Have you been Tweeting since we introduced you to Twitter yesterday? If you have, great! Perhaps you were already a Twitter user. If not...well, maybe you'll give it a go later in Digital January. Today we focus on an online collaboration and creation tool called Padlet.
What does it do?
Padlet has been described as a sort of digital noticeboard. Imagine a corkboard like you might have at home where you can pin notices, messages, photos, Post-It notes, take-away menus and so on - Padlet lets you do the same thing, but online.
Instead of pinning take-away menus, you can upload text, images, Powerpoint presentations, audio or video files, links to websites or combinations of all those things. Once you've created a Padlet wall it will assign a URL or web address which you can then share with a group of people - colleagues, other students and so on.
When would you use it?
If you're a student Padlet would be useful for brainstorming an idea or a topic, allowing everyone to paste their ideas, images, links to a central location where they could be viewed by all people within the group. It's a useful way of assimilating ideas
Padlet can also function like a 'Favourites' or 'Bookmark' facility on a web browser, except that the contents is available from any device you might be using as long as you can login to Padlet.
If you're a teacher there are many ways that Padlet could be used in a teaching situation. A common use is that of a backchannel - a means of gathering feedback during an activity such as a lecture or a practical exercise. A Padlet can be set up to capture comments or feedback on their learning during the activity (Twitter - which we featured yesterday - is often used for this purpose too). Padlet can also be used as a reflective tool for student comments, or as a way of gathering and demonstrating a portfolio of work or ideas.
Padlet is being used extensively right now here at Dundee University - here is an example of how it is being used by Derek Robertson in the School of Education & Social Work. Derek says " I have chosen to set up this Padlet in this box style fashion however you can choose to set up any Padlet that you create in a different style. The beauty of Padlet is that I can choose to set access levels so that only I can view a Padlet on my account or I can open it up to public viewing. Not only this, but I can also open editing rights to certain people or everyone who has a Padlet account. I do this with my Digital Childhood Padlet during the module that it relates to in order to encourage a collaborative approach to the crowd-sourcing and sharing of resources".
Padlet also has what is called an embed code facility, which means that you can make your Padlet appear on your own website, blog or even in a Blackboard module. This Padlet (created by Dr. Vic Jupp-Kina, also in the School of Education & Social Work) sits in week 3 of the MA Values in Education & Social Work Blackboard site. Each week has its own dedicated Padlet which allows the creation of a more aesthetically pleasing and contemporary learning interface for students.
More examples on using Padlet in the classroom can be found here.
How do you access it?
Padlet is free but, like many tools of this kind, you have to create an account before you can use it. You can access it on the Web via the Padlet homepage. Padlet can also be accessed as an app for Apple and Android devices, and there is a very useful WordPress plugin for anyone who is used to working with the WordPress blog creation tool. It also integrates well with some Web browsers, notably Chrome.
Where can you get help to use it?
For a simple demonstration of the benefits of Padlet in learning & teaching, here's a short video;
For a more in-depth look at setting up and using Padlet you may like to watch this fifteen-minute introduction
WHAT DIGITAL LITERACY SKILLS WILL PADLET HELP YOU TO ADDRESS?
The University of Dundee has a Digital Literacies Framework which sets out what sort of digital skills you should have, whether you're a student or a staff member. It's unlikely you'll have all the skills contained in the Framework, but this project can help you get started in developing some new ones. To see the Framework click here and click on Digital Literacies Framework at Dundee University to download a copy.
Using collaborative publishing tools such as Padlet is an aspect of DIMENSION 5 - Collaborate and share digital content as outlined on Page 9 of the Framework.
COME BACK TOMORROW AND THROUGHOUT JANUARY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GOING DIGITAL