Padlet (used to be known as Wallwisher) is like chart paper for the web. Once you've created an account (it's free!), create a wall and give it a name, using the settings along the right hand side of the screen. If you like, you can customize the url so that students can easily type in the address. Or, if you prefer, Padlet creates a QR Code for your wall immediately, so you could just project the QR Code and have students scan it with their iPad or other smart device. I would have my computer hooked up to the LCD projector so that everyone can see what's going on.
Now students can add their own ideas to the wall by clicking somewhere on the wall. If you prefer, you can have students give their ideas to you and you type them (which may be easier for younger students). The picture above is the beginnings of our Arctic unit. I asked the students what they thought of when they heard about the Arctic. Once we have several ideas, the next step is to ask the students what they wonder about the Arctic. Then we sort our ideas. As the moderator, I have access to everyone's sticky notes, and can move them around on my computer.
Padlet.com has some other nice features as well:
- Once a link has been posted, you can click on the pencil to edit it later. In edit form, you can add a picture, link or other file to the post, which is how the pictures above were included.
- The teacher can email or embed on a blog a link to the wall so others can view or contribute to the wall. The moderator (person who creates the wall) has the option of making the wall private or public, and deciding who can post. The moderator can choose to view each post before it is made public, and can even password protect the wall.
- If you click on a post, it is opened up in a larger format. There are arrows at the top right of this format, which allows one to view every post on the wall as a slideshow.
- There are many different options for the setup of the wall. Posts can be random, or placed in a stream, one below the other. There are many different wallpaper options too. The moderator can choose from a selection of icons, or personalize the icon, if one chooses to add one.