How I Use It
I have used Padlet in various ways for my students, but the most common way I use this site is a check-for-understanding tool. Often, I use this tool as a "Do Now" activity; upon entering class, I ask students to post an idea, answer, image, etc. from the previous day's learning. For example, when learning about similes and metaphors, I ask students to create a post-it with an example of each on it. Typically, I provide an example of what I'd like their post-it to look like (or could look like) to help with getting started. I've also used Padlet as a form of KWL chart. Because the post-its can be moved around, it is easy to move their ideas from one column to another. This also also been a useful site when students are brainstorming essay topics or project ideas. And while I have not done this myself, I know others have had students use the board to keep track of resources they use for research projects.
I really like that students do not need an account to access/post to the boards. All they need is a website, which the creator can custom name to fit their topic and make entering the website a little less tedious. Also, it allows the teacher complete control over what is posted. If I don't like an image/video/post a student has added, I am able to move or delete the post myself. I also really like the ability to add images and videos; this makes the board much more visually appealing and supportive of visual learners.
One aspect of the site that is a little frustrating is that once you have more than 50 people try to access the board, it becomes very slow and can become disorganized very easily. You also must refresh quite often if many people are posting at once to see all of the additions to the board.
Overall, this is an engaging and interactive way to have students show what they know and to provide examples/ideas in a public setting. There are many visual backgrounds, the tools are simple to use, and students don't have to log in to use the site. This is a wonderful tool to support visual learners and to include students who do not typically like sharing in front of the class.
Using this site as a teacher is a great way for me to quickly check the understanding of a simple concept and get a feel for any misconceptions there may be. For students, it helps them collaborate with others and see different ways of thinking about things or for them to see different examples. If the students create the Padlet wall, it requires them to organize information and think about the effectiveness of how/where/what is included in the wall.
I also really like the options of sharing the completed wall. There are options to share the site (or keep it private!), share it through social media sites, or embed the wall in a blog post or website. There is also the option of turning the wall into a QR code.