HyperPadlets & Padlet Timelines

On 1/29/20, in the #EduDuctTape Twitter Chat, 6th grade teacher Matt Meyer shared an idea that kind of blew my mind.

This is something that I like to refer to as the adjacent possible – by exposing myself to something new (adjacent) it opened up 3 new ideas (possible) for me.  Let’s explore them below.

1. First off, I had never heard the term #HyperPadlet.

And that’s a shame, because it’s a phenomenal idea!  If you asks the “HyperDoc Girls”  (Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton & Sarah Landis) about HyperDocs, they would tell you that, despite the word docs in the name, they can be used in any platform. They are, as described in this post “a way to package digital lessons in order to create quality inquiry-based learning experiences.”  Therefore, they’re platform-agnostic!  Pick the one that best fits your style, topic, and activity!

So, why not use Padlet for HyperDocs?  I don’t know why not to do it!  (Some educators may say they wouldn’t do it because Padlet isn’t completely free.  If you feel that way, that’s certainly fine and there are other tools that you could use.)  Let’s, instead, talk about why you might choose to use Padlet for HyperDocs:

  1. Format Flexibility! There are 8 different Padlet formats: Wall, Canvas, Stream, Grid, Shelf, Backchannel, Map & Timeline.

    This image shows the 8 different types of Padlets: Wall, Canvas, Stream, Grid, Shelf, Backchannel, Map, Timeline
    Screenshot from padlet.com
  2. Content Flexibility! Once you select a format, your posts on the Padlet can be pretty much anything!

    Images shows different items that can be shared on Padlet: upload, link, Google, Snap, Film, Voice, Screen, Draw, Place, Padlet.
    Screenshot from padlet.com
  3. No Student Accounts Required – Your students will not need an account to access your Padlets or post/comment on your Padlets.  They would, however, need an account in order to make their own.
  4. Remake – Want to reuse a Padlet in multiple classes or across multiple years? You can click Remake to create a copy of the Padlet.  You can even choose what elements of the Padlet are copied.  Note: any remade Padlets will count as additional Padlets, so you’ll need to have enough Padlets available in your account or be a paid user or archive the original Padlet.
  5. Customization – Padlet gives you lots of options in the settings area.  You can customize the appearance, change the URL to make it easier to access, turn comments on/off, turn reactions (stars, upvotes, likes, grades) on/off, require approval for posts, filter profanity.  Lots of options!
  6. Real-time Collaboration – If you choose to allow collaboration, you and your collaborators (students! teachers! parents!) can collaborate in realtime.  You can’t change each other’s posts (that’s probably a good thing), but you can all post & comment simultaneously!
  7. Color Posts to Categorize Them – Check out how this Padlet uses colors to categorize the individual posts. This could be really useful in a HyperPadlet!

2. Second, I didn’t know that Padlet had a Timeline option!

After Matt’s tweet, I discovered that a Timeline option was added by Padlet in December 2019 (see this post).  And that’s phenomenal news, because I never have a perfect answer when a teacher asks about a timeline-making tool.  There are a few out there that do pretty well (timeline.knightlab.com has alwas been the option that I shared, and it’s still a good one) but I’m excited to have a new one to add to the list.

So, I decided to try it out!  Around the time of Matt’s tweet, I had been working on sprucing up my Speaking Page and decided “Hey, why not create a Padlet Timeline to feature there!” It was the perfect way to take it for a test drive and showcase its abilities.  And it worked great! (see below, note that I have it set so that you can’t add anything, but that you can comment if you’d like!)

Made with Padlet

3. HyperPadlet Timelines! 🤯

And this brings us back to Matt’s tweet.  He wasn’t just sharing about HyperPadlets.  He wasn’t just sharing about Padlet Timelines. He was sharing about HyperPadlet Timelines!! What a phenomenal format for a HyperDoc!  Imagine the possibilities in leading students through a learning experience built in a Padlet Timeline!

I bet that you’re imagining them right now!  If you have any exciting ideas, please share them in the comments!

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Jake Miller

Jake is a Google for Education Certified Trainer and is the Lead Technology Integration Specialist for Brady Middle School in Ohio's Orange City Schools. In the past he taught STEM, Science & Math in Stow-Munroe Falls, Ohio, where he was also a leader in the district's Technology Leadership Team and a co-advisor for the middle school's STEM Club. He has been an educator since 2003. His Bachelor's Degree is in middle-level education (math/science) from the University of Akron and his Master's Degree is in Instructional Technology from Kent State University. He has enjoyed providing more than 100 professional development opportunities at conferences and school districts across the state of Ohio. He is very involved in Twitter (@JakeMillerTech) and provides regular pointers for educators with his #GAFETip tweets.

2 thoughts on “HyperPadlets & Padlet Timelines”

  1. Fantastic idea. For someone who uses Padlet in class nearly daily I also hadn’t noticed there was a Timeline template. Something I love doing is what I call a “Inception Padlet”, i.e. having Padlets within Padlets that you can link out two. For example, every student has their own Padlet portfolio with a “mother” Padlet housing them all in one space.

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