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Engaging Students With “Wakelet News” Current Events

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Dr Randall Sampson shares some awesome ideas about engaging students with Wakelet News!

We live in a 24/7 cycle of constant information and connectivity. Too often we do not provide students with the time to process information and articulate their thoughts about local, national, or global events. Many of these events directly or indirectly influence our students’ behaviors-values-beliefs. Schools have always encouraged the discussion of current events with students, through the use of the Socratic teaching and learning process. Through the use of Wakelet, teachers can bring the Socratic Process into an interactive digital experience. 

We’ve heard of “the internet of things.” Wakelet serves as “the internet of experiences and ideas.” Using Wakelet News, teachers can guide their students in building agency and help students become the authors of their individual deeper learning experiences. The Wakelet News feature helps educators in creating the conditions which challenges students to probe for answers and generate new problems. Wakelet News becomes a great tool for teachers to use because it helps develop students’ empathy and understanding of age appropriate-unpredictable real world situations.

By downloading the Wakelet Mobile App (iOS/Android), teachers can curate daily or weekly current news events (3-5 per collection); therefore, enhancing critical thinking for 21st Century learning. Once the teacher curates a “Wakelet News” current events collection, the teacher can use the Wakelet collaboration feature to authentically engage students (Attached is a link to a copy-ready collection). The teacher can share the Wakelet collaboration code of a curated news collection with the class. In the collection of current events news articles, the students will be able to select a story of interest and contribute based on the learning standards. 

The teacher can insert any of the Socratic process questioning stems with each news story. When students choose a curated news story, the students can use either the Wakelet notes feature or Flipgrid integration to articulate their perspectives. The key to deeper learning is the ability to reflect and synthesize information. 

The Genealogy of Ideas, “Wakelet News”

In addition to supporting student voice and choice, teachers have a formalized process to enhance students’ critical thinking skills. Yes, critical thinking skills are required in many academic learning standards. However, these critical thinking skills are intended to be transferable well beyond the formal academic standards and into real world application. 

 “In a society where information moves quickly, we need to know to question, critique, synthesize, and construct new knowledge.”  

-Cornelius Minor, a Brooklyn-based Educator

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