Chapter License: CC-BY
Price: Free to use and access
Summary: A content collection and curation tool with browser extension and mobile options
I have chosen to describe Wakelet as a tool for fostering collaboration that impacts administration and professional development. In the world of any administrator, we often struggle to organize the amount of links, documents, and materials in a systematic way. Wakelet can help with this struggle as it is a very easy-to-use curation platform to save links, videos, social media posts, etc., that can be organized into either private collections or for public consumption and collaboration. Wakelet allows users to curate content from multiple sources with quick and simple steps to organize materials. With a few clicks, collections can be created and continuously updated, or shared for collaboration amongst colleagues.
Critique and Implications for Education
As an administrator, Wakelet could be used to collate resources and materials for staff meetings, committee work, collaborative endeavours, and for organizing information for ready access. It can be used as a collection of resources that act as a quick reference for staff members to access documents for their information, or to share their ideas and content as a team tool. Absolutely anything that contains a URL link can be included in Wakelet collections, and these collections can be embedded into Google sites or in google classroom, or anywhere that allows you to embed links and documents. All this is done with unlimited storage, so no need to worry about running out of space and not keeping everything together in one place (collection).
Much like apps such as Padlet, it can be used like an online digital bulletin board of sorts, and along with unlimited storage, it is also completely free to use. Another feature is that when you share it with colleagues, staff, etc., they do not need to go on and sign up for a Wakelet account, they can access anything that you send with the link or QR code.
In using Wakelet, it is very easy to organize, annotate and create a variety of materials and items in multiple format. The ease of access allows for quick collection of items, and an ease of sharing and browsing them in a variety of ways. The technology is very intuitive, can draw from a variety of sources as required, and can be embedded into existing structures to add an easy way to organize resources and materials.
The drawbacks of the platform are that it is not the most visually stimulating layout for creation. The layout works in a linear and straightforward way, and this can be seen as boring to those who appreciate a lot of bells and whistles with their tech tools. The public collections can also contain inappropriate materials and therefore, must be used with caution with students and with staff.
In working with staff in the Virtual environment, it can easily be incorporated with the use of Google classroom or D2L Brightspace, and can be an integral part of a flipped classroom. It can be used alongside and with tools such as Jam board, Flip grid and Screencastify that can bring the material to life. The ability to collect content from all over the web and combine it in one easy to access collection is very useful.
In the work of Administration, it is a challenge to get into classrooms and see the goals of our school improvement plans coming to life. Wakelet could be used in the form of a digital journal for teachers and support staff to record videos demonstrating class successes and challenges, post content that demonstrates students achieving their goals, add photos of just about any activity, task, etc.
Access and Cost
As of 2020, Wakelet is completely free to use and access.
About the Author
Michael Bowman is an Administrative/Education Officer for the Durham District School Board. He has been an elementary Principal for the past 14 years, and have been in his current role since 2016. He is interested in looking at the intersections of leadership and technology, and the use of technology as a support for new administrators in preparing for and sustainability in the role.
In his spare time he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and his two children. His son is finishing Grade 12 in 2021 and his daughter is completing year three of the Forensic Psychology/Concurrent Education program at Ontario Tech University. Michael also enjoys cycling and walking his Boston Terrier named Finnigan.