Thursday, October 15, 2015

Global Read Aloud - Finding the Right Tool to Connect

Were you inspired by Colette Mondor's post to participate in The Global Read Aloud? 

Now, are you wondering how to make connections with other classrooms?  

Looking for something simple and effective?  Me too! 

I was mulling over my options for sharing, when a colleague mentioned  Padletand I knew I found the answer.

The creators of Padlet describe it as, "possibly the easiest way to create and collaborate in the world."  And in many ways it's true! 

Padlet is an online bulletin board, where students share their thoughts and ideas with others. Participants share via text, audio, video, photographs or documents.  

Using Padlet for The Global Read Aloud

It is easy to create and share a Padlet with others, enabling Read Aloud participants, to share their responses to the weekly chapters. This week, students reading, The Year of Billy Miller, are reading Chapter 5 of part one, and chapters 1-3 of part two. 
Take a look at this Billy Miller Padlet created and shared for week 2 by a teacher in the United States.

You will see this tool in action during the second week of The Global Read Aloud, October 12 - 17, 2015.  
My grade threes are using Padlet to share their Text to Self and Text to Text connections. And we are eager to share with others. Let me know if your class wants to connect with us.

Get Started 

Once you have signed up for your free account, (limited features) log on using your Google user name and password. You can purchase an education account with added features, however I found that the free account meets my needs for now. 

Once on Padlet, click - Create a New Padlet. There are two easy menus, to help you design and share your padlet.  Start with Basic Info which enables you to state the purpose of your online bulletin board. 

The Gear Icon enables you to modify your padlet, by selecting the wallpaper, adding an image to associate with the wall, writing a description, and determining the layout of the posts. 

The Privacy Icon, a small lock, enables you to set the visibility settings for your Padlet. There are several levels of privacy and I chose 'Hidden Link' which means that it is public on the web but not searchable on Google.  You can also select levels of accessibility for participants. Do you want participants to write, view or moderate posts? However most important, scroll all the way down and check  the box - Moderate Posts, which will allow you to approve or delete any posts before they are public. 

Sharing Your Padlet

Under the Link Icon you can find an assigned URL for your Padlet, which you can also personalize. This is the link to share with collaborators.

Another option is to click on the Export and Share arrow where you'll find countless ways to share. I used the embed code to add the padlet below to this blog post. To do this, copy the code under the embed title.  In editing mode for a Blogger post click on the HTML button on the upper left of the screen. Scroll to the end of the text on the page, and paste the embed code there.  Now click on Compose and you will be back in editing mode. The Padlet will appear in your post.  

Try Padlet

Think of the many ways to use a tool like this in Division one.  Now go ahead and try it! Just double click on our wall and share your ideas.  Just so you know, comments on this Padlet are moderated and will appear once approved. 

Padlet is a great way for Division I students to share and collaborate.  In many ways Padlet is like Twitter, students are sharing short snipits of information. The strength is that everything on one Padlet is about a related topic. There are no hash tags to follow and no one will retweet your post. 

Finally,  you can observe others posting on your Padlet in real time.  Share your padlet, keep it open and you will see the bulletin board change as others contribute.  What fun!