Thursday, January 1, 2015

Using Padlet in Social Studies

Each year, I have my eighth grade students work on a project that involves researching all of the events that led to the American Revolution. When I first began doing this project with students, it was a fairly simple project that involved poster boards. As I began integrating more and more technology into my curriculum, the project changed from something students turned in and promptly forgot about to something that they could, hopefully, take more pride in. Knowing that their work will be available online for others to see usually leads students to put forth the best possible product they can.


With the introduction of the 1:1 iPad program last year, I asked my eighth graders to demonstrate their knowledge of the Road to the Revolution by creating a video using iMovie. Students were given a great deal of freedom in creating their videos. Working in groups of four, some chose to act out scenes based on their research, while others created news programs or History Channel-style videos. One group even managed to create a video in the style of John Green’s Crash Course videos. (If you haven’t seen one of his videos, I highly recommend it!)


This year, as we had just finished a video project, I decided to do something different with the Road to the Revolution project. Rather than have students create another video, I chose to assign a project that would use the website Padlet. Padlet is a wonderful online tool that allows collaboration on projects, lets teachers gather information from students, and can also be used by students to create individual projects. A nice explanation of Padlet along with examples can be found here: Technology Resource Teachers.

Using Padlet, students created timelines that included the significant events that led America towards war. The instructions for this year’s project along with the rubric can be found here: Project Instructions and Rubric. Overall, I have to say that I was quite happy with what students created. I should add that some of the students had trouble working with Padlet on the iPads, preferring instead to work on a computer to complete their project.

Here is a Padlet that was created by one of my eighth graders: