As the relationship between education and technology continues to grow, content curation become a more essential and useful skill every day. Here are 9 ways that teachers and students can use content curation tools like Wakelet in the classroom.
1. To host lesson resources
When research isn’t the lesson objective, content curation tools like Wakelet can provide a platform for hosting resources. Far more engaging than a simple printed worksheet or textbook page, each class collection can include links to reference materials, videos, podcasts, and images, with notes available for you to guide the flow of the lesson or ask thought-provoking questions of your students.
2. To host student projects
The ability to effectively research and filter information is a crucial skill for students of any age. An easy-to-use content curation platform allows students to collate their online research in a visual appealing way. They’re able to reorder information in order to tell a story, annotate items with their own notes, and illustrate their points with images, videos, and music. Once completed, projects can be shared with the rest of the class with the click of a button or added to a more traditional written essay by adding a single link or QR code.
3. For personal development
As an educator, you will be continually developing new skills and techniques. Whether it’s listening to an inspiring podcast, picking up top tips from a conference, or reading a thought-provoking article or Tweet, it can be hard to keep track of all the development resources you come across. Content curation is the solution. You can quickly add links to your collections on the go with the Wakelet app and browser extension and revisit them whenever you wish.
4. To create engaging, visual lesson plans
Lesson planning is one of the most time-consuming parts of a teacher’s role, but using a content curation platform like Wakelet can make that time fly! Making your lesson plans more visual and entertaining for yourself will make the planning process more enjoyable and challenge you to be more creative in your lessons. It will also allow you to embed resources into your planning so that when it comes to teaching the class, you’ll have all the multimedia resources you need ready to go, all in one place.
5. To encourage independent learning
Using content curation as an additional lesson resource allows students to engage with a subject independently and explore the areas that interest them. Lesson time may only allow a subject to be covered in brief, but leaving further resources on Wakelet removes this limitation, encouraging students to take initiative and dig deeper into a concept or lesson that strikes a chord with them. Whether it’s a collection of links leading to wider reading on a subject, alternative arguments, lengthy videos or podcasts, these additional resources are a great way to encourage independent learning outside of the classroom.
6. To produce digital portfolios
Today’s students are expected to be digitally literate and able to curate resources from across the web – it’s a crucial workplace skill. However, it’s also a skillset that can be difficult to showcase. Content curation can be used to build a digital portfolio that demonstrates these abilities in a real-world context. Students can document their thought-processes and analytical skills in the way that they choose to present links, the notes they add, and the arguments the links they choose to include convey. Each collection is linked to their profile, the URL of which can then be included on CVs or shared with prospective employers and college admissions departments.
7. For digital storytelling
Digital storytelling has a number of uses in the classroom. History students can be tasked with creating a chronological story of a key moment in history, perhaps an important battle or political summit, while English students could be encouraged to tell a fictional story through multimedia – the 21st century version of an epistolary novel. Wakelet makes digital storytelling easy; notes can be used for long or short-form text, while images, social media posts, and even songs that provide inspiration, can be easily added.
8. To communicate with parents
Keeping parents engaged with the school community and informed of their children’s school activities is an important part of being an educator. Wakelet provides an easy, interactive way to keep parents in the loop, especially when used as a tool to create classroom newsletters. You could add links to students’ projects – whether visual, audio, or written – PDF files detailing homework tasks, or even a round-up of the best tweets from the school’s community on a weekly basis to keep parents informed.
9. To aid differentiated learning
One of the biggest teaching challenges is how to work with a mixed ability group to ensure every student gets the most they can out of a lesson. Content curation can be used to keep different parts of a class actively engaged while the teacher focuses on a particular sub-set of students. The resources can be universal and the tasks allocated dependent on ability or stage; students can be asked to simply read the information, for example, or pushed further to analyse the material or create their own collections in response.