Ready to make something beautiful? Padlet is a valuable education tool specifically created for teachers to upload, organize, and share content, keeping it all in one place with virtual bulletin boards called “padlets.” This real-time collaborative web platform is the perfect tool for remote learning and can help increase participation and student engagement and create a sense of community.
In this step-by-step guide and Padlet tutorial, we take a look at not only how to use Padlet but why teachers should add this powerful tool to their remote learning toolkit as soon as possible.
Why Teach with Padlet?
So, why is an online bulletin board helpful, and how can it benefit your students? A Padlet account can be used by both students and teachers alike to new post links, images, videos, document files, and more on a common page. What makes this tool so powerful is its ability to encourage collaboration. Students and teachers can view each other’s posts in real-time and then use the platform to comment on each other’s work.
When students use a Padlet account, it allows them to post their work for others to see, not just their teacher. Think back to your own time spent as a student. How many times did you complete a project that you were particularly proud of, only to never have it seen again after handing it in to your teacher?
Padlet helps students to understand that their student work is meant to be seen and that it truly matters. Giving your students this kind of platform when teaching automatically increases student engagement, adds additional value to their work, and aids in self-determination.
How to Use Padlet – Step By Step Guide
Ready to get started with Padlet? We’re going to walk you through how to sign up for this free collaborative tool and resource, as well as how to use its many valuable features.
1. Sign Up
Signing up with Padlet is easy. Padlet’s home page directs you to where you can sign up for free, as well as where to install its Mac app if working on an iOS device. After selecting “Sign up for free,” Padlet allows you to instantly sign up via Apple, Google, or with Microsoft, or by entering your own separate email and password.
You are then given the option to select from a Basic or a Pro plan. A Basic plan is free but limits you when it comes to the amount of Padlets you can use and the amount of data you can upload at only 25MB per upload. The Pro plan offers you unlimited Padlets, as well as 250MB per upload. In addition, this plan comes at a low monthly price, with the option to pay yearly for a discounted rate.
2. Make a Padlet
Ready to make your first Padlet? By selecting the red “Make a Padlet” button on your dashboard, you can choose the exact type of board you wish to start with to best arrange your content. Each option includes a description of how your content can be laid out. You also have the option at this stage of creating a Backchannel where you can communicate with your students in a chat-like environment and add content to points on a map.
3. Customize Your Padlet
After you’ve chosen a layout, you now have the option to completely customize your Padlet. Here’s where it really gets fun! Padlet gives you the option to add a title and description to your board, as well as choosing your own wallpaper, color scheme, and font.
You can upload your own wallpaper, choose from Padlet’s library, or select a solid color, gradient, texture, or pattern. Here, you will also find your Padlet’s unique link, which can be easily shared by copying to your clipboard and sending through email, chat, or text.
If you scroll down on the same page, Padlet also gives you the option to customize Posting options and Content Filtering. Posting options allow you to control whether the author’s name should be displayed above each post, the post position, whether views can comment on posts, and whether you would like to implement reactions. Content filtering allows you to choose whether or not content requires your approval before posting, as well as the option to replace bad words with nice emojis!
4. Start Posting!
Now that you’ve customized your first Padlet, you’re ready to start posting! Content may be posted by dragging files onto your Padlet board, double-clicking anywhere on the screen, or pressing the red plus button at the bottom of your screen.
From here, you can upload a file, enter an URL, search images, GIFs, YouTube or Spotify, or upload an image. By selecting the three dots in the lower right corner, you can also implement some of Padlet’s more advanced features, such as Padlet’s camera, voice recorder, screen recorder, and the ability to drop a location. You can then feel free to arrange your Padlet board in any way you want by simply clicking and dragging your content!
How Can I Use Padlet in the Classroom?
There are many ways that Padlet can be used, both inside and outside the classroom. It’s important to note that Padlet is not an educator-only tool. However, students and educators alike have found this free collaborative platform helpful for remote learning for various reasons. Here are some of our tips for how to use Padlet in the classroom:
Showcasing Student’s Work
Padlet gives students a great platform to share their work with other students, showing them that their hard work goes beyond a simple grade. As a result, students can take pride in the work that they’ve accomplished and enjoy feedback and discussions with their peers.
Introducing a Topic
Padlet is a great way to create a discussion board around a new topic and to allow students to share what knowledge they may already have on this particular topic prior to learning. For example, students may choose to share a photo, post a voice memo, or simply type a paragraph on what this topic means to them. After introducing a new topic via Padlet, you can then keep this board open to encourage discussion, student responses, and engagement, adding to your students’ overall learning experience.
Making Problem Solving Visible
Using some of Padlet’s advanced tools, students can show their problem-solving process in real-time. This is especially useful in solving a math problem, where students can use Padlet’s drawing tool to clearly display the steps they took to solve a problem. Padlet is also a great way of giving each other feedback on ongoing work, especially in the case of writing a thesis or persuasive essay.