In addition to some great presenters, in 504 we have been learning about some interesting tech tools that can be used in the classroom. Of the tools we learned about Padlet.com may be the most interesting to me. Padlet is a virtual board on the internet that you can post a variety of things to, and if you don't know about it it is worth checking out. A couple of weeks after I learned about Padlet I realized that my mentor teacher was planning on using Padlet in a history class herself too.
As a history teacher, I think Padlet could come in handy in a couple ways. One way is how my mentor teacher uses it. In a current history class, my mentor is having students gather a few articles from each month of 2014 to eventually be used to write a "year in" paper on the topic of their choosing. Padlet is utilized as the space where students will put all of the articles they find. Student Padlets can then be shared with my mentor teacher so she can observe their articles. So Padlet can be a unique way to gather sources. Another way a history teacher could use Padlet is to generate discussion. For example, a teacher could put up a news story for students to read and then the students could be made to comment on the story by posting text to the Padlet. The same could be done to analyze a historical picture, whether it be a painting or picture of a political rally. In general, a Padlet could also be used as a class website for a teacher. You could put maps, articles, formula charts, or poetry. Can you think of any other ways Padlet could be used as a teacher?
Another aspect of Padlet that I really like is the possible customization of it. You can put just about anything on it. You can change your background as well. It reminds me of all the time I spent in high school customizing my Myspace layout. Padlet, like a Myspace layout, can be a source of creativity for both the student and teacher. You can create something that you can be proud of aesthetically and academically. This could be a great source of engagement and motivation for a student.
Because a fresh Padlet is so bare-bones it may take some thinking at first, but Padlet has many possibilities. I think this is the strongest thing Padlet has going for it. It is really up to the owner of a Padlet to make it flourish.