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    • #39001

          Now, you had a chance to see Padlet in action on the introductions posterboard. But this is a tool that could easily be repurposed for language learning (a theme that will pop up again and again on this course) and we’d like you to think about that. In this topic discussion, please think about the following questions and add your ideas by clicking ‘reply’ below:

          1) Apart from introductions, how else could Padlet be used in the EAP classroom? Think specifically about tasks that would fit into a wider lesson, such as a listening or reading task.

          2) Do you think it would be better to use before the lesson (e.g. for homework in preparation for the lesson) or actually during the lesson? Why?

        • #39502
          Fasih Raza

              A Padlet can be used during a lesson for post-listening/reading tasks such as a language analysis one. For example, after doing a while-reading task together, learners can be asked to read the text posted on Padlet again and notice the cohesive devices used for sticking the text together. They can be asked to post their examples as a comment to a tutor’s post or add a post of their own. Because learners process information at their own pace, they should be given due time for that especially for a listening lessons where if a learners couldn’t catch something, they should have a chance to pause and replay.

              A padlet can also be used before the class as homework to encourage deep learning within the classroom because they’ll have already encountered materials before coming to a lesson.

            • #39512
              Ying Zhong

                  I think Padlet would be an efficient tool for discussions of open questions which require students’ logic and critical thinking. But how to encourage students who lack such abilities to use Padlet efficiently is a problem teachers in vocational college should be concerned about.

                • #39532
                  Nick Murgatroyd

                      Thanks for your posts @fasih and @kathie, both of which make interesting points.

                      Fasih, I think you raise a really useful question about how we set up tech activities and that is about how much time we give students to process the task and produce their responses. Tech can be a great boon for students because of its ability to give them control of such issues as rewinding and fast forwarding, but also because, handled well, it gives everyone chance to contribute at their own pace in a way that a traditional classroom, with its necessary emphasis on handraising / calling out answers, does not. However, for that to be the case, we probably need to learn as teachers to be patient and to not hurry students along in order to assuage our own worries about how we’ve set up an activity. I remember using Padlet with an IELTS class and giving them clear instructions to post ideas on a topic, but getting really worried when the padlet was still empty after five minutes. Just as I was about to intervene and ask students why they’d posted nothing, the first post arrived, swiftly followed by others. It was a useful lesson that even though tech allows for instantaneity, we can’t expect students to be instantaneous in their replies. Indeed, the more I taught during the pandemic, the more I realised that sometimes tech will make things go more slowly (ie we didn’t cover as much), but with the payback that, given enough thinking time, students often seemed to answer more richly and in greater depth than in a traditional classroom.

                      Kathie, almost every piece of tech we use will come up against the question you raise, of how to engage students who are maybe less confident with the tech. After all, our main purpose is always pedagogical, not technological, and we don’t want anyone to feel left behind. My advice with new tech would be to try to give students a clear framework that allows them to navigate it (preferably with a purpose) and to take it step by step. You can hopefully see this in the padlet we used in part 1 of this module – the framework is the questions we’d like you to answer about yourself, with clear examples from us, and the task doesn’t try to use every single feature of the website in one go, eg you type, add a photo and can make comments, but we don’t, for example, ask you to attach documents or record videos. That’s something you might do in a later activity, instead. So, yes, step by step and plenty of support and examples along the way would be some general advice, along with the age-old mantra that we should avoid asking students to do something we wouldn’t be comfortable doing ourselves – e.g. posting a video of yourself doing the example task can be a great way to help studnets overcome misgivings about posting one themselves.

                    • #39577
                      Vasiliki Zinonos

                          Primarily, it can be used as a Noticeboard, where you can post additional aiding material or links for vocabulary, grammar, writing, presentation, seminar input. It can also be used to post sample videos for presentations and seminars, but also it can be used to post reminders for deadlines/homework or specific timetables for students.

