Padlet is a digital canvas where you can create, create, and collaborate. It’s one of the most popular tools with my colleagues, and I’ve used it for years, since its previous incarnation as Wallwisher. It’s a freemium product, with a version for schools called Padlet Backpack.
To use Padlet, it’s best to create an account. You can sign up with a username/password combo, or by connecting your Facebook or Google account. This gives you a personal profile, which includes a public feed of your padlets, as well as any biographical information that you’ve added to your account. If you don’t create an account, make sure you save the links for any padlets that you create, and to finish editing their settings within 24 hours.
When you create a new template, you can select one of five formats, or convert between formats:
- Wall which uses a “brick-like layout”, when order doesn’t matter
- Canvas which lets you arrange content and create connectors within them, for trees, mind-maps, flowcharts, brainstorming, etc.
- Steam for a vertical organization of content, to make lists, reports, blog posts, etc.
- Grid for rows of content, useful for storyboards, noticeboards, etc.
- Shelf for columns of content, each independently scrollable, e.g. compass point activity, introductory padlet.
You can create a padlet from scratch, using a template, or by modifying an existing padlet which allows copy, and you can decided whether or not others can remake your work as a template. There are a variety of wallpapers to choose from. Themes are also available in the premium version. For each padlet, you can set a custom link address.
There are options for visibility: Public, Secret, Password-Protected, Private or Organization Wide (premium feature). You also decide permissions for users: read-only, write, moderate, admin. Posts can show up instantly, or you can turn on moderation. You can manage posts by other users, and edit, transfer, copy, or delete them. Also, at any point, anyone can export a Padlet as a pdf, csv, image or Excel file. They can also share it on social media, or embed it elsewhere on the web.
Padlet lets you add posts to the board, using links, photos, video, documents, music, voice recordings, and other file types. You may also be able to comment on other posts, depending on the settings of the padlet.
Padlet has integrated search, which lets you find your own padlets, or to search for padlets on specific topics.
I haven’t used the premium product, but according to the Padlet website, it offers the following features:
- user management and access control
- more privacy
- extra security
- school-wide activity monitoring
- bigger file uploads
- controlled environment
- Support for multiple languages
- Easy to collaborate in the space
- No signup required to post
- Upload files from your computer, or embed from the web
- Attached links and files have previews right in Padlet
- Links are automatically recognized and hyperlinked
- Real time updates of the padlet, or focus mode which lets you decide when to refresh the content
- Copy posts within one padlet or from one padlet to another
- Automatically create a QR code for your padlet
- Use an organizational tool like a Venn Diagram or T Chart as a background to help you organize posts
- Install Extensions for Chrome, Firefox, or Safari to quickly add web content to your padlets, or install the Chrome App for easy access
- If students are posting without an account, have them put their name in the title of the post
10 Ideas to use Padlet in the Classroom
- Make a list of resources for your students, color coded by topic, or reading level.
- Have students create a wall as a presentation on a topic
- Create a padlet for collaborative brainstorming
- Collaboratively create a question and answer board with students
- Create a video playlist for a course
- Create a booksmarks board for a class
- Have students post reviews of books that they are reading
- Post a daily message/question to students that they can respond to
- Create a weekly “newsletter” for parents, curated by students
- Have students create showcases/portfolios of their work
Padlet works on iOS, Android, Kindle, and on the web.
Padlet with Kids
Padlet allows use by children under 13, provided that schools take the steps needed to comply with their local laws. In the US, this means respecting COPPA and FERPA, and either consenting on behalf of parents, or getting parental consent before sharing any personal information about children.