As a young grad student, many other teachers assume that I know everything there is to know about technology and how to use it in the classroom. This is far from the truth. There are many technological tools about which I know next to nothing, let alone how to best use them in the classroom. Recently I listened to a presentation on Padlet, a pinterest-like wall where teachers can post announcements, resources, and assignments for their students. We were then given the opportunity to create our own padlet. I loved this portion of the presentation (hands on learning is the best) and felt that though they were allowing us to explore on our own, they had sufficiently scaffolded our knowledge prior to setting us free.
As I developed one for my Economics class I learned through experimentation, becoming familiar with the new technological tool and how I could best utilize it. I liked a lot of its features - the colorful wallpaper designs, the privacy settings, the potential to add links to other sites, and the various ways in which to format the layout. However, as I created my own padlet I noticed that it lacked the ease of simple folders containing new information. Instead for every new page (assignments, comments/questions, resources, etc) you had to create a new padlet. Pretty soon I had a padlet within a padlet within a padlet. It was like inception with padlets. This structure frustrated me and despite the advantages of padlet, I don't think that I could organize it to my satisfaction.
However, after allowing us to play around with the padlet application, the group presentation continued on to show a few other ways to use padlet and I was struck by the use of padlet solely as a page for resources. In this way the padlet page functioned very much like a pinterest page, but it was colorful and would be easily accessible for students. By creating a padlet with simple links to various resources there would be no need to create a padlet within a padlet. I can definitely see myself creating a padlet full of information for students to use - everything from sites to help with creating a works cited, to finding resources for research papers, to interesting news articles.
As much as I love the idea of using technology in the classroom, I need to be careful to use it only when I think it will be convenient and purposeful. Otherwise what should have been a useful tool becomes a hindrance to organization and learning. Though I probably will not use padlet on a daily basis for my classroom, I think that using it as a resource page for students could be very helpful and I am excited to have learned about a new technological tool. I was impressed with the presentation and I look forward to learning about more new technological tools soon!