Tonight I was browsing around Google for some new tools to use in my hub. I found myself deep in some articles about how to use Padlet in the classroom, namely this article by CoolCatTeacher.
It focusing on the functionality of the tool, and it gave me a few interesting ideas for how to use it in the classroom, but what really stood out to me was the quote below.
It speaks of how important it is to allow learners to have sandpit time with the tools that they use. Sandpit time means time just having a play, picking up and putting down sand, or in this case, just exploring the tool. Click on some buttons! See what that icon at the top does! Type some words in a text box and hit enter! Why not.
I think I really resonate with this sort of practice. introducing learners to a new app can be really overwhelming, especially if the app is complicated, and has lots of little adjustments learners can make. I believe in order for us to get the most out of each app, learners need to be excited by the options they have, and have a brief chance to explore them. Only then, should the teacher start guiding them towards a more structured learning task.
Who knows, they might discover something that the teacher never knew possible!