This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.
Versatile. Practical. Powerful. Convenient. FREE.
If you use any of those words in the description of an educational technology tool, my ears immediately perk up. And, when Wakelet came out a few years ago, my ears were up and alert. But when they announced Wakelet Spaces in August 2020, the first word in that list–versatile–really came to the forefront for me. So, I’d like to share **19** ways that I think that you could use Wakelet Spaces in your school or class!
First, though, some background on what Wakelet Spaces are. At the time of the announcement, Wakelet was already a phenomenal tool for curation, organization, sharing, and more. It was even a great tool for collaboration, as you could collaborate with other Wakelet users within a Collection. The additional power of Spaces kicked that collaboration, curation, organization, and sharing up a notch: now you can organize multiple Collections into one Space. This is where that word from earlier–versatile–really comes into play though: Spaces can be created collaboratively and can be shared with anyone to view.
Before we get into my list of 19 ways to use Wakelet Spaces in your school or class, let me give you a quick peek into what creating a Space, collaborating in a Space, and sharing a Space looks like. Check out the #EduGIF below:
Now that you see how easy it is, let’s talk about some ways that you could potentially use them:
19 Ways to Use Wakelet Spaces in Your School or Class!
1. The class content hub
Before the days of Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Schoology, and other widely-used learning management systems, many tech-savvy teachers created class websites for all of their content.
Need a resource from Chapter 3? Go to the class website and click on the Chapter 3 page.
Want to review that content from Chapter 5? Head to the Chapter 5 page.
But they were a pain to maintain, not always easy on the eyes, and took a lot of time to set up. Enter Wakelet Spaces! Include a Collection for each chapter, unit, or topic, and you’re good to go! Plus, you could even collaborate with co-teachers!
Garth, Mike, and later collaborators Travis Armstrong and JC Lenk had their students use Wikispaces for these projects. Now that Wikispaces is gone, it’s time to consider a new option! And why not consider Wakelet Spaces (it’s even got the word spaces in there!)? Imagine your students curating web resources, student-created resources, YouTube videos, and. more to create an Open Educational Resource (OER) that other learners can benefit from!
3. collaborative student notes
What if you don’t want to go as far as having students create a “formal” digital textbook, but you do want them to collaboratively curate learning resources? Students could create collaborative notes in Wakelet! Not only could each student type in their notes, but they could also share pictures of handwritten notes, sketchnotes, YouTube videos that they found helpful, or online resources!
4. class website
I can remember creating a class website years ago for my classroom. And I can also remember having zero time to update that page throughout the year. It made me look silly: a webpage that I told parents to check back on throughout the year and it often referenced events that had already happened, holidays that were in the rearview mirror, and field trips that were distant memories.
An easier, more efficient way to handle this? Use Wakelet Spaces. Need to make an update while you’re on the run? You can update it from your phone! Want to say hello to your students and their families? You can easily add Flipgrid Shorts videos! Want to provide links to websites that your students use regularly? Use a browser extension to send them right to one of the Collections on your Space! Want to add some pictures of a classroom event? Add them from the mobile app! Versatile. Practical. Powerful. Convenient.
5. a Homework help space
Want your students to be able to seek help from you and their classmates while they’re working at home? Create a Homework Help Space with 1 Collection for every assignment or date. Students could post their questions and post replies to support each other!
It can be hard for extracurricular club members to communicate in between meetings, especially in schools that are in a remote or hybrid model due to the pandemic. Why not create a collaborative Wakelet Space that students can add content to?
7. choice board activities
The benefits of using Choice Boards are clear:
“Providing students with multiple ways to access content improves learning.” (Hattie, 2011)
“Providing students with multiple ways to demonstrate knowledge and skills increases engagement and learning, and provides teachers with more accurate understanding of students’ knowledge and skills.” (Darling-Hammond, 2010)
But the best tool to use for Choice Boards? Well, that’s not as clear, because there are lots of options! And Wakelet Spaces deserves a spot in that list of options! You could add different choices or paths as different collections within your Space!
8. digital science fairs, art shows, talent shows, and more!
