Padlet: Why we love it and how we use it

Padlet has become one of the most used web 2.0 tools in my classroom in the last few months, and the students love it.

Padlet acts as a ‘real time’ wall, where students can simultaneously post comments.  Images can also be added to a padlet wall.  As a teacher, all you need to do is create the wall in Padlet, and have students access it using a unique url.  They do not require a username/login to post (though you will – it’s free!)  Only you have editing rights, which enables you to delete any comments, shift them around the board etc.

Here are some of the ways I use it in my classroom to enhance learning:

Creative/independent writing stimuli

Often when my students are engaging in ‘free writing’ (when we are not studying a genre), I find that many of them tend to get stuck with a starting point or topic.

I’ve started placing an intriguing image on a Padlet wall, and the students use their netbooks to record their initial thoughts.  We then brainstorm some possible titles for pieces of writing.  Sometimes we also link the titles to type of writing, such as a narrative or a persuasive piece:

Students can then keep the wall open on their netbooks as they begin planning and drafting their writing pieces.

Reading

I team teach reading with a colleague, and we often have our students reflect on their reading using ICT.  A few weeks ago we were learning about making connections when reading (text to self, text to text, text to world), and we created a Padlet wall for pairs of students to reflect on:


SW-PBS (School Wide Positive Behaviour Support)

At my school, we implement SW-PBS, and as a result spend at least 50 minutes per week targeting behaviours that we identify as needing improvement to support our students’ wellbeing.  This term, we have been focussing on being on time to line, as we were noticing students were either arriving late in the morning, or not lining up in time for the bells throughout the day.

In my classroom we used padlet to brainstorm and reflect on our own behaviour and think of ways we could be on time to line. I posed the three questions below: When do we need to be on time to line? Why do we need to be on time to line? What do we need to do to make sure we are in time to line?

How do you use Padlet in your classroom?

Enhancing curiosity and learning through classroom ebooks

A dear friend of mine, Sigal Magen is truly inspirational. After a long career in IT, she began writing children’s books, as well as engaging in co-creating books with schools and local councils.

She approached me a couple of months ago, looking to collaborate with my class on a series called ‘Kids around the world‘, which involves connecting with and creating ebooks with children in different countries across the globe.

From our first discussion about the ebook project, my grade were extremely enthusiastic; they loved the idea of creating their own ebook, and were both excited and proud that they would be getting published!

The process

The first thing we needed to do was research Australian landmarks.

I placed the following question on our Apple TV to guide the students in their research:

‘If you were hosting an overseas visitor, what sites would you recommend they visit?’

Curriculum engagement

Throughout the project, my students used and developed their skills in many areas, including:

* elearning and creativity – as they began to sketch their drawings, many of my students researched and found great websites and tools such as Drawing Now, which has hundreds, if not thousands of videos showing step by step instructions of how to draw different animals, people, landscapes and much more.

* Writing – each student was required to write a (preferably rhyming) sentence to enhance their drawing.

Here are some photos that document our ebook creation…

**Shameless plug**

If you would like to download/take a look at our ebook, it is available at http://amzn.to/15HOhFl