The Internet is full of useful information … and it’s getting fuller every day. The struggle these days isn’t finding enough information. It’s knowing what to do with it when we find it.
Students can act like museum curators, finding the best and most representative pieces to add to their collections to share with others.
It’s an important life skill, too. As they get older, knowing how to gather, organize and make sense of useful bits of information will help them be more productive and efficient.
A curation tool I’m excited about right now is Wakelet (wakelet.com). And yes, it’s free!
- Wakelet lets you create a collection with text, links, images, PDF files, tweets and more.
- Add as many of any type of item as you’d like — a collection of all links, a collection with text and images, a collection with all types of items, etc.
- Teachers can create collections for students. Students can create collections. Teachers and students can add to collections collaboratively.
- A collection can be added to Google Classroom (or another learning management system) to be used as a resource. Or it can be added for students to add to the collection as a class.
Collaboration is key
Creating collections in Wakelet is powerful. I’ve been gathering tweets I want to save from Twitter into collections for a while now. (Use the Google Chrome extension to do that … it’s super fast and easy.)
But recently, Wakelet added a collaboration feature.
- Start a new Wakelet collection.
- Share it with others.
- They can add new items to the collection!
Collaborate to learn with Wakelet
This collaboration feature opens up so many possibilities for learning — in the classroom with students, in professional development with teachers, and more!
Here are 10 ways to use this collaboration feature:
1. Collect images
A picture is worth a thousand words. A collaborative image collection can let students gather images from a current event, a biome they’re studying, a book they’re reading, or more.
2. Share student work in G Suite
With the link sharing capabilities of Wakelet, students can create amazing products in G Suite and then add links to them in a collaborative Wakelet. Examples of products students can create and later share in a Wakelet:
3. Collaborative storytelling
Using text blocks in Wakelet, students can co-create a story one bit at a time. One student starts the story, adding a text block. Then, another student adds the next piece. After they’re done, it’s fun to see what the class has created!
4. Class science lab report
Students take photos of a science lab (or any other learning event in any other class!). Then, they share their unique photos in a collaborative Wakelet collection. Use text blocks as subheadings to keep everything organized. Make it chronological so photos of different steps are grouped together.
5. Student-created class newsletter
This is an easy way to share what students are learning with parents or the school community. Plus, it’s very low-prep — even no-prep! Give students a contributor link to a Wakelet collection. In it, they describe something they’ve learned that week, using …
- a text blog (describe in words)
- a Google Drawing (describe in words, images, etc.)
- a Flipgrid video (describe in video)
They add their contribution to the Wakelet collection. (Add a text block … Download a Google Drawing as an image to add to the collection … Grab the link to a Flipgrid video for the collection.) Share the Wakelet collection with parents, school community, etc. using a link from the Share button.
6. Gather social media posts
Students may not have access to Twitter and other social media during the day. But there are still ways to make social media work for you with a Wakelet collection!
- Teachers can collect content-related tweets in a collection to display to class.
- Schools and districts can collect tweets displaying school spirit, important events, etc. (Good public relations!)
- Professional development facilitators can collect resources for the educators they serve in collections.
These collections can be shared via link — or embedded in a web page.
7. Create a professional development brainstorming area
Collaborative Wakelet collections can be a great place for gathering ideas during professional development. When educators are together, they can share …
- Teaching ideas that have worked for them
- Stories from the classroom
- Tips or tricks that others can use
- Questions for the presenter
Think of the resource they can all create collaboratively when they share great ideas in one place! Everyone in the presentation can bookmark that Wakelet collection are refer back to it when they need ideas.
8. A Wakelet of Wakelets
Students can create Wakelets to demonstrate understanding through text, images, links and more. When they’re done, they can put a link to that Wakelet collection on a collaborative Wakelet created by the teacher. Students can go to the collaborative Wakelet and click on classmates’ links to see the Wakelets they’ve created!
9. Create an annotated YouTube playlist
If students have access to YouTube, they can gather videos that further explain a topic in class — or that illustrate a point made during class. They add a link to the video in one item in the collection, then add a text block below it to describe whey that video makes the list (an annotation, kind of like an annotated bibliography).
This doesn’t have to be only videos! Students can link to anything — webpages, audio (like podcast episodes) and more — then add an annotation explaining why their entry should make the list. (FYI: explaining your thinking is level 3 on Webb’s Depth of Knowledge!)
10. Global class collaborations
Collaborators on a Wakelet collection don’t have to be in the room with your students. Partner with another class in another state or country! Find a class by connecting with other educators through social media, at teacher conferences, etc. Databases like the Skype in the Classroom website or Flipgrid’s GridPals are very helpful!
Once your class is connected with another class, create a Wakelet collection and share it with the teacher and students. Find an activity you can do collaboratively and get started!
Bonus resource! Get the Educator’s Guide to Wakelet FREE eBook!
Need a little help getting started? Looking for even MORE ways to use Wakelet in the classroom? Or perhaps you want to share Wakelet with your colleagues? Check out The Educator’s Guide to Wakelet.
Written for educators, by educators, this 28 page FREE, printable eBook will help answer (almost) all of your questions and get you started using Wakelet right away.
Disclaimer: Neither Matt Miller nor Ditch That Textbook has any relationship (financial or in exchange for services) with Wakelet. We just like using it and have found it to be very helpful!
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