5 Simple and Engaging Remote Learning Activities for Padlet

Using Padlet for online learning and searching for interesting ways to engage your students? Veteran teacher and edtech expert Andrea has 5 ideas for you.

Updated on: May 28, 2020

5 activities using Padlet for online learning

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. We all need that mantra these days. In my last post, I shared five simple web tools that you can readily implement in your digital classroom. Here, I’ll dig into the simplest of these, Padlet, to share five ways to use an online whiteboard in your classroom immediately.

Group Brainstorm

Padlet activity 1 group brainstorm

Asking students to share a question or a quotation can act as a check for understanding and build into further activities for the class.

This activity supplemented the close of a unit that brought Transcendentalist thinkers into conversation with Jon Krakauer’s text, Into the Wild. Students generated a question or quotation for the class to respond to. As a group, we looked for themes that emerged from the student-generated choices; the final statements and quotations provided the framework for our final discussion for the unit. This activity used Padlet’s classic “Grid” layout.

Research, Share, and Connect Ideas

Padlet activity 2 Research, Share, Connect

Crowdsourcing information is a powerful capacity of our digital world, and one that lends itself to asynchronous learning activities. For this activity, I asked students to look into the allusions underlying Peter Pan’s names, and to support their inferences with quotations from the text illustrating these traits. This research used Padlet’s “Canvas” layout, which allows students to draw arrows to connect ideas.

In addition to using the Canvas layout used above, Padlet allows students to collaborate on annotated maps or organize research via timelines.

Practice a New Skill

Padlet activity 3 Practice a New Skill

After a mini-lesson on sentence variety, students worked in pairs to revise a sentence to add variety. Posting their work on a shared wall allowed them to see others’ working in real time and to comment on the strengths of others’ work. I find that Padlet is a low-stakes, engaging tool for this kind of practice which can otherwise feel rote.

Illustrate the Concept

Padlet activity 4 Illustrate Concepts

One of the best ways to demonstrate understanding is to represent information in a novel context or through an analogy. Padlet allows students to sketch using a mouse, so its a great tool to use to ask them to (simply) illustrate a concept like a vocabulary term or create an analogy between ideas.

Document It!

Padlet activity 5 Document It

Padlet is a perfect place to ask students to share an image to document their work or experience. This is an example documenting students’ experiences with an offline choice board created by Catlin Tucker, a movement gaining popularity in classrooms and with parents.

Bonus Activity: Small Group or Partner Work

Use Padlet to set up small group or partner work. When I jigsaw an activity, or provide a range of choices, I’ll often link 4-5 Padlet walls on our class website, and ask students to choose or assign them to participate in one of those groups.

The beauty of a simple tool is that it can more nimbly be used in a variety of ways. I hope that you feel inspired to try out a new tool, and that you’ll share your experiences.

What are your favorite Padlet hacks? Share with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Andrea Cartwright brings twelve years of high school English teaching experience to her blog and consulting practice, On Education. She is passionate about creating innovative, student-centered curriculum, empowering student voice, and supporting teachers through community and best practice. While she has been a lifelong Californian, Andrea currently lives in Connecticut with her family and is braving her first New England winter.

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