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Padlet improves class learning abilities, engages students

[/media-credit] Rodriguez incorporates Padlet into everyday teaching to engage students through web-based activities.

Rodriguez implements technology based program

Over the course of 2 weeks, the FC Spanish classes have seen reform in learning comprehension. Due to the school’s policy of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), teachers, including Spanish teacher Rachel Rodriguez are able to implement new tools to reach their students. One of these tools is Padlet, an online application serving as a “blackboard” to display information for any topic.

Rodriguez has been attending workshops through California Language Teachers Association (CLTA) in which she has learned how to engage students through activity, especially web-based tools. As other FC teachers prefer to use web-based tools such as Class Dojo, Kahoot and Quizlet, Rodriguez felt Padlet was the best choice to use in her classroom.

“Padlet is quite simple for me to use, as I can treat it like my whiteboard in class,” Rodriguez said. “I give the students 3 general questions to answer and they have to respond with the proper verb conjugation. It’s another way for them to apply themselves. The next class period we’ll go back to what they responded and they’ll have to find another classmate’s response and conjugate it in a different way. It also makes the learning experience more interactive, as they can respond through pictures, video or audio as well.”

Due to Padlet being a fairly recent addition in her classroom, Rodriguez only uses it once a week for her students to accustom to it. Rodriguez chooses to use the application on block schedule days, in which students have an hour and a half to practice.

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Rodriguez already has future plans to use Padlet with, as it has recurred in mostly positive change in her classes. She hopes to eventually move on to students creating their own blogs and making storybooks all in Spanish. However, Rodriguez also worries about negative changes in using web-based tools as well.

“It’s been a lot better to use Padlet in my classes rather than writing on the board because it’s so new to them, and they’re curious on how to use it,” Rodriguez said. “My students are personalizing their work and also learning to be tech savvy. I’m hoping that they can gradually start to dialogue off of what they’ve learned. I have to be careful and make sure I’m monitoring Padlet often to make sure my students are using it appropriately. Sometimes they want to mess around and put things on it that don’t relate to the subject; for the most part they’ve been mature though.”

Tatiana Iest, ’19, and Cate Vander Kooi, ’18, use Padlet in their Spanish classes. The two students have shown progress and leadership while using the application, especially to Rodriguez.

[/media-credit] Rodriguez has been attending workshops through California Language Teachers Association, in which she has learned how to engage students through activity, especially web-based tools.

“They are definitely my top students in their classes,” Rodriguez said. “They are able to apply what they’ve learned and I don’t necessarily have to use my examples. They are already coming up with examples to help other students. It’s still very new but I’m confident they will progress even more in the future.”

Iest benefits from using Padlet in her language skills as well as getting to know her classmates. She also sees the application potentially helping other students who may have anxiety.

“It definitely helps me learn vocabulary in a more hands-on way,” Iest said. “What’s also neat about it is that I can see what other students are posting so I can interact with them. I think this is going to help students who may feel uncomfortable being called on in class. This way you’re still answering questions, but writing them down in a more comfortable environment.”

Hannah Nale, ’17, enjoys using Padlet much like the majority of her classmates, but sees the negative sides to using it and suggests it is not fit for everyone.

“It’s really fun and enjoyable for me to use,” Nale said. “Although at the same time, a lot of kids like to mess around on it and put pictures of random people and it’s simple to cheat on Padlet which isn’t good. I get good use out of it, but it can be abused when put into the wrong hands. It either has to be monitored constantly or become more challenging.”

As 21st century students around America begin their gradual switch from traditional pen and paper to technological devices, Padlet is another step in the direction of digital transformation to reinvent their ways of innovation, cooperation and conclusive solutions.

This writer can be reached via Twitter:  @macyyvictoria and via email: Macy Mascarenas.

For more features, read Join the Discussion: JEA/NSPA Los Angeles convention.


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