Margin Notes

Conversations about Artifacts of Learning- Padlet Curation


This is a summary of our second conversation about artifacts of student learning as part of our Visible Learning project with our colleagues Michelle Wuest and Shelley Hanson and their grade 11 students at Leo Hayes High School.  You can read a description of the project here: Making Learning Visible.

Once again, we followed a protocol based on the Project Zero “See-Think-Wonder” thinking routine to structure our conversations and capture our thinking and reflections.  We recorded the conversation and below are summaries of our observations, wonderings, and reflections.

 Description of Artifact

While reading Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, students were assigned to a Theme Padlet Group (for readers who have never heard of Padlet, it is basically an online bulletin board) for which they had to collaborate in collecting ideas that pertained to their theme. Each member of the group was responsible to find a text (song, poem, article, short story, movie clip, commercial, image, cartoon, etc.) and would meet weekly. During these meetings, each student would lead a discussion of the artifacts they had curated on their padlet. The identified themes included: appearance versus reality, misogyny, madness/insanity, betrayal, self-doubt, death, and revenge.

To see examples of the student padlets, follow the links below:

We see…

  • a variety of text forms that includes images, news articles, poetry, novels, movie trailers, tv shows
  • students connecting the themes in Hamlet to their lives outside of school (sports, current events, shows they watch) and showing that the themes in Elizabethan England are in their world today
  • students teaching their peers
  • students in control of their own learning
  • explanations of their connections to Hamlet
  • thought-provoking questions
  • a resource that many teachers could use in their classrooms when looking for text sets

We think…

  • it is a safe way for students to collaborate
  • it’s a wonderful example of student-centred work
  • students are so receptive because it is so easy to use and there have been no technological “hiccups”(Michelle and Shelley shared that the students were really enjoying the curation of the padlets)

We wonder…

  • are some students more receptive to the padlet than the blog because they were not used to having an audience other than their teacher for their writing?
  • are they more receptive because they are used to sharing information this way through social media?
  • because the padlets and blogs are both public, students had no qualms about posting on their padlet compared to posting on their blog.  Is this because they are being curated as a group?

Where do we go from here…

  • we want to keep the focus on student-driven conversations where they share with and teach each other.
  • we think it is important to keep listening to what the students’ value and are comfortable with
  • we want students to know that teachers value what they have to say
  • we want to keep finding ways to incorporate technology that reflects their lives outside of school

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