Padlet scenarios are becoming increasingly popular in the digital English classroom. Padlets are digital bulletin boards that offer a variety of options for collaborative classroomwork as well as for file management. Padlet systems can be used to arrange images, texts, hyperlinks, videos, voice recordings or animations in various formats (pinboard, concept map, timeline etc.). Access data are transferred to students via link or QR code. Furthermore, work in a Padlet can be restricted by the teacher and provided with an access password. In this way, data protection regulations regarding the own teaching materials are observed. Access to the digital pinboard is via PC, tablet or mobile phone, so that the Padlet can easily be accessed from different locations.
The teaching scenario
This Padlet serves as a home schooling design for a teaching unit on Morton Rhue’s novel Boot Camp; alternatively, it can be used as a component of conventional classroom work. It is used by a ninth grade (Gymnasium; lower and upper secondary school) to prepare for the compulsory oral communication exam. In this scenario, the Padlet serves various purposes.1
Worksheets/workloads: Interactive worksheets are systematically stored for the learners in the Padlet. The pdf file-format can easily be opened at any time and edited by the students.2
Differentiation: In addition to appropriate worksheets, various materials are available to prepare individually for the oral communication examination (useful phrases, evaluation sheets, examination guidelines etc.).3
Links, videos, hyptertexts: In addition to reading the novel, different videos (video links) are available in different columns. These are used in addition to the respective working materials and are supposed to train the students’ listening and viewing comprehension abilities.4
Analogue / digital: Blackboard pictures developed in class or presentations, recordings etc. made at home are photographed directly and stored in the Padlet as an image file. This way they are available to the whole group and everything is shared with everyone. Furthermore, in conventional lessons students who are ill also have an overview of missed lessons.5
Exchange: The results of the students’ working groups can be visualized and saved directly in the Padlet. By changing the access functions, learners also have the opportunity to change and extend the Padlet independently.6
Promoting speaking: In order to enhance monological speaking, students have the opportunity to record their speech (e.g. characterisations, descriptions of the boot camp etc.) with a smartphone and upload them in the Padlet. The teacher may listen to the recording at home and give focused feedback.
Padlets: more than pinboards
As one can see, Padlets are actually more than just pinboards. They have the capacity to create complex digital learning environments and can provide numerous options for both learner-student interaction and teacher-student interaction.