Padlet: Online Collaboration Tool
Padlet is like a digital canvas or bulletin board that makes it easy for people to collaborate and insert anything (images, videos, documents, text).
While there is no shortage of collaborative tools, Padlet is one of the most user-friendly and flexible — it’s designed to meet a variety of situations in different learning environments, on all devices, and in multiple languages. Even for students or teachers who have never experimented or used educational technology software in the class, Padlet is a low hanging fruit in terms of class implementation.
Let’s say that you have an art class where students are supposed to be finding their favorite impressionist art piece and an explanation as to what about the piece draws them in. Now imagine that students can do this together on a shared inspiration board. This is possible via Padlet. The possibilities are truly endless! Padlet can be used in any class and in any learning environment.
In this guide, we will cover the basic features of Padlet and include a comprehensive video showing how you can create your own Padlet space for your students.
Intended Audience: 2nd through higher education
Subjects: Any subject is suitable for use of Padlets
Cost: Free but a subscription version comes with additional features
Features of Padlet
The following lists some of the most appealing and advantageous features of Padlet:
- Easy to use, extension of how our mind works, multiple ways to add posts
- Accessibility compliant, global with 29 languages available
- No signup required, give a different level of permissions (similar to Google Drive), updates appear without refreshing
- Can show a variety of file types including Drive, files, pictures, videos, links, embedding, and previewing of these files
- Apps exist for IOS and Android, WordPress plugin available
- There is an ability to customize themes, backgrounds, and design settings
- Ability to keep work public or make it private
- Has templates for commonly used teaching tools such as KWL charts or Venn diagrams
- Finished Padlet can be exported
- Seamless previewing without navigating to a new page
As you can see, Padlet is a tool beyond a pinboard. The functionality is as diverse as the use case.
The main dashboard for Padlet looks like the screenshot below.
To begin making a Padlet, you can click in three different areas in order to start the design. One, you can select the pink box in the middle of the image above, two, you can select dashboard in the purple navigation menu, three, you can choose a pink circle with a plus sign in the middle at the top of the screen.
Choosing Padlet Type
From there, you can choose which type of Padlet to make. There are five different Padlets including:
- Wall – a brick-like layout
- Canvas – literally a blank Canvas to combine content in any way
- Stream – content read from top-to-bottom
- Grid – content is arranged in rows of boxes of varying sizes
- Shelf – opposite of grid, content is arranged in columns of boxes
If you do not want to create your own Padlet from scratch, there are many different templates to choose from. On a desktop computer, the templates are located below the design types.
This is only a sampling of the templates available on Padlet. If you have a need and do not see the template, email Padlet and they will make it!
Making a Padlet
For the purposes of this tutorial, we will make a Padlet from scratch. Select the tablet you want as pictured above. The very first step is to choose the design. Know that this can be modified at any time.
Once you select a wallpaper, a pink Next button will appear in the top right. Select this to progress to the next step, choosing privacy access. The Padlet can be private, password protected, secret, or public. The level of access is selected. Finally, there is an option to add contributors, allow others to remix your work, and a required moderation of comments.
Posting to Padlet
Finally, you are ready to start posting! To add to the Padlet, double click anywhere on the screen. As mentioned above, you can add virtually any file type. Sticking with our theme of impressionism, I have added a simple painting with a response to a prompt. Students could all select a piece of impressionist art and post it to the Padlet for display in the classroom.
Once satisfied with the Padlet, it can be remade, shared, exported, printed or liked.
Padlet is able to help with translations. In fact, Padlet gives power to the user to help translate into different languages. Padlets can be sorted by name or by App in order to translate the Padlet.
The following video tutorial goes into more detail on the creation of a Padlet and also shows the creation of a Padlet from a template. This is such a great tool for class participation and is not limited to specific disciplines. Enjoy!
To learn more about Padlet, refer to this FAQ from their website.