Where is that file? The case for Wakelet

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Panic

“I know that file is here somewhere. I used that website last year, but I can’t find it.” Teachers create so many files and use so many websites during school, yet this timeless ritual of searching for the work is timeless. When I left teaching six months ago, my Google Drive was filled with 15 Gb of files accumulated since our school had moved to use Google over a decade ago. Colleagues would request access to a collaboration or a website link, which I could not find even though I consider myself highly organized. Websites were bookmarked, but the list became unmanageable as well.

To the rescue

Creating a hierarchy of folders is no problem for someone like myself who thinks linearly. Google Drive suits me just fine with my folders and subfolders, but what if I come across a website or a PDF that might be useful in the future. Years ago, I used Diigo for the same purpose, but I soon forgot I had access. I defer to Wakelet for my repository.

Features

Let’s begin with the obvious. Wakelet has so many reasons for use. It is a great organizational tool. Websites that may be needed for classroom use, PDF files, Tweets, Google Drive, videos, student work, and even social media posts are all part of the Wakelet platform. The organization is vital, though, and creating collections where these files can be stored and named is necessary.

Another reason for using Wakelet is that it is easily embeddable into Canvas or other LMS platforms. Before the school year, I embedded a student resource page that included using specific apps, sending emails, log-in information, and access codes. When students needed access to sites for history research, I embedded a theme-specific collection into Canvas, eliminating the arduous task of students attempting to locate sources on the internet. Additionally, a Wakelet collection can be utilized for professional learning readings and embedded into a course.

Sharing collections is also an added feature of Wakelet. As a conference attendee, I could become overwhelmed with the sheer number of websites and resources from each session. Creating a specific collection for a named conference was the easiest method of sharing the resources with colleagues by inviting them to access and add to the Wakelet collection. As a content department at the secondary level or grade level elementary group, simply pasting the URL into a collection eliminated the task of inputting links on a Google Doc.

Student Uses

Teaching history requires the development of various student skills. Of these skills, curation is essential as students access many sources, determining which is reliable and which is not. Using Wakelet, students can build a collection of sources and share them with other students. Students can collaborate with students from other schools nationally and internationally on a project collection. A collaborative effort such as this addresses the 4 Cs of 21st Century Learning Skills.

Students can also build portfolios of work, including adding images and text descriptions to collections. With a portfolio collection, both students and instructors can view progress over the school year. More importantly, as previously mentioned, the work can be shared with parents and peers.

Colllecting yourself

Teachers live in a fast-paced environment having to make at least 1500 decisions a day. Utilizing Wakelet some of those decisions can be eliminated. Asking where a file is or a web page resource is reduced to accessing an organized collection of resources. I have collections of resources for teaching units, conferences, PDFs, and teaching pedagogy neatly in my Wakelet platform. I can even provide a Flilpgrid video about the collection if I choose. So collect yourself and your vast resources with Wakelet.

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