                          Secondly, it can be used as a Whiteboard, during actual class time where students can be provided with the space to work on tasks. These could be either listening, reading, writing or speaking exercises. Worksheets can be uploaded before class time, so that this saves the teacher time to upload them during the lesson. At the beginning students need to get some orientation from the teacher on how to use Padlet and be shown the different functions, so that it is easy to navigate. The teacher can share his/her screen for this tutorial – it’s fairly easy and students get the hang of it really quickly, as they are very familiarized with technology, but also it is a platform that is very easy to use. Worksheets could be either in MS Word docs or even Google docs. How the teacher structures this is up to him/her. He/She can create columns for each task and have the students upload their work underneath the column either individually or in a group, or he/she can create a single Google doc and have the students respond on that doc underneath their group number- usually more convenient for group work. This can help the teacher monitor and see how many students actually are viewing and working on the Google doc (especially for online teaching), but Padlet has that feature too. It might have been more convenient if the actual list of students could be seen, not just the first 3-4 students and the overall number of them on Padlet.

                          Additionally, Padlet is really good for teacher-feedback either orally during the lesson or as a response to a student’s post. The same applies for peer-feedback, which makes this ultimately a good tool for reflection.

                          Moreover, it can be definitely used for having students do their homework, but it can also serve as pre-lesson preparation. Students might be asked to upload a doc or peer-feedback on someone’s post or upload a small presentation – Padlet has features to enable direct recording either for audio or video. A limitation might be that it could have perhaps provided the opportunity to allow students to record over their PPT slides, just like ‘Kaltura’. It is also doubtful whether they can upload a ‘Kaltura’ presentation on Padlet, as I think the maximum size for a file to upload on Padlet is 250MB, so maybe that will create some issues. Also, another limitation is the time a student is allowed to record. For a video or a screen recording is 5 minutes long.

                          All in all, I think Padlet is a valuable tool for online and F2F teaching and it can be used both during the lesson or as preparation or homework. However, a key point -as with all technological tools used during the lesson- is time. Lessons should be structured in such a way that students are given reasonable time to perform any tasks, as some students are less technologically advanced than others or need more familiarisation of how a platform or software works.

                        • #39784
                          Catherine Lewis

                              I agree with Nick et al. that using technology when teaching on line means that the activities seem more focused and everything seems to take longer. This could be because we are closer to our students and we can listen in on breakout rooms ‘incognito’. When in a large classroom, it can be difficult to hear what students are saying. This means that we are more aware of the difficulties that some students may have processing information. When I think back to F2F teaching with no element of flipped learning, it was a bit like a ‘roller-coaster’ of activities for some students

                              I encourage students to set up their own Padlet when writing a say a 2,000 word essay. This allows them to work at their own pace and at the right time for them. I always show them an example to help them and explain how to login to Padlet, make a Padlet with a Padlet tutorial.  The title is their essay title (usually a discussion essay). Then they arrange the Padlet according to headings – counter arguments/evidence (links to journal articles and e-books)/weaknesses of the counter-argument/arguments/ evidence/Any other thoughts, questions,/video links, etc. Then they work on conclusion, background section and introduction. They can share the link with me or other students. When conducting tutorials, students can work together on their Padlets for some peer evaluation. Padlet is used as an ever evolving noticeboard both inside and outside the (virtual) classroom.

                              I’ve also used it to teach IELTS in terms of paraphrasing the task (IELTS writing Task 1). Depending on the size of the class, students can add ideas about paraphrasing techniques, and then practice paraphrasing the rubric with different sentences. They work in groups to do this.  They are assigned different sentences and then they discuss/peer correct what others have written. It is always best if they have planned this activity before class (flipped learning) and then they can compare their answers. Then I add my sentences (pitched at a 6.5/7) and we compare them. Sometimes their answers are better than mine.

                              I generally find that some students find Padlet easy to use and then they are willing to help other students who are not so able. Therefore, when setting tasks I put students into mixed ability groups to encourage collaborative teaching/learning.

                            • #40051
                              Karolina Jasinska

                                  I think Padlet is a very versatile tool and I have used it on many occasions and for a variety of tasks, e.g. posting handouts with activities such as gapfill, open-ended/closed questions, posting audio files. Students could practise skills such as listening, reading, writing, as well as grammar and vocabulary. They can be asked to do the tasks individually or in pairs/groups. It’s easy to post feedback and comment on each other’s contributions.

