How I Use It
I've used Padlet in a few ways--I'll share two here.
The simplest has been to use it as collector of "story" ideas for our online class magazine. To make the result easy to read after being embedded on our website I chose the stream layout. It is easy to navigate and students can refer to it at will. As the owner of the board I am able to delete items after they've been written about.
I've also made use of Padlet as a Class Parking Lot. I posted three headings that students drop comments below. Unlike exit slips, students can see what others have written when offering feedback. This gives many of them a basis to agree or disagree and ultimately offers me clearer comments as they try to win me over. Since they have three areas to post underneath I have used the freeform layout.
In both cases I customized Padlet to fit the look and fill of the projects I'm working on and the websites they are embedded upon. It may not sound like a big deal to do so, but I find that the better a tool looks, the greater buy in I have from students. Padlet's ease of use and good looks get a lot of buy in from my classes.
I was introduced to Padlet as an electronic bulletin board, but that sells it short. It can be used to brainstorm, collaborate, document and classify. It takes only moments to set up a board and students can begin to contribute just as quickly. With the ability to create custom urls and / or embed the created board into a website using Padlet is not cumbersome. It can be further customized to logos and backgrounds appropriate to the task at hand.
One of the most usable features in Padlet is the ability to dictate the layout of the board. It can be either "freeform" (notes all over the place) or "stream" (in order top to bottom). Different layouts may support certain assignments better than others.
Another feature worth taking advantage of is the Google Integration. If your school is a Google Apps For Education user (as my school is) students can log into boards by using their Google Accounts so that there are no extra passwords. If the board requires / suggests that students contribute to the board anonymously this can still occur--students can simply erase their name from their account.
Padlet is so easy to use that it is quickly becoming my go to tool. I haven't even made use of the ability to add multimedia to the boards yet. I expect I'll be doing that soon.
I see posting an image or video clip in the center of the board with a question or two for students to answer (as part of classwork or to facilitate a flipped classroom).
Why not share the fun and have students create their own boards as well?