http://padlet.com/ (early known as Wallwisher) gives you a blank wall, and you can basically put anything you want on it, anywhere. Simple, yet powerful.
It basically empowers people to express their thoughts on a common topic easily. It works like an online sheet of paper where people can put any content (e.g. images, videos, documents, text) anywhere on the page, together with anyone, from any device.
This is why Padlet is simple, yet powerful:
Simple interface, double click to add posts (or double tap for touch screens), drag and drop, auto save, etc. WOW!
- Instant Collaboration
Everyone’s activity can be seen on the wall instantly. Page reloads is history.
You can add any kind of file/links – videos, images, documents. You can paste links (URLs) to (YouTube) videos (view-able from the wall). Can drag a document from your computer. Can take pictures with your computer devices.
You can embed a wall in blogs and other websites (How?).
You are empowered to keep the wall(s) private by adding password lock or specific email addresses. You can also moderate posts, by requiring approval by one of the moderators before they show up on the wall for the other readers.
You can export your Walls to PDF, Excel, and CSV formats with a single click.
- Customized URL
Every wall has an unique URL that you can give out. You can now also customize the ending of your URL to your Wall (E.g. http://padlet.com/wall/myawesomewall) or your Domain URL (E.g. http://myawesomewall.com ).
You can get e-mail notifications on updates to your wall, or subscribe to them via RSS.
- Design & Layouts
You can easily spice up the backgrounds with all sorts of cool designs and images. You can change your layout to ‘Stream’ to view group discussions more structured (linear chat like format, with time-stamps of when someone commented).
Check out Padlet’s user guide (Knowledge Base) to discover more.
What about Padlet for learning and teaching?
While you don’t need brains to use Padlet, you might need to stretch your imagination to realize how easy and powerful this tool could be to empower and energize collaborative learning experiences. Here are some examples on how Padlet can be used for:
- Ice breaker to get to know one another (Participants/Students upload photos of themselves and then write one or two sentences for others to get to know them better).
- Brainstorming ideas, problem-solving, decision-making, or solutions.
- Q&A sessions before/during/after a lecture or class.
- Noticeboards or making course announcements.
- Bookmarking and curating resources or video playlists.
- Group/Class/Community Discussions.
- Adventure and travel maps (field trips).
- Developing a website.
Let’s not stop there, why not explore Padlet as a potential tool for organizing a student’s e-portfolio.
Researching, collecting and curating content for your lesson does not have to be a tiresome task across folders, sites, emails and links.
- Group Discussion
Use Padlet for a group discussion before/during/after a lecture (or class).
Your lecture is coming to an end and you want to take check the students’ understanding of the subject or topic.
Students can work individually or as groups using Padlet. For example, each group sets up a wall that discusses or visualizes their project, which can later be made available to the other students when completed. You can even make it a competition!
Whether you want to use Padlet for everything in online learning is probably a bit extreme, but no doubt this tool can be used in many creative ways to engage learners and have some fun while learning takes place.