How I Use It
Padlet is an app that I have used many times in my classroom. Padlet can be used to collaborate, communicate ideas between students, ask questions to collect responses or thoughts/ideas. Students post on a digital post-it note on a wall that can show all of the posts at one time. The posts can be moved around to show similarities or differences, group the students, or even be used to organize as they are posted in a sequential manner. When I have used it in my classroom students were able to share different responses or their thoughts- whether it be through words in a response or using a visual along with text to support/extend their thoughts. Sometimes students would wait for someone else to post a response before they came up with their own idea. Those students that were quicker thinkers were able to share sooner than those that needed more time to process through the question asked. I used this tool with my students in a whole group setting to review a common question that related to our reading text. It was a discussion question, which was used as a springboard to deeper conversation and understanding. The specific take aways were the differences in the responses and their ideas. We were able to discuss and view each response and discuss the different ideas that were presented at the time.
Overall, I think that the Padlet app is a great app for serving the purpose of spring boarding for basic discussions and initial thoughts or ideas. I think that the app allows for collaboration, communication, and critical thinking opportunities. As far as creative thinking, I think that Padlet lacks in providing open opportunities for this. Even though the app allows you to post either texts, videos, or images- it is only limited to those 3 visual displays. I like that Padlet allows you to see all of the responses of those who posts, however I don't like that students can post anything without prior approval from the teacher. When the purpose is for students to post individual thoughts and initial responses, they are able to see as soon as a student posts. They don't have to have the post approved. If this was the case, teachers could wait and approve all of the posts at the same time so those students who wait for others to share first would have an advantage and not share their original creative thoughts. This technology tool can better serve students by providing them with the opportunity to digitally collaborate and communicate their thinking with each other in one learning space. This tool can better serve teaching because it allows the teacher the opportunity to focus on individual student responses and allow them to extend their thinking based on what they post. As mentioned, it is a springboard for deeper understanding and critical thinking discussion. In relation to TPACK, students have to have knowledge of how to use the technological tool in order for it to be used effectively. Pedagogically, it allows the teacher to use this app as formative assessment and as an instructional strategy. This tool can help to deepen student inquiry and work flow. It is a tool of collaboration amongst all students. In relation to the SAMR framework, it serves as augmentation because students are able to share their thoughts, but are not able to directly provide feedback on the app. They are able to use different features within the app to share their thoughts and ideas either via a text response, video, or image and then elaborate on their post. Overall, I think that Padlet is a great app to use in the classroom to support learning for students through communication and collaboration.