Two bulletin boards tools that allow you or your students to share “bite sized” ideas

September 24, 2013

Quick overview: Padlet and Lino allow teachers and students to assemble a variety of text, images, or videos on a virtual bulletin board. Either one of these tools allows one to share a collection of related “bite sized” ideas. Multiple students can work on the same board simultaneously. Boards can be public or private.

What are Padlet and Lino? Padlet and Lino are actually two different tools but are quite similar in regards to functionality. Both tools allow you to add text, images, and videos to a virtual board. You can even attach Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents too. Both tools work on smartphones, iPad, and Android devices.

How can use these two tools be used in the classroom? I’ve linked to detailed tips how padlet and how lino can be used in a classroom. For a more broad overview, these two tools can be used for:

– Class research board(s) around one topic
– Class brainstorming/suggestions/questions
– Gathering needs or goals from multiple students in one place
– Debates/Viewpoints (on a private board)
– Vocabulary/Verb boards

I’m confused! Both tools sound exactly the same: It really comes down to looking at both and seeing which one you think would be a better fit for yours students. I’ve included a link of how the tools work and a detailed comparison between the two.pad-v-sinoOn Brainstorming with these tools: In an earlier blog post, I highlighted how you can use Wordle used to break down text and allow your students to literally “see” the most predominant words (i.e. – themes) used throughout the text. A neat idea is to manually copy all the text from a finalized Padlet/Lino into Wordle to create a Wordle word cloud based on the class brainstorm.

Link: and

Doesn’t Lino look a little familiar? Yes, Lino is similar to, a tool I blogged about in March 2012. However, is no longer available in its old format. (Source: Jim Hirsch’s “Learning Jams: Improvising BYOD Learning Opportunities in Your Classroom” ISTE 2013, San Antonio. Also thanks to Tony Vincent’s Learning in hand and The Teachersfirst website.)

ICT Tip: Popplet allows your students to do collaborative brainstorming

April 2, 2012

This post could be best applied to the following subjects:



Quick overview: Popplet is a “mind mapping” tool that allows students to explore and expand upon their ideas in a visual way. It’s free, collaborative, and easy to use!

What is Mind Mapping? Mind mapping is a different way for us to organize our thoughts. A mind map is often setup like a tree, whereas you begin with one main concept and then branch out to many related topics. Each concept in the mind map is represented by a “bubble” that may contain a few words, an image, or even a video. The lines drawn between the “bubbles” indicate the link between the concepts. I’m the first to admit that I’ve never been terribly excited about mind maps. I’ve always liked to simply jot down my ideas in a bullet point list. That being said, I’ve started using Popplet with my colleagues and I’m amazed at how intuitive it is to brainstorm together. It’s definitely worth trying out and it also works well on an IWB (SMARTBoard) too!

How can it be used in the classroom? Popplets can be used by students to brainstorm, consolidate information from multiple sources, plan tasks, or present a topic. A Popplet mind map can be created by one student or simultaneously by a group of students on different computers. A maximum of six popplets can be stored within an account. If you reach your maximum, you can simply delete the popplets you’re done with to get more. Popplet mind maps can also be exported to PDF or JPG.

What about mobile devices? Popplet Lite and Popplet is available for the iPad for those with iPads in their classrooms. (Thanks to Catherine Boisvert, FSL teacher at Eastern Quebec Learning Centre, CQSB for being the first to explore this resource with me!)

Video: To see a 5 minute video demonstrating how the tool works, please click the image below:

ICT Tip: Etherpad allows instant collaborative document editing, no signup required, a great tool for brainstorming!

November 10, 2009

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:


Update August 3rd, 2010: Etherpad has been purchased by Google and the Etherpad servers are no longer active. However, the same amazing Etherpad technology is still available at the Type With Me website ( which works the exact same way. Keep reading if you’d like to know more!


Quick overview: EhterPad allows multiple students to work simultaneously on one word processing document over the Internet.  As each student types, their edits appear INSTANTLY in the EtherPad document. To help a group keep track who is typing what, each student’s edits are represented by a unique text color.

How does it work: In many ways, EtherPad is similar to Google Docs which I’ve highlighted in an earlier ICT Blog posting. In a nutshell, both EtherPad and Google Docs allow multiple people to edit a single document at the same time over the Internet.

How is Etherpad different from Google Docs? When multiple people are working in Google Docs, it takes about five to fifteen seconds for any edits to appear. Edits in EtherPad are instant. Google Docs does NOT indicate which person is typing, so things can get confusing with multiple students working in a document at the same time. Lastly, Google Docs requires each user to sign-up and create an account to edit documents, EtherPad does NOT.  The benefit of not having to sign-up for an account is that you can start right away and do not have to worry about lost student passwords and logins.


How can it be used in the classroom: As it only takes a few seconds to start a new Public EtherPad document, this website could be used as a quick and dirty class brainstorming tool. For example, students could divide up and write down common ideas in one single Etherpad document.  Classmates could then refine their own ideas and even those of their classmates. Each student works on a different computer but everyone works in the same document.

How to collaborate: To collaborate on an EtherPad document with other classmates, students can log into the site with a guest account and start working.  They can then share a unique weblink that is automatically associated with each Etherpad document, called an “invite” link.  This link can be copy and pasted into an e-mail or even scribbled down on a piece of paper. However, be careful! The link is case sensitive which means your students need to make sure that they pay attention to all the capital and small letters when writing down the link to share with other classmates.


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