With its versatility, easy-to-use interface, and unique look, Wakelet has become a popular free tool for schools around the world. Here, middle school principal Mariah Rackley shares how she uses Wakelet
I’m humbled by the opportunity to write this blog post for Wakelet. I appreciate the chance to share my experiences and ideas – as well as the power of Wakelet – with you in this forum. As an educator, Wakelet has provided me with an awesome tool to share the amazing things that are happening in our school!
Our school’s story
I’ve been using Wakelet for almost a year and, as a school leader, I love what it offers me. I’m a middle school principal and telling our school’s story has been a significant focus for our school community.
Last year, our staff were challenged to create Twitter accounts and utilize social media to highlight the positive activities and awesome learning that was happening in our school! The majority of our staff quickly started using Twitter and tweeting regularly – it was incredible! But we realized that we weren’t reaching all of our families using just one social media platform. Enter Wakelet…
I discovered Wakelet through Twitter and started experimenting with it as a way to curate our stories each week. I was able to put all of our tweets into one space and provide families with one link to access an entire week’s worth of amazing stories from our school. Wakelet was the perfect solution for sharing as much information as I could as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Wakelet answers the concern of using multiple social media platforms and is a great one-stop shop for people. Each week, I collect the stories from our school and post them in a collection. My customized Wakelet page gives our families and communities access to all of the collections from our school. Instead of posting different links to each individual collection I’ve created, I post my customized link – one that’s easy to remember and provides access to all my collections. The link to my Wakelet account is on my Twitter profile, our school website, my blog, my Instagram profile and my email signature.
How does it work?
Wakelet is user-friendly and intuitive. Throughout the week, I add all of the tweets from our building into a Wakelet collection. I love that I can personalize each collection with cover and background images – I enjoy having the opportunity to post pictures that capture our week or tell the story of who we are.
The search tool allows me to search my Twitter account and select all of the tweets from our school. I can also search Twitter using our school hashtags, including #FalconPride, #FalconsCARE, #FalconFriday, and #FalconFamily. Over the course of the last year, I’ve even created collections for special events, like our #MiniTHON or #CommUNITY Day, to set those events apart. Adding tweets to a collection is as simple as clicking on a plus sign. By early Friday evening (the time we get the highest traffic on Twitter), I publish our weekly Wakelet called ‘This week at CCMS.’
This year, I created an Instagram account to reach more of our students and families. Wakelet allows you to add stories from other sites like Instagram simply by pasting the link into your collection. It’s so easy and allows our school’s story to be told on the platforms where teachers are most comfortable. But, at the end of the day, all of our stories are still found in one easy location.
Personally, Wakelet has been a tool that I’ve used for my own professional learning. I can collect ideas that are shared from social media sites and refer back to them as needed or share the link to those collections as part of my professional portfolio.
Wakelet has become a tool for efficiency in our school! It’s a way for our stories to be curated, collected and saved in one location for easy access to all of our stakeholders.
Mariah Rackley was named one of the National Digital Principals of the Year for 2018 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Mariah is completing her tenth year as the principal at Cedar Crest Middle School. She has spent 18 years at Cedar Crest Middle School as a learning support teacher, assistant principal, and building principal. Mariah earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Lebanon Valley College, her Masters of Education in Teaching and Curriculum and Principal Certification from Penn State University, and her Superintendent Letter of Eligibility from the California University of Pennsylvania in 2014. Currently a doctoral student in Drexel University’s Educational Management and Leadership program, Mariah loves learning and is very passionate about her work at Cedar Crest Middle School. Mariah’s professional interests include Leadership, Student Agency, Personalized Learning, Innovation, Creativity, and Motivation Theory.
Click on the links below to follow Mrs. Rackley on social media.