star

Wakelet: A how-to guide for the skeptical educator

star name of post

We know it’s not always easy to add another tool to your to-do list but Wakelet can help even the most skeptical educator, as teacher Brandi Reams explains

So, you keep hearing about this new website called Wakelet. Your teacher friends keep telling you to try it but you’re reluctant to add yet another thing to your to-do list. Or maybe you think you don’t have the time to learn something new. Or you’ve had so much pushed on you at professional development meetings that you feel overwhelmed and kind of disheartened, so you’re done with new tech.

Well, educator friends, I’m here to tell you, Wakelet is a game changer. That’s why I’ve put together a straightforward how-to guide to help your out and let you test the platform before diving in head first.

Start curating content in the classroom

But why should you even use Wakelet? Is it really a necessary addition to my career? In my opinion, it definitely is! You send email reminders to your parents constantly, you provide them with resources that they may lose, and you spend countless hours perfecting a PD resource only for your colleagues to say that they never received the file. We’ve all been there, and it stinks. It’s exhausting having to create and re-create.

Now, imagine that you don’t have to do that anymore! Instead, you create something once, share it, and then put the accountability completely in the hands of your audience. That’s where Wakelet comes in; it allows you to de-stress and share the things you need in a beautiful way.

How to use Wakelet as an educator

Before we get started, let’s take a look at a few of the ground-breaking ways that you can use Wakelet as an educator

– Create beautiful weekly newsletters that contain active links for parents to use at home to supplement homework
– Create individual homework groups for differentiation
– Share events from around your school
– Save and share Professional Development Resources
– Expand upon your PLN
Collaborate with your teammates

Now that you have an understanding of how Wakelet can be used in your school or classroom, let’s make some waves!

Getting started as a skeptical educator

1. Grab a cup of coffee and your computer

Take a deep breath and know that you’re about to take the first step in a journey that, we hope, changes the way you teach and think about education

Start curating content in the classroom

2. Head to Wakelet.com and create your free account

That’s right friends, this is a completely free website to use. The Wakelet team understands that we’re not all made of money but should still have access to the finer things in life. You can create your free account with two simple clicks.

3. Create your first collection

Now that you’re in, take a look to the left of your screen. You’ll see a list of tabs that will help you stay organized and create some beautiful education masterpieces. This is your home page. The ‘collections’ tab is where you’ll start.

Your screen will look a little different to mine as you won’t have any collections just yet, but don’t worry – I’m here to help you starting creating!

Wakelet collection page

Click on the button in the middle of your screen to create your first collection. Now, you’re probably thinking, ‘Great, now I’m in, but what in the world do I put in here?’ That’s a great question and let me tell you, the sky’s the limit!

Let’s start with something simple; try creating a ‘Meet the Teacher’ collection that you can share with your parents and students at the start of the year to help them get to know you. Add a title, choose a background and cover photo, and start adding content! You’ll see where you can add a website link, a photo uploaded from your computer, a PDF, a YouTube video, saved items (you won’t have any of those quite yet), or text. You can also easily reorder items after you’ve added them.

Meet the Teacher example

When you’re happy with the content you’ve added and the order it’s in, it’s time to start sharing.

4. Share it with someone

As you’re starting to get a feel for Wakelet and testing it out, let’s go ahead and share what you’ve created so that you can see how this will work in the future. Th great thing is that sharing your collections is easy peasy lemon squeezy (can you tell I teach Kindergarten?) Click the ‘Share’ button at the bottom of your screen. Once you do, a pop-up screen will appear.

Share function on Wakelet

Click the ‘Copy’ button, open your email, and paste the link along with a short-and-sweet intro encouraging others to visit the page. You’ll also see other options to share as well, including via Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Reddit, and Google Classroom.

That’s it, friends! I hope you found this easy to follow and that it sparked a few ideas. For more ideas on how you could use Wakelet in your classroom, check out my profile. Take a look at the way other Wakelet Ambassadors as using the platform to make waves too! And feel free to reach out to any of us for additional help – we’d love to chat with you.

Brandi Reams, BS Early Childhood Dev., is a Kindergarten teacher and Wakelet Ambassador. Follow her on Twitter @b_reamswpa or on Wakelet @BrandiReams