Sunday, June 16, 2013

Padlet: Online Wall for Collaboration

What it is: is a website that allows users to build a wall that can be written on with “sticky notes.”  Users can post to the wall, adding words, links, pictures, or documents.  Each wall has a unique URL that can be customized to be easier to find or to remember.  

Some questions and options to consider when building your wall:  
  • Backgrounds:  Which fun background will you choose?
  • Positioning of posts: Do you want them random or ordered? (I personally like them haphazard.)
  • Access: Which visitors can access your wall?  Email invites only, password protected, public, or public and hidden?
  • Power Can visitors view, add to, or edit the wall?  Will posts be moderated?
  • Location:  Will you embed your wall into your webpage or blog or share the link?

What I like:
  • Padlet is great for brainstorming or collaboration in real-time
  • Users can create walls without accounts (but it is easier to track walls with an account)
  • Walls can be password protected and moderated

What I dislike:
  • Documents added to the wall are turned into pictures, so Padlet is not for document storage
  • As each wall is only one page, they are best used for just one assignment
  • In the past, I found that walls or “Wallwisher” would occasionally be unavailable, though I have not found that to be the case since this site became “Padlet”

Ideas for the World Language Classroom:
  • Brainstorming session.  Give students a theme, like “vacations,” and ask them to add words, expressions, sentences, or paragraphs related to the topic.  This can be done in class while all in the computer lab, or at home for a homework assignment
  • Project presentation.  Instead of a typical poster, student groups can use this wall to create a visual accompaniment to their project.  .
  • Class opener/closer.  Begin or end a class (perhaps in the computer lab) by surveying students on their learning or interests
  • Question(s) about reading.  Post questions about a homework assignment, and require students to answer the question and also respond or comment on the posts of classmates
  • Advertising campaign.  Students create an infographic to convince users in the target culture to use a product  

Review in a nutshell:  Padlet is an easy-to-use, visual tool that is a great jumping-off point for online collaboration

Sample walls (from the Padlet website):

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