Pros and Cons of Padlet

woman in black and white striped coat standing between people sitting

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.

This is a Padlet I created for an assignment where students posted playlists for the two main characters in the novel, A River Runs Through It. Users can choose the wallpaper backgrounds for the Padlets from a large selection available free on the site.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. PRIVACY: I can set the Padlet to be private so it’s only accessible to my classes, or I set it for public viewing.
  5. 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.
  6. CONTROL: I can moderate student posts if I would like to or I can set Padlets so responses instantly publish.
  7. REAL-TIME COLLABORATION: All comments and input provided by students are in real-time so there’s no waiting.
This is a Padlet where students posted their defense of their alternative titles for the novel, A River Runs Through It.

Two Drawbacks of Padlet

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment with your thoughts about Padlet. Have you used it before? How did it go? Become a follower to catch more posts about middle and high school ELA.

Published by Marilyn Yung

Writes | Teaches | Not sure where one ends and the other begins.

7 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Padlet

  1. I found your articles when I googled “using Padlet in ELA classes.” Though I teach middle school (6th grade), your ideas and plans for using Padlet can easily be adapted for middle school students. Thank you for helping make this tool easily understandable and for the inspiring classroom ideas. I am grateful for you sharing your time and insights — they will definitely make a difference in my teaching next year!

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I’ve enjoyed using Padlet so far and look forward to using the different layouts, such as the timeline. I hope I can figure out the technical issues I’ve had so far with the links expiring. When I figure that out I will post about it. Thanks again!

  2. Thank you for your assessment of Padlet. I have used it since 2018 and found it very useful for real-time feedback. I teach microbiology and cell and tissue culture at a community college and my students need to prepare presentations on a published paper they select. I create a Padlet for the presentations and as the students go through them, the rest of us offer constructive commentary that the presenters can read immediately after the activity is over. So, the app is easily adaptable for higher education as well. This app was especially useful when I had to move my classes to a virtual environment for distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My students still did their presentations online and still received real-time feedback from the rest of the class.

    What I like the most is that the app runs in all platforms and it is especially good at supporting the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (analyzing), and help students organize their thoughts in a written way as well.

    1. I admire how your students used Padlet to provide feedback to their fellow presenters. Great idea and, in my opinion, an awesome example of Padlet’s best capability. The app is just simply a very valuable tool. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: