Padlet to the Rescue: Taking Action to Reduce Plastic in the Ocean

I chose to look at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (13220) as this was one of the topics explored in one of my units of inquiry this year under sharing the planet. The video links were appropriate for students, and the mockumentary was very engaging. What I really liked about this WISE project was that it was carefully scaffolded to look at the elements in the GPGP, such as the plastic, the environment, and what can be done. For me the most important part of the learning cycle is when students take action, and consolidate their learning by making meaningful change. Therefore, I decided to include a padlet which allowed students to post ideas of what they can/did do to reduce the amount of plastic in their own lives. This was divided into thirds, an area for students to discuss their home, school and community levels. Students could also use the padlet to post links to videos, twitter, or other social media accounts that document examples of how they have taken action from their learning to make a difference.

These WISE projects follow the constructivist model of learning, where students are given the opportunity to make meaning of their learning throughout each phase of the project. As stated in the article, “The Power of Feedback” Hattie and Timperly note that “Feedback is among the most critical influences on student learning. A major aim of the educative process is to assist in identifying these gaps and to provide remediation in the form of alternative or other steps” Feedback is only part of the equation, when students are given time to discuss their thoughts along with the teacher misconceptions and guideposts are provided. Students then have a better understanding of where they are going next in the learning journey. However, the authors also note that providing feedback is much a skill that requires practice, and the importance of feedback and assessment are no different. Hattie and Timperly point out that, “Feedback can only build on something; it is of little use when there is no initial learning or surface information.” Therefore, understanding what the goal of the learning process must drive instruction.



Hattie, H. & Timperly, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-112.

Linn, M., Clark, D., & Slotta, J. (2003). Wise design for knowledge integration. Science Education, 87(4), 517-538.

Williams, M. Linn, M.C. Ammon, P. & Gearhart, M. (2004). Learning to teach inquiry science in a technology-based environment: A case study. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 13(2), 189-206.


  1. Hi Cristina,

    This was a great WISE project to review. I’ve also found that students take on a powerful sense of responsibility and personal accountability/stewardship when it comes to significant environmental issues such as this. Padlet is a great collaborative tool for sharing ideas, opinions, and resources amongst students. It also ties into the feedback piece from Hattie that you mentioned, and can provide students with immediate (and sometimes actionable) feedback that could be applied directly to their understanding and learning.

    – Allen.

  2. Great use of Padlet, it is a tool you can use across many subjects, as we also use it in L.A. for Poetry and Word Walls. On a side note as well as personal responsibility and accountability I find that simple things like customization of backgrounds and the ability to add avatars place a personalization component that increases student motivation.

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