My first impressions of this app for my high school classroom
Yesterday, I wrote about six assignments I am using to test-drive the discussion board app called Padlet. Click here for a link to that post. Read on for my first impressions in the form of pros and cons.
While I’m using it now for distance learning during my school’s COVID-19 closing, I really think it will have more optimal use in the classroom.
For example, I can envision projecting a Padlet on my whiteboard as students work so they can see their comments publish immediately, as well as those of others.
Using Padlet in this way will add an immediacy to their writing.
Receiving instant feedback as students reach and comment to others’ posts in real time during class should add relevancy and engagement while they work. It’s definitely something I want to try next fall.
Without further ado, my pros and cons for this new app are listed below. And obviously, I have much to learn, but so far here are my first impressions based on my limited use to date.
Seven Benefits of Padlet
- INSTANT PUBLISHING: The program allows students to instantly publish their work. This is so key to my teaching philosophy, and I’m always on the lookout for ways for students to get published. Publishing work “beyond my desk” adds so much more accountability and engagement. Students write better when they know their work will likely be read by others besides me.
- COLLABORATION: Padlet allows for interaction between the poster and the reader. As the teacher, I can choose reaction styles: hearts, thumbs up, thumbs down, votes, stars, or assign grades using points.
- NO ACCOUNT NEEDED: Students don’t have to make an account to participate. I just share them the link to the Padlet and they can access it.
- PRIVACY: I can set the Padlet to be private so it’s only accessible to my classes, or I set it for public viewing.
- GOOD DESIGN: The Padlet boards look nice and can complement visually the particular board topic. For example, I can design a Padlet to fit the topic or subject matter (or my case, a text) using color schemes, fonts, wallpapers, and photography that’s built into the site. I can also use photos from my device or the web.
- CONTROL: I can moderate student posts if I would like to or I can set Padlets so responses instantly publish.
- REAL-TIME COLLABORATION: All comments and input provided by students are in real-time so there’s no waiting.
Two Drawbacks of Padlet
- For some reason (system overload? just a glitch?), the link for two of my Padlets changed over the course of a week. That blocked students from being able to return later to the Padlet to comment on a classmate’s post.
- On another occasion, the link to a Padlet simply stopped working for students. After being notified by a student, I had to make a brand new Padlet for the assignment. I never did figure out why students were unable to access it even though I was still able to.
Besides these two technical problems — which I was able to work around quickly, by the way– I think I’ll continue to use the app on an ongoing basis… both this spring and next fall.