discussion board

Using Padlet as a Discussion Board

Back in January, I discussed Padlet on a Fluco Toolbox post. I’ve had some teachers work to integrate it since then, and have received feedback from them. I have also observed some of the integration and thought I’d put together a quick post for teachers who would like to use Padlet for discussion boards. Padlet has many other uses, and this is just one way. It can also be used across the curriculum and isn’t restricted to just one area.



This is a discussion created for a Minecraft-based Ideal School Project.


Using Padlet as a discussion board means that the teacher is posting a question that requires in-depth discussion, and requires students to provide text evidence or other evidence of their claims. In theory, teachers would prefer that students provide a quality answer of decent length, and also that students would respond to each other’s answers.

Students can create accounts on Padlet, and this is made easier when they sign up with their Google account. Districts who do not use Google may choose not to have students create accounts. Creating an account lets posts be attributed to a student, and allows comments made to be listed with the student name and not “Anonymous”. Accounts do not have to be created to post or comment, so this is entirely up to the teacher’s discretion.

Using Padlet with students also means incorporating a discussion on how to post to an online discussion forum. This is a great way to bring in digital citizenship. Unless students have had prior teachers who taught this skill, they do not innately know how to respond to an online discussion. “What’s up?” and “Hi homie!” are more likely to be posted than an enlightening answer to that Shakespeare question. Without a discussion on how to post, students will drive their teacher crazy, and perhaps force them to give up using the tool altogether.

Teachers should model how to post in the online forum. If students have created an account, their name will appear as an author. If not, teachers should instruct students to put their first and last name in the Title of their Padlet post. Students should also have a title for their post. In the body of the post, teacher models answering the discussion question, and provides text-based or other evidence to support any claims. Padlet allows the attaching of files or links, and students can use these tools to their advantage to add to their response.


An example of part of a teacher modeled answer.

Students can then practice answering on the topic that has been provided for the current class. The teacher can observe as students post, and make suggestions. If students have accounts, they will be able to edit their work and make changes.

After students have had a chance to create their responses to the provided question, the teacher can then model how to reply in an online forum. Often, this can be difficult for students. The teacher should model how a reply can add more information to the original post, disagree with an explanation, and encourage more back and forth discussion. If students have accounts, then every reply will show a student’s name, instead of just anonymous.


A sample teacher response to a student’s posted answer.

After the teacher has modeled how to respond to another student’s post, students should pick one post to respond to. The teacher can see all responses as they are posted, and can make suggestions for students along the way. If the teacher determines that students are doing well with their responses, then they can continue to respond to others, or reply back and forth. The teacher should encourage students to have a conversation about the post, rather than simply saying “Good job”.

As students become more confident in their work with Padlet, teachers will see the depth of responses increase, as well as the discussions. Teachers can then use the completed discussion boards to assess students or to aide in future classroom discussions. Using Padlet as a discussion board is just one way to use this tool. How do you use it in your classroom?


Fluco Toolbox: Padlet

Welcome to Fluco Toolbox, a series of posts that showcases potential edtech tools for the Fluvanna County classroom. Each post will discuss the tool, the type of problems it can help solve, and how it can be used in the classroom. If you’re a Fluvanna County staff member and want to learn more about using the tool in your own classroom, please schedule to see your ITRT and we will develop professional development based around your needs. If you’ve stumbled upon this post and you’re not part of the district, no worries! Feel free to use the information provided to jumpstart your own research. 

Have you ever wanted a way to gather student input on a question or idea as part of a lesson, as though it were a digital board to collaborate on? Did you want students to not only be able to give a text response, but be able to add images, video, audio, and more?

Today’s Fluco Toolbox tool is: Padlet

First, the basics:

Name: Padlet (Formally Wallwisher)
URL: http://www.padlet.com
Cost: Free and Paid plans
Problem this tool solves: Gives users a digital bulletin board where classrooms can collaborate on discussion topics or create personal bulletin boards.

Padlet is a handy little digital bulletin board tool. It’s a great way for teachers to gather answers to discussion questions, or to use to let groups collaborate and brainstorm ideas. If you already use other tools in the classroom, such as hyperdocs, then you may have already heard of this tool. If not, take a closer look below!

Update 4/9/18: Padlet has recently changed their plans. Users who sign up have 3 Padlets to work with for free. They can only have 3 active at a time. The Backpack plan is for schools and teachers, and is $1500 per school, or $99 annually per teacher, or $12 monthly per teacher.

First, create an account on the site. If you’re part of a Google district, good news! You can quickly join the site, as it connects to your Google account. Once logged in, you are taken to your home dashboard. If you’re a new user, it will be blank. If not, you’ll see any created Padlets:


On the home page, you’ll want to click “Make a Padlet”. The next screen will ask you to choose a layout or template. There are some very basic layouts, and some templates to choose from as well. Not sure what you want? Click the preview link beside each option.


Once you’ve made your choice, your Padlet will be displayed on the next screen. A random wallpaper will have been applied, but don’t worry because you can change that, along with a few other things. A random title and description will have also been applied.


Now, you should change the title and description to suit your needs. Typically, the description might give directions for the activity, or pose a question. Choose a wallpaper (there are many), and even an icon to go with your Padlet.


On the next page, security options for your Padlet are presented. If you don’t want anyone but your class to find the Padlet, the “Secret” option would be best. No one can access it unless they have the link. Choose what those who access the Padlet can do, add any contributors, and even choose whether or not new posts need to be moderated first.


That’s it! Your new Padlet is ready to go and be used with students.

Need ideas for how to use Padlet with students? Here are some ideas:

  • Bell ringer- Create a discussion question for students to ponder and have them provide an answer.
  • Prediction board- Have students predict the outcome of an event or story, then later return and explain what really happened
  • Brainstorm board- Have students brainstorm ideas for a project or activity.
  • Resources board- Have students share resources they find on a topic with all of their classmates.
  • Exit ticket – Create a board that poses a question or two and use to access students’ learning at the end of class

The ideas are endless. What will you create with your Padlet?