Padlet: Interactive Sharing and Writing
I need to make the time to explore these sites and figure out how to add them to my teaching. They are simple ways to make learning more engaging and represent the type of learning that my students need to become college/career ready. – Margaret
The tradition of Writing into the Day was something we honored and nurtured in the professional development sessions. The low-stakes activity provided a critical reflection point. At times, we used our Edmodo space; Other times, it was private writing. And once, we introduced the idea of the online collaborative space known as Padlet (formerly Wallwisher). This particular writing prompt itself was borrowed from the influential educational blog run by Ruth Ayers and Stacey Shubitz called Two Writing Teachers. The Slice of Life prompt is simple enough – write about a moment from your week that had importance – yet the Slice of Life thinking can be pretty complex and deep.
The use of Padlet as a writing space showcased how collaborative writing might unfold, as we used the interactive whiteboard as a sharing space, showing how the writing of the participants was slowly populating the Padlet with deeply insightful words. The Slice of Life modification here was that teachers were asked to write about a meaningful interaction with a student over the past week, and then revise it into a six word Slice of Life.
What the Padlet site did was open up a door for conversations and understanding about what colleagues were doing, and sharing that in a collaborative space made even more visible with the use of an interactive whiteboard. Remember, this was a cohort of teachers from all areas of the school, from early childhood to middle school, and they barely see each other in the hallways or in staff meetings. Talking about teaching practice and learning from each other is a rare opportunity for many of them.
Interestingly, a number of the teachers took the Slice of Life of idea right back to the classroom, using it with their students as a writing activity. While it would have been nice to think that Padlet might have been used, too, with students, that did not quite yet happen. But Padlet as a collaborative space made visible the possibilities of the writing, and the reflective sharing that can happen, and that had reverberations in the classrooms.