unpredictable and thus unreliable. As time rolled on so less and less teachers used it in the classroom.
Move forward to 2013 and Wallwisher got a rebrand. Padlet is a web based means of collating ideas and collaborating online.
Why would you want to use it?
- to brainstorm ideas from a class
- to collate research on a topic
- to gauge understanding on a topic
- to test student knowledge
- to curate website links
- to share information to an audience
How to use Padlet?
If you have a Google account, then good news, you can use your Google account for SSO (single sign-on) so you can be logged on quickly without having to create a brand new account (again).
Once loaded up you have a variety of options but you’re going to want to choose to ‘Build a wall’.
Once you’ve done that you’re wall is ready straight away. Before you go live to the world with it however you’re going to want to configure it a bit first.
First up, give your wall a title and a description and an icon to associate with the wall – there are a number of these to choose from. Next up, using the second icon down, choose ‘Wallpaper’. Here you can choose a background image for your Padlet. You can add your own or there are a number of high resolution images to choose from.
Next up is your layout. The layout option is important in a classroom environment as if you have it freeform, it means that the posts on there go everywhere.
There is an option however to have the Padlet wall have streaming posts such as in the embedded example below where posts are placed one below the other:
If you look at the notifications section too you’ll see that, should you wish, you can receive a daily email notification if someone posts something on your wall. For a classroom activity, you probably wouldn’t want that, but there are times when that would be useful for example if you have set a Padlet up to record homework answers or links to homeworks or if you are crowdsourcing ideas such as in the example above.
Other options you might want to consider are that for sharing and you can do that via the ‘Address’ option. You can easily create your own vanity address for your wall which will make it easier for sharing.
This will make it much easier than sharing a wall with an address such as http://padlet.com/hydDvs34.
More configuration options in terms of visibility ensure that you can have complete control over your Padlet too…
There are lots of sharing options for Padlet as you’ll see below. One of my favourite options though are the export functions. CSV and Excel formats are helpful, but the PDF option is golden. This means that you can quite easily, once completed, close the Padlet down to public addition / change. Save it as a PDF and then keep / share that document as a record of the activity on that wall. So, imagine if you’re in a lesson where students have access to mobile devices…..
- Learning activity in lesson involving Padlet
- Save Padlet as PDF
- Upload to Dropbox
- Get share link – convert to QR code in QR code app / site
- Students download PDF to their mobile device for revision / future reference
And finally, speaking of QR codes, if you’re just looking to get your Padlet shared at the beginning of the lesson, it auto generates a QR code for you (as you’ll see below) for you to share with your class.
So, in review, why would you use it? More importantly… why wouldn’t you use it?!