Padlet’s new features.

An ‘old time-classic’ that just got better……….

Last month Padlet introduced two new features that along with the ones that were introduced during the summer and the all-new and improved smartphone app, will bring this simple but versatile tool one step closer to being the ‘go-to’ solution when it comes to formative assessment and collaborative activities in Higher Education settings. 

If you are completely new to this and want to get up to speed with what Padlet’s about, watch this short 90-second intro video.

Padlet has five new structure layoutsThe revamped version includes a new layout customization that allows users to choose how they want to structure their digital canvas:

Padlets that are structured in a free-form, grid or stream layout are the best solution for individual or class mini-blogs that will only take 30-seconds to set up but nevertheless add immense value in Teaching and Learning.

The posts can include most document formats, web content as well as video and audio files. Adding a password and moderating comments on your Padlets, will create a safe ecosystem for learning and teaching.

Using a digital canvas that incorporates “drag n’ drop” functionality in adding and re-arranging content in your Weblearn module provides users with an excellent tool for showcasing student work.

Use Padlet to gather formative feedback before, during or even after your lectures, quantify student responses and ultimately refine your teaching practice and research by engaging in Action Research and publications.

embedding Padlet in Weblearn

Padlet is very good with workshops, fieldtrips and collaborative activities where learners produce posters, vertical structures, photos, videos, podcasts or any kind of tangible artifacts. Just ask your students to use one of the many features directly via Padlets’ interface to upload and share audio, video and images with the rest of the team.

Add podcasts and vidcasts in Padlet using Smartphones/Tablets

Embed a Padlet in your Assessment content area as an exemplar to showcase examples of students’ best work on one page and ask students to provide with a rationale as to why these assignments received top marks. Students will not have to type in additional passwords to access this tool. If your students are creating digital portfolios, slideshows, produce videos, podcasts and in general want guidance on assignments that require more “space” and ability to handle large files then Padlet is your number one choice, as it is highly responsive, easily embeds in Weblearn and handles large files.

Using Padlet mini via your broswer to collect and curate contentPadlet’s new Chrome extension – “Padlet Mini”- empowers students to bookmark websites and take their content curation to the next level. Users who navigate the internet, have the ability to click on the extension button in their browser to save the page in one of their existing or new Padlets.

Deploying Padlets as KWL charts, transforms your classes in an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity in all its forms by welcoming contributions from everyone. By creating an open wall canvas, embedding it on your Weblearn and inviting learners to share their background knowledge on a subject or asking them what they would like to know on the subject, enables everyone to participate and contribute in knowledge acquisition.

Introducing a Padlet as a flipped-classroom activity (before a lecture) allows learners time to familiarise themselves with the tool and focus on adding relevant content.

When it comes to collaborative activities, Padlet excels as you can easily use the column layout to create breakout groups. Below, is an example of a Padlet that was used to introduce the ideas of Summary and Synthesis in Academic Writing.

Summary and Synthesis of Ideas

Padlets, are an excellent consolidation activity. Embed a Padlet in each lecture folder on your Weblearn module and at the end of each lecture, ask learners to write 3-things they learned today. This will automatically provide with a mini-summary of your lecture that is tied-in with your PPT presentation.

This bring us to the latest 2 additions in Padlets’ armoury that allow users to Like, Vote, Rate and even Grade contributions that come from other users.

To use the new voting feature, go to the new “reactions” setting in Padlet. There, you will find three basic reactions, the “Thumbs” icon that allows students to vote up/down, the “Like” icon that emulates social media likes, and the “Star” icon that awards/rates contributions with 1-5 stars. There is a numerical grading tool available and, although Padlet is not recommended for summative assessment, this could be used for formative feedback if university grading procedures are observed. 

Contact vletraining@londonmet.ac.uk today to arrange for a one-to-one hands-on session in using Padlet and take your teaching to the next level.

The new learning Technologists Team

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