Here’s an example of a question you might encounter at the library:
“My niece is going off to college and we are having a big surprise party for her. Some of the people can’t come and we want to make a website where everyone can put up pictures and leave her little notes. Can you help me? I really don’t know the first thing about making a website.”
As we talked about in Part 1 of this Bag of Tricks series, it is in moments like these that having resources at your fingertips can come in very handy. Sure, you can look up possible solutions on the spot, but a basic familiarity with even a few steps of the process can speed up the interaction and give you a bit more confidence.
While I suggest that you create your own Bag of Tricks, here’s an example to get you started– https://padlet.com/kieran/CSLSHAREANDLEARN.
Actually, the site you go to when you click the link above is the very thing I want to talk about. It is called Padlet, and it’s a good solution for the hypothetical situation with the patron who is planning the party. (FYI, Padlet used to be called Wellwishers 4 or 5 years ago, so if you used Wellwishers, you may already have a leg up or even an existing account.)
Padlet is kind of like an online corkboard that you can use to display pieces of information. It is like putting sticky notes on a wall. You can add images, links, videos, audio, text, upload files…lots of things. And you can add to it at any time. It is good for group activities because it allows folks to post their individual notes that are shared with the whole group.
The Padlet wall can be set up in a few different ways. The one I made for the tech tools is in columns, but you can also create a freeform board where posts can be placed anywhere on the board. You can also set up a Twitter-like stream.
As with most things online, it’s important to consider security. With Padlet, you have lots of control. The settings allow you to make your wall completely open for public contributions, completely private, or moderated by you (meaning that you need to approve all contributions before they show up). Walls are semi-private by default, so be sure to set your security how you need it.
The free account allows you to make up to 10 Padlets. You can create them from any device, including iPad, PC, phone, tablet…most devices are supported. There are also add-ons for many browsers that let you add a website to a Padlet with one click. You can gather websites not only for your tech Bag of Tricks but for any subject. It can be a great way to organize online resources and information for patrons and library staff alike.
How are you using Padlet? I would love to hear about the creative ways you are using this app.