                                  I think Padlet can be used effectively for both homework and during the class. Posting students homework on the padlet and then asking them to upload their answers is something that works well. I’ve used it for reading, writing, listening and even speaking tasks (students had to record themselves). With regards to using padlet during the class, it’s really handy to upload audio files/handouts there. Students get used to it very quickly. It’s also really easy to see who is actively participating in the class. It simply becomes a virtual whiteboard that is much better that an actual one because many people can use it at the same time.

                                • #40059
                                  James Hanlon

                                      I tend to use Padlet for outside class activities. Like @Kathie, I have mostly used it as a message board where I’ll post an article I think might be interesting or relevant to the group, encourage them to read it, and ask them to post a comment. You can develop the conversation under the article or move on to another related topic in a new column. As others have noted, allowing students to read and respond at their own pace is a big bonus and you receive contributions from students who may not be willing or able to respond at classroom paced discussion. For example I posted an article about international students from China and there adaptations to western style critical thinking and had quite an interesting and fruitful discussion about it with several classmates. I think possibly the anonymity you can have on Padlet (if you don’t register) was a bonus for some too, although it’s not ideal from a pedagogical perspective to not know who is saying what (and it makes a “conversation” more difficult to follow).

                                    • #40261
                                      Jamie Sullivan

                                          Interesting to read other’s thoughts above. In my experience Padlet can be useful in an EAP context. However, with some caveats.

                                          1) Apart from introductions, how else could Padlet be used in the EAP classroom? Think specifically about tasks that would fit into a wider lesson, such as a listening or reading task.

                                          – collaborative learning in groups assigned pre-selected questions (reading tasks)

                                          –  individual responses to specific tasks (both)

                                          – during language analysis to focus on particular features

                                          – gap fill exercises (reading)

                                          – peer or tutor feedback on work

                                          – students may post questions to peers/the tutor

                                          – responses to open ended discussion questions (listening)

                                          – allows for long format responses

                                          – can be used to post sample essays etc and facilitate discussion, highlight various elements  etc. much like a traditional blackboard/whiteboard

                                          – facilitates collaborative learning in the classroom e.g. working with examples from peers


                                          2) Do you think it would be better to use before the lesson (e.g. for homework in preparation for the lesson) or actually during the lesson? Why?

                                          There are several pros and cons.

                                          Some students may struggle with becoming familiar with layout, functionality etc. and it is important, as others have mentioned, to allow for sufficient uptake time

                                          In my experience it may be utilised for both, such as:

                                          –  Tutor can post content prior to the lesson (especially useful for group work)

                                          –  Facilitates collaborative preparation work prior to the lesson

                                          –  Tutor can frame responses, use closed or open-ended questions prior to or during the lesson

                                        • #40531
                                          Nick Murgatroyd

                                              Thanks for all your replies @vasiliki @catherine21 @karolinajas @jameshanlon and @jamie which provide a variety of ideas for how we might use Padlet. They highlight the versatility of Padlet as a tool for learning, whether in or out of classroom time, before or after a lesson.

                                              It’s good to see that several of you mention how more confident students can often assist the less confident ones, though obviously we still need to do our best as teachers to set up and scaffold any activities we ask them to do – expecting our students to be “digital natives” doesn’t mean we can assume they know their way around every program they’ll ever encounter, or instinctively know how to use it for our lesson purposes.

                                              There are a couple of people mentioning the ability to use columns in padlet. Are there any activities you can think of that particularly lend themselves to one format of padlet over another, e.g. is a discussion board best set up as a grid (like our introduction padlet) or as a freeform space?

                                              Finally, James raises an interesting question about anonymity. How do you feel about whether or not students post their names with their content? Are there times when anonymity would be a benefit to students and/or the teacher, and are there times when we would actively want to prohibit it?

                                            • #40633
                                              Liane Sandrey

                                                  Thanks for all the interesting suggestions everyone. I haven’t used Padlet before, unlike most on this thread, but I think students would enjoy using a different format for exercises.

                                                  I can see potential for writing activities: brainstorming ideas, planning/organisation of ideas, and feedback from peers, I think someone mentioned this, but paraphrasing activities could work well with students given the opportunity to work in groups to paraphrase, and also see what other students are doing.

