Tuesday, April 3, 2018

After Padlet, There's Wakelet!

Padlet users went into mourning today when the inevitable happened: Padlet become a lot less free. Beginning today, if you used Padlet, you received a message about how many more free walls you could create. If you create a Padlet account today, you can choose between a free account (3 free walls, ads, 10 MB file limit, and standard support) or a $99/year plan where you get unlimited walls and lots of bells and whistles.

In fairness, and before I suggest an alternative, I'll say a few things in Padlet's defense. First, if you want a tool to grow and stay awesome, that takes people and ideas and infrastructure and those things have a cost. The expression "there's no such thing as a free lunch" definitely applies here. Second, in the letter I got from Padlet, it implied that I could have a total of four free walls (based on my usage), but if I created four and wanted a fifth, I could delete one that I no longer use. This suggests that it's not that I can create three more, it's that I can have four total. Also, you can pay by the month. For only a month if you need it for a month. Finally, Padlet is providing some extras in the Padlet Basic (free forever) account like Search, Themes, and Premium Wallpapers.

Still, for many teachers, $99/year to use Padlet is too much to spend on one webtool, so people began looking for an alternative. My pal Sarah Rivera suggested Wakelet, so I investigated that tool tonight. Here is what I found out:

Wakelet is similar to Padlet in that you can curate items together into collections. In my experience Padlet looks more like a bulletin board and Wakelet doesn't necessarily look like that, but beyond the aesthetics, the idea is basically the same. In fact, you can choose among a couple of different views for your collections and there is a grid view that can give the illusion of a bulletin board. Ish. Take a look at a collection I built tonight (you can embed them!):

Wakelet Features You Will Like

Wakelet is free.

Click a button to create a collection. Click in the header to upload or choose a cover image. Same for background images. Click to add a link, something from Twitter, and image, or text. When you have your collection just as you like it, click Save or Publish. You can have a private, unlisted, or public collection and you can add collaborators by email.

There is a Wakelet iOS app, an Android app, a Chrome extension, Firefox add-on, and Safari extension.

You can import your collections from Storify (which is shutting down as of May 16) which is kind of a cool feature. I didn't use Storify all that much, but I went ahead and imported what I had there just to try it out.

In short, Wakelet is not a perfect substitute for Padlet, but it is free, easy to use, can be collaborative, is embeddable, and has many of the shortcut tools that Padlet offered. It's definitely worth a look!

PS I'll make a comparison chart at some point . . . after a few more alternatives emerge.

1 comment:

  1. How about using Google Draw to create a Padlet Board? I created this sample in 5 minutes. https://goo.gl/JXz7de Go ahead and edit on it!