A Guide to Padlet
Table of Contents
1. Go to www.padlet.com
2. The first time you use Padlet, click ‘Sign up’ (1) and follow the instructions below. In future, you can simply click ‘Log in’ (2).
3. If you are signed into either your gmail or your facebook account, you can use your ID from those sites by clicking (1) or (2). The benefit of this is that you don’t need to remember another ID and password. Alternatively, you can add an email address and password (3) and click ‘Sign up’ (4).
Users of gmail and facebook may have to agree to certain terms and conditions (see examples below). Don’t worry, you can accept these.
4. Whatever method you choose, Padlet may ask you if you want to spend money and upgrade to their premium service. For classroom purposes, you can save money and click ‘Skip’. However, this does limit you to how many Padlets you can use. The basic limit is 3, which means you’ll need to be creative with deleting and/or reusing existing Padlets. However, if you sign up via our recommender link, you will get a bonus one free (as in the image).
Remember that you can easily create other Padlet accounts via alias emails or a Facebook account if you are in need of extras.
After signing in, you will go to your dashboard. In the centre is a list of recent activity. There will be very little there when you first sign up. To create a new padlet, click ‘New padlet’.
A panel will appear on the right-hand side. This is where you can decide settings for the padlet such as background and url. Scroll down the panel to see all the settings available. This panel can be closed by clicking anywhere else in the padlet. To reopen it at any time, click on the cog.
Write your discussion question in the box for the title (1). This will then appear on the Padlet in the top left and will also be the name of your padlet on your dashboard if you want to open it again at a later date.
Instructions or further information can be typed in the description box (2).
Padlets are automatically created in Canvas mode, where users can post wherever they want to on the Padlet. However, this can sometimes get a bit messy and there are alternatives. To change the format:
Click on the three dots next to the cog.
From the drop-down menu, choose Change format
Choose a format from the options available:
Wall (1) arranges the posts in the most space-efficient manner possible and does not allow posts to overlap.
Stream (2) arranges posts in a vertical stream. This might be useful if you expect students to be looking at the Padlet only on mobile devices.
Grid (3) arranges the posts in a grid but may have some blank space.
Shelf (4) allows you to put posts into named columns. This can be useful for collating responses into categories, e.g. Positive, Neutral, Negative.
Backchannel (5) mimics an online chat, with posts listed vertically in order of posting.
You can control which posts appear where in Grid, Stream and Wall by clicking on the cog and choosing First or Last in the posting section. This can be handy if you have a post that gives instructions that you want students to read before posting their own response.
To enable students to comment, scroll down to the Posting section. Click the radio button next to comments.
The button will become yellow and comments spaces will appear at the foot of each post. Notice that changing this setting after people have posted comments does not remove those comments.
Click Save in the top right to ensure that your changes aren’t lost.
To delete or edit a comment, click on the three dots next to the comment and choose an action from the menu that appears.
To change the background image, click on ‘More’ in the ‘Wallpaper’ section. This will show you the full range of choices. Click on the wallpaper you want (1) and click ‘Save’ (2).
Padlet will automatically create a weblink for your padlet board. However, you can personalise this to something more memorable or easier to type. Scroll down to the ‘Address’ section in the Modify padlet menu and type your preferred name (1) and click ‘Save’ (2).
Click on ‘Share’ in the top right of the screen.
You’ll see a panel to set access levels. The choices here are all fairly self-explanatory. We recommend leaving it as a secret link. This means you can easily share it with students but it will never show up in internet searches. Making it private or password protected involves lots of inviting people by email and probably isn’t worth it.
The default setting is that people with access can read posts. Change it to ‘Can write’ from the menu. We don’t recommend ‘Can moderate’ with students as that gives them the chance to delete other people’s posts.
You can reuse padlets with different classes by copying them. Click ‘Remake’.
The new version will automatically be retitled to begin ‘Remake of’. Edit the field so that its title reflects what you want it to say (1). Unless you want to copy previous students’ posts to your new padlet, ensure that ‘Copy design’ (2) is the only option selected.
NB: The new copy of your padlet will have a randomly assigned url (web address). If you want to change it to something more memorable, repeat the steps in ‘Setting your padlet address’.
You can see your other padlets, and navigate to them, at any time by clicking your profile picture or avatar in the top right. This brings up a menu of your most recent padlets. To go back to your dashboard and see a full list of all your padlets, click ‘Home’.
The extra menu
There is one more useful menu you can access on Padlet by clicking the three dots in the top right.
This menu has various features. Possibly the most useful – because they’re not replicated anywhere else in the other menus – are ‘Clear all posts’ (1), which will keep your padlet but remove all student comments, and ‘Delete’ (2), which removes your padlet from your account. Both of these are useful if you’re using a free account and want to use a new padlet with a class or reuse an existing one.
There is very little for you to do in class as teacher with Padlet. The main effort is setting it up beforehand. However, remember, if you want to modify the Padlet during the class (e.g. editing student posts, or dragging a freeform board into a tidier state), you need to be logged in – following the url will only grant you the same rights as a student.
A simple option is to use Padlet for text posts only, but don’t be afraid of encouraging students to use the other features available, e.g. drawings or screencasts.
One final thing – if you want to lead a class discussion based on student posts, you can magnify posts at any time simply by double-clicking on them. You can then move between posts using the controls at the top.