Author(s): Liisa Ilomäki & Minna Lakkala
Affiliation(s): Technology in Education Research Group, University of Helsinki
Date of publication: March 13, 2015
The Educational Problem
The educational problem is how to easily, and without extra costs, support virtual collaboration for brainstorming, small scale presentations and collecting various types of ideas and opinions.
Padlet is a virtual tool for various kinds of brainstorming, getting ideas, continuing from ideas further, and collecting information. The user creates a virtual “wall” and opens it for others (four levels of visibility from private to totally open), who can add “posts” without any login. The posts can include several types of information, like pictures, texts, videos, and links. A post has a title and a content. The author’s name of a post does not appear (unless, e.g., a teacher advices to write names). The posts can be categorized and organised as needed.
The user can registrate and make an own account which gives possibility to save the walls for later use; if the one who has created the wall is not registered, the wall cannot be saved. Padlet outlook can be modified in several ways. The basic version of Padlet is free of charge but by paying some extra, it is possible to get more features.
In general, the experiences of using Padlet, are very good. It is a really easy tool because it has the metaphor of using yellow Post-it notes, and the user interface is very understandable. The author has used Padlet in many different types of situations with various users, and it has always become a popular tool. The users have also easily created new ways of using Padlet.
- Padlet was used to collect a list of virtual tools which the participants use: http://padlet.com/Hannu/knork_tech
- An example from Karolinska: http://padlet.com/eldameraja/gr02hwz13h
Other key experiences how Padlet has been used in education:
- For collecting basic understanding about a topic. Students can add posts about what they know about the issues to be studied, either alone or in pairs or groups.
- For brainstorming, either during a lesson or elsewhere. Because Padlet is a virtual tool, it can be used anywhere.
- For answering questions. Users answer to ready-made questions, either by name or anonymous.
- For presenting a project work etc. Padlet can be used as a presentation tool because it allows to link various types of data into it. The visual outlook can be modified in several ways.
- For collecting feedback of a course, of a lecture, etc., by name of anonymous. (In one school, teachers collected parents’ feedback with a Padlet wall after a joint meeting. Parents were flushed!)