Educators showed lots of creativity for bringing awesome in-person events like these online during the Spring of 2020. While we miss our pre-2020 talent shows, science fairs, and art shows, we can still celebrate students’ achievements digitally. Create a Wakelet Space for the event and assign each student a Collection to share their creations!
9. school newsletters
As a parent of 3 kids, I can attest to how difficult it is to keep up with all of the information coming from teachers. Over the years since my kids have been in school, we’ve received information via emails, ClassDojo, Facebook Groups, paper newsletters, Smore Pages, Remind, and probably a few things that I’ve blocked out of my memory.
What if the school started one Wakelet Space, assigned each teacher (or team) a Collection, and sent the link to families? The individual teachers could do their posts however they wanted to (Google Docs, Flipgrid Shorts, tweets, YouTube videos, etc.) but the parents would only have to look in one location!
10. teacher webpages
Did you like the ideas in #4 and #9? What if we mash them up to create a Space for teacher webpages!
11. collaborative planning spaces for teachers
What did you for Chapter 3, Lesson 1?
Can you send me that link for that activity again?
Which YouTube video was it that you showed when you were teaching topographic maps? Collect it all in a Wakelet Space! You could have 1 Collection for each unit or 1 for each teacher. Whatever works best for you! The best part is that it’s so quick and easy to add content to the Collections. Just click on that browser extension!
12. digital portfolios
My feelings about lawn mowing have changed since we moved into our 2nd house.
Our first house was the second-to-last house on a dead end. When I was too busy to mow the lawn when the grass was long, I was fine with letting it go a few extra days. After all, only our 2 neighbors would see it!
Now we live in the center of a neighborhood, on a traffic circle. Hundreds of people pass our yard every day. So, when the lawn needs mowing, it gets mowed.
Our students are the same way. When their work is being shown to others, they are more motivated to do their best. Digital portfolios harness this phenomenon and also give students a chance to see and value the growth in their own learning and skills. Wakelet Spaces could be great for digital portfolios. Students could have separate Collections for each class or school year and can easily add a wide variety of projects and products.
13. portfolio defenses
Some schools level up the digital portfolio experience by using portfolio defenses as assessments that put student competency as a front-and-center priority. Wakelet Spaces could be a great space for students to collect all of their evidence and artifacts!
14. book clubs
The QR Code sharing feature in Wakelet Spaces is an underrated option that could be huge in your Media Centers and Libraries. What if you created a Wakelet Space for book clubs or book reviews and added a new Collection for each book? Students could join to discuss books, leave recommendations, or get recommendations! And, best of all? Print out those QR codes and stick them on the books!
15. A classroom bulletin board
Whether it’s sharing exemplary work or giving students a spot to all share what they created on a project, Wakelet Spaces could be great for this!
16. student blogs
Philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer John Dewey is often credited as saying “We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” While it’s actually unclear if he ever uttered or wrote that quote, it is clear that he believed in the learning power of reflecting on experiences. Blogging is a great reflection tool but is also a powerful tool for our students’ development. As the PBL Works site says, “If we are to empower students to take charge of their own learning and perform at high levels, having them publish professionally in the digital environment seems essential.”
There are plenty of tools available for blogging. The most important piece is to make sure that you’ve selected a tool that has the appropriate privacy and sharing options. If Wakelet passes that test for you and your learners, it may be worth considering! You could have one Wakelet Space for your class and assign a separate Collection to every learner!
17. group projects
Including this one in this list is like dunking on a Little Tikes basketball hoop. It’s so easy. If your students have Wakelet accounts, get them into collaborative Spaces, then sit back and watch the awesomeness happen!
The power of podcasting in the classroom is undeniable. It’s the logistics that are harder for educators to wrap their brains around. Where would we host the podcasts?
How would we help students hear each others’ podcasts?
How can we keep them within our own classroom?
One option is to have students record their podcasts in whatever tool you’re comfortable with (Flipgrid, Screencastify, WeVideo, SoundTrap, Twisted Wave, Beautiful Audio Editor, etc.) and then post them within Collections on a Wakelet Space. Each student’s Collection essentially becomes their own podcast! Talk about amplifying student voice!
