How I use Wakelet in my Classroom

How I use Wakelet in my classroom

Please Note, This post will (hopefully/eventually) be updated as I try new things using Wakelet.

Wakelet is probably at the very top of my list of favorite tech tools right now. I use it pretty much in all facets of my life. I use Wakelet as a Journal, to keep track of recipes, to keep a running list of coffee roasters around the country that I want to try, as a method to distribute professional development materials, and of course, in my classroom.  

While I could ramble about why using Wakelet in my personal life has helped me stay organized in ways that I didn’t even realize would benefit from extra organization, I want to focus in on why Wakelet is such a powerful tool for teachers to use. 

Class Newsletters
I’ve found that one of my favorite ways to use Wakelet isn’t even with my students- it’s with parents. I’ve been creating class newsletters on this platform and it simplifies so much! I can easily share text, links, pictures and PDFs in an intuitive, and attractive format. I send out a URL linking to each newsletter- either via email or Remind, but I also embed the newsletter into my class website. Once a new newsletter comes out, I download the previous one as a PDF, and can add those to my website as well (All the links remain live in the PDF version.)
current newsletter embedded and all newsletter folder in a Google Site

Anchor Chart/Reference Material Storage
Virtual charts for students to useI like to create the majority of our class anchor charts digitally. These are easy for students to reference at any time during the day (even at home) throughout the school year. I had previously been doing this via Google Classroom, but decided to transfer to Wakelet for a few reasons:
With Wakelet, I can provide a better preview for students so they can find what they need faster
I typically make these anchor charts on Google Drawings using the /preview URL hack so that students ONLY see the drawing, and are able to interact with any URLs seamlessly. This is, to my knowledge, not possible on Google Classroom, even if you post the link as a URL and not directly from Google Drive. 

I also use Wakelet to provide blank versions of charts to students using the /template/preview URL hack so that they can easily create KWL or venn diagrams on their Chromebooks. 

My students are under the age of 13, which means that they can’t have their own Wakelet accounts, but they can still use the platform if they’re provided with the URL allowing them to be contributors. To do this, simply click on the Contributor button, and then select “Via Sharable Link or Code.”
Invite contributors and share via link or code
Students will be prompted to put in their name, and can add content, but are unable to delete anything from the collection. 

This opens the door to great collaboration opportunities! I’ve had students use this tool to compile research about insects as small groups so that they can reference the material in creating individual projects. 

Moving forward, I plan to have students submit the aforementioned projects onto a Wakelet collection (if they’re digital) so that students can easily view the work or their peers, and so that it can be shared with authentic audiences around the world. 

Flipped Learning
With a recent update (as of September 2019,) Wakelet and Flipgrid have teamed up to allow users to create use Flipgrid’s Shorts camera to record and embed videos directly into collections. This means that teachers can embed quick mini lessons into collections which are followed by other resources for students. I’ve used this primarily for math class, but could see great applications across subject matter.

Please note, if your students are under 13 years old and are using a collaborator link, mentioned above, they will not be able to use this feature on Wakelet because they’re not logged in to anything. To work around this if you want video responses from students on a collection, you can

  • Link directly to a Flipgrid Topic so students can respond there
  • Have students use Screencastify to record a video and either post a URL to the YouTube video, or share from Google Drive (make sure permissions are set appropriately to share the video)

Rapid Fire Ideas (that I really should get around to trying)

  • Use Wakelet for sub plans
  • Student Blogs
  • Student journals (I journal on a private Wakelet collection)
  • Use as a communication log between a student and teacher (i.e. like pen pals)
  • PEN PALS! 
  • Student (or teacher) digital portfolios
  • Group communication log with the school counselor

There are so many ways to use Wakelet in the classroom- it's amazing. I know that it's become a staple in my classroom. If you have any questions about using Wakelet, let me know- I'd love to chat! As I mentioned, I hope to keep this list updated with new ideas, so if I left anything out, let me know!

Twitter/Instagram: @FortneyTECH