To supplement the virtual learning experience this Short Term at Concord (STAC), many teachers have incorporated new teaching platforms such as Padlet and Nearpod into their classes. The goal of implementing these platforms is to enhance engagement and collaboration to achieve a similar classroom experience to that of in-person classes. Currently, the new platforms are used for submitting homework assignments, posting in-class discussions, uploading course materials, and playing icebreaker games. 

The most popular platform incorporated into online learning at Concord Academy is Padlet, a free tool that functions as an online notice board. Padlet provides a secure place for students and teachers to share ideas through posts containing links, images, document files, or videos.

When asked how Padlet has been used in her classes, Joanne Oh ’23 replied, “I have used Padlet to upload my homework for math and science classes. It has also been used in my physics class for icebreakers at the beginning of the school year.” 

Similarly, Amanda Rosenbaum ’22 shares, “I use [Padlet] in math to submit photos of my homework every night. In physics, we have used Padlet to answer some fun ‘get to know you’ introductory questions.” 

However, Padlet is not solely used for students to submit answers and work; it also helps teachers to relay information to students. To illustrate, Wendi Wang ’22 states, “In particular, my English teacher Sabrina makes use of Padlet to the greatest extent. She often posts materials such as introductions of certain poets, instructions on how to read a poem, and key concepts on Padlet for us to read and refer to.” 

Coco Huang ’21 brings up a similar example: “For my English class, Literature of [the] Infernal, my teacher use[s] [Padlet] to post course-related materials such as links, videos, and handouts.” 

Opinions on Padlet thus far have been positive due to its versatile use and user-friendly interface. Both teachers and students enjoy how Padlet keeps all previous posts in a secure location and facilitates classroom discussions. 

Furthermore, students find that Padlet has definitely played a role in improving their learning experience. As Wendi concludes, “Padlet significantly improves the quality of distance learning.” 

Joanne specifies on Wendi’s statement by adding, “The program is convenient for me because it allows me to easily look back on my notes and homework when I’m reviewing for tests.” 

Although learning conditions for the start of the 2020-21 school year have not been ideal, the CA community has gained opportunities to explore new learning tools that could enhance the classroom environment. New online platforms, such as Padlet, have proven to be extremely helpful and they can be employed even after distance learning ends.