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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Using @padlet in US History

If you live in NYS, you know that we must prepare our students for the Regent's Exam in June.  This is a gateway exam because in order to graduate, you must pass this test.  For those unfamiliar with the test, it contains 50 multiple choice questions, a thematic essay, 10-14 documents and a corresponding DBQ.

As we hone our skills in writing essays and analyzing documents, I was looking for a different way that would help the students prepare for a thematic essay on the reform movements.  As I thought about my end goals:
The students will be able to:
1. Discuss one major goal of the movement
2. Describe one action taken by an individual, an organization, or the government in an attempt to achieve this goal
3. Evaluate the extent to which this goal was achieved.
4. Show collaboration in comparing/contrasting two reformers.

I thought about the best way to achieve this so that it was beneficial for all the students in the class to see what their classmates discovered about the reformers and how they compared and contrasted them.

I decided that a @padlet would be a virtual collaboration tool that would be conducive for curating the information as well as housing the videos of the student collaboration.  The students were able to post the required information about their reformer, look critically at their peer's posts and determine who would be a logical comparison.  After that, they were to use any type of screencasting extension/app on the Chromebook to record their conversations.

The student's not only completed the required tasks, they went above and beyond!  Great work!!

The discussions about the reformers were rich with detail and analysis.  The fact that they had to choose their partner based on the reformer that person had was also a process of analysis.   The collaboration was collaboration that had to happen in order to make the end product successful.  It was not something that was a divide and conquer "collaboration".

Here are two samples of the Voice Thread (you have to have an account to view them)

Here is the @padlet link:

The students commented that this really helped them study the information for the essay as well as learn about much more than just their one reformer.

Tech skills used in this lesson:
Google Docs
Voice Thread or Screencastify


  1. Thanks for this wonderful post Rachel! I think it would really be a nice and unconventional thematic essay review. Will definitely share this with teachers needing ideas!