I discovered the wonders of Padlet last year. I was looking for a platform for my Media Studies students to use to post evidence of their research and planning for their A2 coursework. There is a requirement for them to post all their evidence on a ‘blog’ and along with this to use a range of different methods of presentation that utilise ICT. Students had been using Prezi, EMAZE and other embeddable apps for quite some time and I was looking for something a little different. Padlet is a digital page that allows for students to collate video, gifs, text, images and diagrams all in one place. And its sharable embed code means that students can collaborate on the same Padlet at the same time and then post to their blogs. It’s transformed the way students work, and it makes marking their work much easier as teachers can enlarge the Padlet and see all the content at once, rather than scrolling down a blog or clicking through a Prezi.
This year I’ve started to use it with the new linear A Level course. The new course is very fact-heavy, and the necessity to cover 9 media forms means that we have to whizz through quite a lot of topic content. We were concerned that topics such as radio and video games, taught in early year 12, would be hastily forgotten by the time the exam arrives in June 2019. Although students have folders and exercise books we couldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t lose these before the exam! So, we’ve embedded the use of Padlets into our classes.
Each class has their own page on our department website (using Google Site – more on this to come in a later blog post) and each topic has four or five Padlets per class full to the brim with all the important facts around industries, audiences and contexts. Students complete research activities in small groups and cross-check their information before posting it to their Padlets. The Padlets themselves are kept in a teacher account and are shared with the student page on the Google Site so that students can go back to them whenever they need to – they don’t need any kind of login and they are visible on the website all the time. They are secure and can then be used for revision during the months leading up to the exam.
And what do the students think about using Padlet? My year 13 students have always loved it – the ability to combine lots of different visual ideas into one space and to see them all at once makes it easier for them to organise their thoughts. The year 12 students, who had never used anything like it before, really enjoyed the fact that they could all work on the same Padlet at the same time – one student said ‘everyone has to contribute because you can see what each other is doing and I like being able to with other groups’. Another student said ‘I’m not very quick at writing, but I can gather my ideas and present them quickly on a Padlet and so I feel I accomplish more in a lesson’.
If you want to find out how to create and use Padlets with your students keep your eye out for an instruction video that will appear on the Teach Learn Digital blog very soon.
Now, off to mark some Padlets….