Slice of Life: Tech Gone Askew and a Padlet Haiku

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11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI’d been wanting to use Padlet to garner responses from read aloud for a long time. Today, thinking I knew what I was doing, I put this question out to the class on Padlet:

Why do you think the story is called A Long Walk to Water?

A simple question that was intended to get first thoughts out. Ideas that could be revised as we read on. Sounds good in theory. And if you look at the end result below, it seems to have gotten close to what I had in mind. Some very surface thinking, some thinking that edges toward more, but most importantly all thoughts can be grown.


The thing you don’t see here is the way the data got on the page. I set the students up, inputing the question in front of them. They were to go to their devices in partnerships and respond. Sounds good in theory.  Then reality happened.

Who’s moving my comment?

How did my comment get so skinny?

Stop writing on top of my comment!

Where did my comment go?

This is a live site. It happens in “real time.” Which means, when students input on multiple devices, at the same time, they are kind of doing this blindly. They can’t see exactly where the other student’s comment is going, so they bump into each other.


After most had gotten a chance to get their thoughts down, I calmed them down (me too) and promised we’d look at the response tomorrow.

Ah, best laid plans…not exactly what I had in mind.

Post mortem – I figured this was my fault. So I spent some time googling around, looking for things like “managing Padlet” or “multiple users on Padlet” and couldn’t  seem to find anything that spoke to my experience. In fact, the “real time” response is cited as the big plus. Perhaps students (and I) will get the hang of this. Perhaps our devices register “real time” slightly slower than “real.”

If nothing else, the end result was was interesting and something to build on. One student immediately set up her own personal Padlet for her book club. Which is pretty cool and exactly what I was hoping they’d do in the long run, transfer to their own work.  For now though I think I’ll stagger their responses, rather than having all comment simultaneously!

Ideas run amok

Bumping into each other

Digital mayhem

Pluses and minuses to this type of learning. I think we can all use this some of the time but not all of the time!

Please share any  experiences you might have had with Padlet. I’m all ears!

Thank you to  TaraAnnaDanaStacey,  Betsy  and Beth  our hosts at Two Writing Teachers for nurturing this writing community.