New App = New Learning

by Ms. Boyer

I introduced Padlet to my 5th graders this week. I really didn’t know much about Padlet but thought it had the “cool factor” and would prove to be a very interesting way for my students to share their new investigations of non-fiction. I set up our collaborative group in Padlet, made a WELCOME page with a few notes for students to read with links to follow, and sent each student a note (in their google drive) introducing our new adventure.  I knew I didn’t know everything there was to know about this new app, but I do know 5th graders and I draw comfort from the fact that whatever I don’t know, they will figure out in a fraction of the time it would take me to resolve any issue.  Ten year olds are not intimidated, they are intuitive.

It’s been two days since Padlet became a new buzz word in our classroom and I’ve experienced a few F.A.I.L.s (First Attempts In Learning) but each hiccup was quickly resolved because my students possess two qualities that big businesses look for in their prospective employees; they are skilled problem solvers and they are digitally literate. Digital literacy is a fairly new term that marries the two words, digital and literacy.  Yet it is so much more than just the words; it’s a way of life, a way of interacting with the world, a way of solving problems and communicating.  In my 5th grade classroom, it’s me being comfortable with the fact that I will never know as much as my students; I teach them, they teach me. We raise the bar everyday.  

Padlet has proven to be an effective collaborative learning tool thus far. My students have now created shared Padlets as reading partners and are busy linking additional media to inform their learning. In a brief check-in ‘round the room the consensus was that we should continue to use Padlet, that it was easy to take notes on and it was a good way to organize thinking to share with a group. And so we shall…

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