Padlet is trustworthy and versatile virtual post board that can be shared with students either in class or as an extension to learning. The most common uses for Padlet include a discussion board, pose a question for warm ups and exit slips and all students respond. Here are four ways that I have been using Padlet in order to create more learning experiences that put students at the center sharing their knowledge and understanding.
Using Padlet as a curation tool helps students access materials in which to examine, respond, and reflect. I first came across this use of Padlet as a digital gallery for reading and writing when I was taking a writing workshop with Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. All the mentor texts of a memoir unit were posted on a Padlet and participants were allowed to choose the one that captured our attention. Teachers can allow students to choose which mentor texts to examine and study the craft moves and then write in the same style of the mentor text. Students can then talk in small groups what they noticed, learned, and even share their writing pieces for additional feedback.
Similarly, the teacher might use a Padlet for a scavenger hunt and post a topic or topics and have students curate images, text, and videos to support or illustrate the topic. When students are studying film shots, after a mini lesson on different film shots students were challenged with curating images to represent each of the shots.
Creating a digital gallery and then having students reading and respond to the text helps collect and collaborate on textual analysis. When students were studying propaganda in dystopian fiction and history I created Padlet of propaganda. Students read, viewed, and or listened to each Gallery item. Then, students chose a Critical Thinking Prompt to analyze and examine the texts presented in this Gallery. As always, student responses (comments) must include TEXTUAL EVIDENCE to explain the connections and analysis that you used to support your claims. There was even a bonus.
BONUS: Use the Google search engine to identify images, drawings, news articles, quotes, EVEN connections to Animal Farm that connect or draw parallel between one of the featured Gallery Items and your research. Click on the (+), to add your research/contribution to the Gallery Wall.
Lastly, if you are someone who conducts literature circles and or book clubs in your classroom, having students post their discussion highlights and insights on a Padlet helps to gather what students are reading and discussing in the book chats. Students can lead the discussions rather than a teacher posting the question and students responding. The key is that student voice and choice are at the forefront.
There are countless other ways for teachers and students to use Padlet for learning and showcasing understanding. If educators want student to use higher order thinking skills like evaluate, analyze, and synthesize, here are four ways you can promote higher order thinking using Padlet to elevate your lessons.