A new way to create, collaborate & engage: Padlet


You can install the Padlet app for Apple or for Android on your phone or just go to the Padlet website.

Are you struggling with getting students to engage with you or each other in live Zoom sessions? Are discussion boards in Blackboard not working the way you planned? One alternative you can try is Padlet. It’s free (to a point) and easy to access.

I was a member of the 2018 WSU LIFT Fellowship (Learn. Inspire. Foster. Transform.) cohort – a group of faculty who are “passionate about their work in classrooms, research settings, and one-on-one with WSU students.” In our six-months with the program, we learned a lot about mindfulness, growth mindset, active learning concepts, and the integration of behavioral interventions. More on that experience in a different post…

One tool introduced early on in LIFT was Padlet – “an online virtual “bulletin” board, where students and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links and pictures, in a secure location.” – West Virginia Adult Ed

Padlet board example: “Humans of 310” from the students of COMSTRAT 310 Digital Content Promotion with Cara Hawkins-Jedlicka, Chelsea Newman, and Rebecca Cooney (Spr20)

According to Lucie Renard at BookWidgets.com, there are at least 30 different ways instructors can use Padlet in the classroom.

Here are 10 of my favorite applications that (bonus!) work for virtual teaching (FYI – students can participate anonymously):

  • 1) Brainstorming

    Give a statement or prompt to students to discuss, share, and comment on so they can see each other’s contributions.

  • 2) Quick polls

    Use the tool to ask students to vote on something such as what they want to focus on that day, what they think the answer to a question is, what they like or dislike, etc. You can post text or artwork for them to respond to.

  • 3) Q&A

    Post low-stakes questions and ask them to respond. Examples – what did you have for breakfast? What do you see outside your window? What is the main thing you miss about a no-stay-at-home-order world? What animal is in your house right now?

  • 4) Reading discussion

    Give a prompt to read an excerpt, case study, or article. Use Padlet to spark dialogue and discussion.

  • 5) Prior knowledge check

    What do students already know about a topic? Ask. See what they say.

  • 6) Break out the “Chat Pack” collection

    A colleague once suggested I invest in the “The Question Guys: Chat Pack” ($12 on Amazon) – a deck of cards that spark conversations. It’s great and perfect for posing questions and motivating engagement. I pulled a few random cards for this post:

    >”If you could wake up every morning, open your bedroom blinds, and look out a huge glass window at a perfect view, what would that view be?”

    >”If, with your safety guaranteed, you could experience something considered very dangerous, what would you want to experience most of all?”

    >”If you could open your own retail store, what type of merchandise would you sell?”

  • 7) Notetaking

    Straight from Lucie Renard – “While listening to the teacher, students can work together and add notes to a Padlet wall to create a wall with resources they can use later on.”

  • 8) Share funny videos or memes

    [Clean of course!] – use a Padlet board to have students post funny videos or memes they bookmarked or found this week while scrolling on social media.

  • 9) Finish my story…

    Create a story and ask students to build on it.

  • 10) “What’s on my phone” opener

    To kick off a class and break the ice a bit, ask students to share the most current photo on their phone. Add the “keep it clean” disclaimer and ask them to explain the nature of the photo.

Posting on Padlet Options

(more from Lucie Renard…)

  • “double click anywhere on the board;
  • drag files in;
  • paste from clipboard;
  • save as bookmark with Padlet mini;
  • or just click the ‘+’ button in the lower right corner.”

This post is part of Rebecca L. Cooney’s Online Teaching Tips series. Check out more tips in the “Online Teaching Tips” and “Teaching Tidbits” categories.

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