Padlet Is No Longer Completely Free! What Now?
If you were on social media the past several days, you probably noticed the outrage over the plan changes made by Padlet. People were in full panic mode, and Nitesh, the founder of Padlet, was nice enough to stay online and answer their questions.
If you are unfamiliar with Padlet, it is a fantastic collaboration and discussion tool. I usually use it as a canvas for students to post responses, and have discussion. Others use it as a way to provide links, videos, images, and assignments to students. You can learn more about how I use Padlet here. The canvas backgrounds, adjustable links, and robust features have made Padlet a favorite of teachers for years.
With the plan changes, Padlet now has 2 options. The free version offers 3 Padlets, and all of the features are now available to teachers. However, for those that already have other Padlets in use, they can still use those as well. Also, my understanding is you can create a Padlet, use it, delete it, and then still have space available (hope you followed all of that). The paid version ($8.25 a month) offers everything you get out of the free version. However, you get an unlimited amount of Padlets. You can find more details from Nitesh about the changes, and the reasons behind them here. After reading the post, I like Padlet even more. The honesty and sincerity of Nitesh is refreshing, and gives perspective on the necessity of the change.
So, is it worth it... I would argue, yes. If you need additional space, it is definitely worth the cost, and, in many cases, you may be able to get your school PTSA to cover the cost. Padlet even offers additional free Padlets if you get other educators on board. They even have options for scholarships. For me, I don't really need the extra space. I will simply create, delete, and recreate Padlets. I like to tinker and redesign the content I present to kids. I think reusing the same thing every year causes teachers to become stale.
I hope now that the dust has settled teachers are sticking with Padlet. It is such an amazing tool, but if you just can't justify the cost there are some other options.
I have read several suggestions for alternatives to Padlet. The one that has been mentioned most often is Wakelet. After looking at it, I can not recommend it. It is not as easy to use, and simply is not as good as Padlet. There are several others mentioned, but they too just aren't very good.
The best alternative I have found to Padlet is Nearpod's collaborate feature. This feature allows students to post responses, participate in discussion, and post media onto the discussion board. Teachers have the option to moderate posts prior to them being visible, and you can simply add it into a Nearpod lesson you are already using. If you are unfamiliar with Nearpod, and all of the amazing tools it offers, you can learn more here.
So long story short...Is Padlet worth the $8.25 a month? Yes. However, if you don't agree, Nearpod is your next best choice.
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Have a great day!