                                                  I also like the idea of using it as a noticeboard feature where articles can be shared or questions raised in a more informal environment. Discussion boards often look very ‘dry’. I can see Padlet helping to develop classroom relationships, especially if remote teaching.

                                                  I’m looking forward to trying this out. I’m mostly based in China, so hopefully it works ok there.

                                                • #40714
                                                  Nick Murgatroyd

                                                      Hi @lianes. Thanks for posting. As far as we know, Padlet does work in China, though we’re also aware that software access can change from time to time.

                                                      You make a great point about how informal Padlet can feel compared to some of the more institutional tools we have at our disposal like VLE discussion forums, and that in itself can prove a spur for students to write more – effectively, being in an environment that looks less like an exam or assessment can help them be freer in terms of expression.

                                                    • #41235
                                                      Sun Bo

                                                          I firstly met with Padlet when I tried to find my group members for the group presentation assignment for my PhD course last October in Malaysia. That’s why I chose this training program since I want to know more about it. After reading the above postings about the functions of Padlet, I found them useful and effective for my regular class. But I think we also have similar alternative in China. So I will continue to study this platform and to explore its strength.

                                                        • #41249
                                                          Tianrong Lu

                                                              Padlet can be a useful tool for writing class: brainstorming, structuring the essay, peer feedback and so on. The advantages of padlet are obvious as other participants mentioned above. I haven’t tried padlet before but I used an app with similar functions in class and I found some problems.

                                                              Firstly, my students tend to think longer when they need to write something instead of speaking them out, so the written form sometimes drags the teaching and learning process.

                                                              Secondly, the first several posts can easily lead the discussion and the rest of my students just follow the trend. Some of my students just wait for others’ answers and copy and paste, and some even just typed +1 ( which means they agree on what others wrote).

                                                            • #41905
                                                              Ling Yao

                                                                  Using Padlet can be very effective way to manage learning and teaching in large EFL language classroom.

                                                                  For early stages of  language development, it is not easy to encourage students to engage in meaningful conversations. My students, though adult learners, are not very proficient language speakers, thus, it is not a easy task for me to effectively manage the learning in large language classroom.

                                                                  Information gap can be used as an efficient strategy to elicit more meaning language output. A pair o a small group of three to four students can work together to carry out an authentic task. ” Each student has a certain amount of information that, when combined with the information from the rest of the group, will lead to the completion of an assignment.”

                                                                  With the help of Padlet, the teacher no longer needs to prepare envelops with different pieces of information contained in them. These learning materials can  be posted in advance in a much easier way.

                                                                  For teachers who are working in Large EFL language classrooms, it could be a real alleviation.


                                                                • #42092
                                                                  Zhijin Yin

                                                                      Padlet is a typical tech that push  students to get used to a new way of learning which involves autonomous learning and collaborative learning. What teachers should work on is to polish their teaching planning to engage students more in all activities and help them develop self-learning strategies.

                                                                      Before the class, some background information materials, including videos, articles and etc. can be posted. During the class, padlet can serve as a visual classroom where all students can express their opinions either by typing or uploading videos, which give students more time and space to think, especially for those shy and less confident students. But as we mentioned above, how to engage more students and  control  the class pace is really a challenge for teachers. Sometimes it seems so time-consuming to complete a task, and it’s frustrating that some students are very reluctant to get involved. What’s more, some students complain  these techs such as padlet brings more burden on them because of all kinds of pre- and after- class tasks.

                                                                    • #42096

                                                                          @egq22ly, thanks Ling Yao for sharing your thoughts. You make a good point about using Padlet to manage big classes by promoting collaborative group work on authentic tasks. Another added advantage to this is that teachers can monitor students’ work more closely and effectively. As you say, Padlet is a versatile tool that can be used before, during and after class depending on your lesson aims (see Jamie’s list above).

                                                                          , thank you for sharing your ideas, Zhijin. You raise a very important point about students’ engagement and relationship with learning technologies. I agree with you that we need to be careful about how we use technology to support and motivate learners. Our decisions should be informed by sound pedagogy (pedagogy before technology). Thus, long, unrealistic and unachievable tasks could be detrimental or demoralising to students, perhaps staging or breaking the task down to smaller manageable bits could help students cope better if not enjoy a sense of achievement in the end.

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