By: Professor Heather Gram (Wake Forest)
Like many educators this past summer, I found my days consumed by webinars, conferences, and virtual meetings all designed to introduce me to new technology for the fall. While most were helpful, I still felt overwhelmed at times. Would I be able to figure out my third Learning Management System in five years? Could I learn how to effortlessly pop into pre-designated breakout rooms without accidentally ending the session for everyone? And if I taught online, how could I build that same rapport with students that comes naturally with face-to-face classes?
Luckily, I stumbled onto a demonstration of Padlet™ and recognized that it might be what I was looking for. According to a 2018 article, “Padlet began as a free digital bulletin-board where teachers and students could exchange ideas, materials, and comments.” It has “a simple interface that allow[s] users to drag and drop files from their desktop and add links from the web onto a web-based canvas (called a ‘padlet’).” While Padlet™ originally offered the unlimited creation of padlets, two years ago it capped the number of free padlets per person to five.
Padlet™ immediately reminded me of the high school locker that I shared with my best friend. That locker had been a place where I could post notes to her about assignments (“Do you understand the reading for tomorrow’s class?”), questions (“When is our AP History test?”), and articles about movies, music, and more. Padlet™ seemed to provide a similarly creative way to reach my students in a less formal manner than just posting announcements on Canvas™. Continue reading “Using Padlet to Create Community”