Do we need alternatives to Padlet?
Recently, Padlet was classified as problematic in terms of data protection by the LDA Brandenburg. The educational server Berlin-Brandenburg now also advises against the use of Padlet. Since then, the use of Padlet has been discontinued at many schools in Germany, which is regretted by many teachers who have increasingly used digital tools for teaching since the beginning of the Corona pandemic and homeschooling and are enthusiastic about the intuitive and playful design as well as the many possibilities Padlet offers.
The problem with the interactive pinboard tool: data protection.
Padlet is not GDPR-compliant. The platform originates from the United States, where the General Data Protection Regulation does not apply. Previously, use of the platform in a school context ran under the “Privacy Shield,” under which U.S. providers had to comply with European data protection regulations. This was overturned and since July 2020, no personal data may be transferred to the United States. However, Padlet shares data with third-party providers, such as Google, when it is used. The exact data content is largely unknown, but Padlet can store and process personal data such as shared content, IP addresses or movement profiles by the company or third-party providers. Thus, the risk outweighs the benefit for data protectionists.
But there is also a way to use Padlet without data protection problems. Padlet can also be used without an account. Instead of registering, you can also log in via a guest account to avoid creating your own profile. Students can also access Padlet through a link provided by their teachers. If Padlet is used at school on school devices without the students logging in to other services, their usage behavior remains anonymous as long as no personal data is entered into Padlet. If Padlet is used with a school end device via a private Internet connection, it is not clear what data is collected by the platform operator. However, as soon as the platform is used via private end devices, the provider can store personalized data that can be used to identify the user.
Padlet can therefore only be used on school devices without hesitation. However, if you want or have to avoid using Padlet, you can take a look at the following alternatives or browse through our Toolbox yourself:
1. Pinnit is a data-saving digital pinboard that has many features that Padlet also offers. Collaborative work can be done here and, for example, posts or ideas can be collected. In addition, published contributions can be commented and rated. Only the most necessary data is stored on a German server during use. Furthermore, no personalizing registration is necessary for use and IP addresses are pseudonymized.
2. Taskcards is a German alternative to Padlet. The platform is also DSGVO-compliant and its servers are located exclusively in Germany. Registration is also possible via a guest account. The design and the user interface are very similar to the American model. Many features that are available on Padlet are also offered by Taskcards. Private pinboards can be created here, which can also be published if required. It works with texts, images, links and various file attachments.