Launching Pad: 7 Things to Keep in Mind When Using Padlet

by @chocolateteacher

Padlet is a great tool.  It’s so nifty because it can be adapted to a number of uses with just a flick of the ole brain cells.  Here are seven things that you might want to keep in mind when using this tool.

 

1. Add some Gifs…

Padlet Adding Gifs

You can add gifs! You can add video to Padlet, but they must be rather small.  Small is limiting. If you want to add a video of any length, you’ll need to add it via link.  Think of a gif (graphic interchange format) as a simple (it debuted in 1987) but effective way to exploit sites that allow you to upload image files, but not large video.  If you are in a school district with no restrictions on the internet, there are millions of sites that will allow you to create and distribute these files.

If you are teaching in a school district that doesn’t, you might want to check out a site like Picasion or Gifmaker.me which seemed to work last time I checked on my day job.

Gifs can be uploaded to Padlet to create images that move.  Want kids to illustrate the flight of a bird in the book you just read?  Make a gif.  How about having to react to an emotional story from history?  Make a gif.  Kids need to show you how their science experiment went?  Make a gif.

All you need to do is take a few pictures with a camera, upload said pictures into Picasion/Gifmaker.me and the site will do the rest.  If you really want to get fancy, you can turn video into gifs using VideoGif or a similar program.

2. Selfies are your friend

Selfies on Padlet

Everyone loves a good selfie.  The old adage states that a picture in worth a thousand words. Why not use them in your instruction? Padlet allows you to use your webcam, tablet or smartphone camera to shoot a quick selfie.  This might be used for reaction to a lesson, a story, an activity, or just to gauge the mood in a room.

3. Linking is Thinking

Linking and bundling are the bedrocks of education.  We want students to see connections between things.  Padlet allows you to place links that will take students to different locals or allow students to place information from different places into central location where that information can be discussed.  This is a method by which you can bring video, cloud storage, and the vastness of the web into a forum that is a powerful learning environment.

 

4. Anchor Chart, anyone?

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 2.57.17 PM

Instead of creating anchor charts by hand, why not make them on a Padlet.  Padlet’s can carry many images and text.  The boxes place on a Padlet can be resized to fit your tastes.  The resulting product can be printed and hung nicely on a wall or embedded on Edmodo or one’s personal website or blog so students would have a reference whereever they went.

5. Lesson Plans?

If you are visual learner, Padlet is a great tool for lesson planning.  I used to unit plan using Popplet and I see no reason why this tool could not be leveraged in a similar fashion.  If you have seen the Five Minute Lesson Plan, one could easily duplicate the work flow on a Padlet.  The advantage doing so on a Padlet would be access to live links and resources as well as quickly being able to send a lesson to a friend.

6. Reflecting

Padlet is also a great place for reflection.  The tool could be utilized to place artifacts taken from a lesson together, journal about the highs and lows of a lesson, and reflect on a day’s growth.  Again, these could be easily shared with colleagues or one could keep them private.

 

7. Small Group Instruction

In the same vein as the lesson plan, you could plan out your day for your students on a Padlet, with every activity and event visible.  This is great when one pulls small groups, for example, as students unsure of what the task at hand was demanding could visit the Padlet, read any instructions or click any applicable links and be back on their way to learning without interfering with your group.

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