Being an educator in the 21st century is an amazing challenge. No other time in our history have we had access to such an abundance of information/resources. With an abundance of so many websites, wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to organize all the content? Well, you are in luck! For today’s tech snack, I want to share a tool that does just that!
Today’s tech snack can be found at the following url: https://wakelet.com
What is Wakelet?
Wakelet is a site that lets you store and collect all your content in one place. If have been a regular reader of this blog, you may have heard of similar tools like Tizmos,Pearltrees, Only2clicks and Symbaloo. All those sites offer services for bookmarking urls so that you can have multiple web links show up on one page. To get a summary of the differences and similarities of these tools, visit the following url: bit.ly/2jpiKc3 .
So why am I showing another site that does the same thing? Well, it is always good to know what Web 2.0 tools are out there even if they do similar things because not all Web 2.0 tools stand the test of time. Plus, all those sites have their own look and feel to them, and you have to pick one that works best for your learning/teaching style.
Now, let's talk about Wakelet, how it works and what distinguishes from other sites. With Wakelet, you can go to the site and start adding web links right on the page. You simply type or copy and paste the link in the text box and click on the plus sign. No sign up is required. After you add your links, you can click on the create a unique link button on the page. The unique link button creates a website url that you can share with anyone and they will be able to access all the links you added to the site. The downfall to using this method is that you can't edit or add new links.
Now, let's get into the upside. If you create a free account on the site you get a lot more features. Creating a free account only requires an active e-mail account. If you have a gmail account, you can use your login credentials from your gmail account.
Once you create an account, then you are able to get more features. With an account, you can create multiple "wakes" or pages/collections with different links/resources on it. Each "wake" page has it own unique url. You can add pictures, text, and website links to each "wake". You can then share your "wake" with others by clicking on the share button. Anyone who gets the link can see your "wake" on any Internet enabled device. No sign up or password required. You can edit your "wakes" as many times as you want using this method.
In addition, when you make a free account, you can also make "wakes" that other people can edit and add content to. When you make a "wake" there is an add/remove contributors button.When you click on that button, you then enter the e-mail of the contributor(s) you want to add. They will receive your email, be told to make a free account and they will then be able to add content to the "wake" you shared.
If you want to see an example of a "wake" click go to the following url: http://wke.lt/w/s/TPSPx
Wakelet could be used to store links for classes that you are teaching or taking. It can also be used for brainstorming or collaboration projects. You could use this tool to help create a blended learning environment because students could access your collections at home and then discuss the content in class. Collections can be used as electronic portfolios to showcase your students' work. You can can also make collections to share classroom news, announcements or make a digital bulletin board of what your class is doing.
Accessibility of product
This product has some strong accessibility features. This is something that does distinguish from other products like tizmos and pearltrees. The company is based in Europe so there is no VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) available on their site as VPATs are only used in the USA.
Now let's talk about what the product got right/wrong in terms of accessibility:
⦁ Color is not used to convey information. This is a good thing for visually impaired people or people with color blindness so they can understand the information being shared.
⦁ The website can be navigated using a mouse, keyboard, stylus or finger. This means that people with limited dexerity or missing limbs can use the product and benefit from it.
⦁ The website does not have an alternative text for images you add. Alt text is used by people who are visually impaired who use screen readers. Screen readers read the alt text which describes what the picture is about. While it does not have alt text, you can add captions to any pictures you add to describe what the pictures are. Screen readers can read captions.
⦁ The product can work on any Internet enabled device.
⦁ There is no flashy animation so people with seizure disorders can use the tool with no issues.
⦁ Wakelet can be read by screen readers for visually impaired people, but the arrangement of how the items are on a "wake" may make it difficult for them to understand the content.
So overall, pretty strong features for accessibility. Overall this product gets a B+! What a yummy snack!