Slice of Life: Tech Gone Askew and a Padlet Haiku

Every Tuesday writers share a Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers. Please join in if you are so inclined. It is a wonderful community of writers, readers and teachers.   You can read more slices here. 

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.



10 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Tech Gone Askew and a Padlet Haiku

  1. Best laid plans… I haven’t tried it since Sunday, but will try to explore. We don’t have IPads at school, so no go there. I’m interested in what you discover, Julieanne. Fun to hear about, & love your haiku-afternoon captured!

  2. Sorry, no experience with Padlet, but I did love your story and the haiku was a great summary of your afternoon. I can just hear the voices.

  3. That is a funny haiku! It sort of mirrors real conversations in my class, “… when there is space for you voice…” often leads to bumping and stomping over and bruises…

  4. Learning experience. I like how a haiku was born from this situation. No experience with Padlet, sorry. I hope you will discover some solutions to share with others.

  5. I actually tried Padlet today too and we had the same issues. The movement of their comment drove them crazy. I am thinking more of a center, station, small group (or whatever you want to call it!) may be better. I think my questions was too specific and didn’t have enough differences in possible answers. The other problem was that they were looking at each other’s answers and just writing what they read. So this is going to take more thinking. Let me know if you come up with any great answers.

  6. Loved your post! My class, who was used to using Linoit rather than Padlet, tried it just the other day. We ran into the same problems you mentioned. To fix this, you can go to the gear icon which allows you to “modify your wall”, then click on “Layout”. Change the layout from the default “Freeform” to “Stream”. Then posts are placed one below the other. Although this makes it more linear when looking at it, the posts are not going on top of each other as the kids add them live. My kids liked it this way much better. Just an idea…. Can’t wait to read more of your posts!

  7. Love your haiku, Julieanne! Being brave and plunging ahead with something new is the best way to learn. I haven’t used Padlet, but I’m interested to hear how you figure this out!

  8. I’ve used Padlet with my 6th graders and had the exact same experiences. Once they get used to it, it’s become a non-issue. I LOVE your haiku. I have lived every syllable of it!!! We are piloting 1:1 this year and there are days when I feel like the words “digital mayhem” should be my theme song. LOL! 🙂

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