Collaborative Writing
Two ideas: Padlet and Google Drive
What is Padlet?
A large wall onto which anyone can stick “post-it” notes giving a short sharp
idea or phrase.
How can it be used in MFL?
- Set a homework for students to post vocabulary they already know on a
new topic (which can be used as a starter at the beginning of the next lesson)
- ideas for a brainstorm
- adjectives to describe a character
- to give feedback on an activity
- groupwork: set up two different Padlet walls, one for each side of a debate
for example, and students within that group can contribute ideas for their
- Set up a Department ideas page which colleagues can contribute to.
How does it work?
You can create a Padlet wall within seconds, but unless you have a
(free) account with Padlet, the web address will be a long string of
letters. If you set up an account, you can rename the web link to
something more memorable.
As used in the MFL Spark:
Please do leave feedback on the second link and test it out.
Google Drive
What is it?
An online storage area containing 15GB of space where you can save documents, photos etc.
How do I sign up?
You need a Google e-mail account
How can it be used in MFL?
In Google Docs, you can create a document, decide who you share that document with and decide
what level of control each user has with that document. You can set users to just View the
document, be able to Comment on the document or be able to fully Edit the document.
This allows a great level of collaboration. You can set up a document for a group of students who
can all edit it and contribute to the end product and objective.
It can be great for peer assessment too. One user can write a piece of work and another user can be
set up to just be able to comment on it.
Or it can be a way for teachers to mark student work. My student can share a written document
with me and I can edit it in a different colour. The student can see the history of my edits. I can also
leave specific comments.
Google Drive
Further advantages
- I can see the history of who wrote what and when (this proved useful
when I caught a student using it inappropriately)
- It integrates with other apps such as Explain Everything
- Google Drive is an app on Apple and Android, so you can access the
documents any time anywhere.
- It takes some time to set up (e.g. all the students need a Google account)
- Google Docs don’t always integrate with Microsoft Office (though you can
upload all of your Microsoft documents into Google). To export documents,
it is often necessary to export them as a pdf first.

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