19. mock youtube channels
You can probably already tell that I think student creation and curation are essential skills for our learners to develop. But, I also think that we need to scaffold the level of sharing that our students can do. So, while developing a YouTube Channel may be a great experience for a kiddo, you may not want to encourage all of your first-graders to do this. But what if you want to mimic this experience and provide a scaffold for them to level up to actual YouTube Channels in the future? You guessed it: assign each student a Collection in a Wakelet Space! Your learners could set up their Collections to look something like a YouTube Channel, but without givng some creepy dude in his Mom’s basement the ability to watch their video.
And that does it! Once I get to the point of mentioning a “creepy dude in his Mom’s basement,” I think it’s time to wrap up the post. What ideas did I miss? What additions do you have? Share in the comments below!
“Your favorite authors’ first drafts are bad—no better than yours. However, they aggressively rewrite their first drafts.” – Julian Shapiro (post)
James Clear’s tweet: “Your favorite athlete’s first workout was just as bad as yours. Your favorite chef’s first meal was just as bad as yours. Your favorite artist’s first work was just as bad as yours. Keep going.”
Today’s Guest: Mike Abrams
Mike is a tech specialist at a high school in Virginia who aims to inspire teachers to design lessons to support their students. Mike is a career switcher who moved into education after 10 years in Call Center management & training facilitation. Mike is a curious dabbler who tinkers with everything. He is an EdPuzzle Coach & a Pear Deck Regional Coach. Mike has a passion for video creation, pro wrestling & all things Cleveland Browns.
Tisha Poncio has served in education for the last 20 years as a teacher (English, Web Design, Graphic Design, Computer Information Systems, & Broadcast Journalism) and as a digital learning specialist t for the last 12 years. She’s a Google Certified Trainer, Wakelet, Flipgrid & Buncee Ambassador, and was named a finalist in 2018 for Instructional Technology Specialist of the Year in Texas.
Scott is an ELA Teacher turned Edtech Coach, with a focus on PBL & amplifying student and teacher voices. Scott is an MIE Expert & hopes to become a Google Innovator soon. Additionally, he loves all things edtech and 3D printing. Scott has two podcasts: TNT Edtech (with Matthew Ketchum) and Education Today.
Listen to the whole show to hear the “super-secret code”!
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Thanks to The Mighty Ducts! Molly Klodor, Nanci Greene, Pam Inabinett, Sarah Kiefer, Alex Oris, Amy Huckaby, Angela Green, Brandy New, Dan Stitzel, David Allan, Jennifer Conti, Kimberly Wren, Lisa Marie Bennett, Matt Meyer, Melinda Vandevort, Melissa Van Heck!
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Today’s SoapBox Moment – Flexible Learning with EdTech: And/But
Educational Duct Tape Question: How can I leverage blended to rethink assessment to yield richer information about student learning and growth? (rethinking assessment in the digital age)
“We need to really think about assessment as getting into the minds of our students.”
In a richer assessment… students can reflect, advocate for specific feedback, explain
“Now, I can put that onus on the student to explain to me their learning journey. And then, each of my students becomes an individual to me instead of a same-content, same-time, same-way.”
Assessment of Prior Knowledge
“Voice and Choice is not Individualized Instruction, it’s Individualized Outputs.”
“You can’t be a good writer and you can’t be a good reader until you’re good orally. But we shut down the oral in classrooms. And then we’re like ‘Oh we don’t have good writing scores or reading scores.’ ‘Uh, let me come fix that for you . . . in Flipgrid.’”
Holly – it may take students as much as 3 weeks to get to the point of leaving articulate, well thought out responses in Flipgrid.
Tools for a “Press Record” Mindset:
Flipgrid – watch “Netflix style,” speed up, text feedback, video feedback, rubric feedback, MixTapes
Screencastify or Loom? Trying to decide which of the two big dogs in classroom screencasting to use? Well, I’ve got your back. And not only do I have your back, but I have it in 4 formats: text, infographic, video, and podcast. Choose your flavor and get your learn on!