Today I tried using padlet for the first time in the class I have now. Padlet is a digital tool which allows you to create a wall where the students can add and share ideas. These ideas can then of course be discussed or used in different ways. It is highly creative and a good way to have the students inspire each other. The idea being that collaboration will get the students further than they would get as individuals, because they share and evolve ideas together.
What I realized though, is that this kind of collaboration takes a lot of social skill that the students don’t automatically have. They are absolutely used to the social media forums, but not all of the students have the ability to accommodate their language or content to the classroom situation. This can lead to unnecessary hurtful comments posted to the padlet wall and fortunately the padlets have a function which allows the teacher to moderate all the posts.
But moderating the posts isn’t the ideal solution to this problem. The course I’m taking now (Open Knowledge) is this week focusing on digital identity and discusses how important it is to protect it. Kids growing up today need to learn how to behave digitally in different forums, because the future job market will be all about connecting in different ways digitally. This is another reason why the padlet is a great tool; it gives us opportunity to talk about and teach the students to reflect on what they write, how they impact others and what kind of a digital identity they’re creating.