Using Wakelet for blended learning to enhance the inclusive classroom
Samantha Pywell – School of Sport and Health Sciences
Feedback from students in the first year of our new BSc Occupational Therapy highlighted the need to revisit how module content can be displayed on phones. Not every student can bring a computer with them to sessions for a variety of reasons. Overviews of session content on a phone can be difficult to read due to compatibility issues of content and type of phone, along with user’s wishes (e.g. easily navigational menu, bright engaging content, content clearly signposted as to whether it is a website or journal article or video etc).
Using Wakelet to present content to students is a game changer. Wakelets can be easily embeded into Blackboard providing an alternative to module content. Once you create an account, creating Wakelets becomes addictive as does learning about how to use these differently. I have used Wakelets initially to create module content for an introduction to something (e.g. introduction to the hierarchy of evidence) where I used YouTube videos, tweets, journal articles and websites. Then, after creating a couple of introductions to topics for students I created an FAQ list for a research module which I intend to add to as the module progresses. With it being easy to read, students can quickly access the FAQ list and key questions.
Wakelet did a Tweet on different ways to include their content – this included using a Wakelet for blogging and placing a Wakelet in a Wakelet. I’ve discussed today with a member of the Physio course how Occupational Therapy, Physio and many other courses could easily share content by embedding Wakelets within Wakelets on key topic areas. For example, if you want students to look at the specific angle a certain profession would take you can, but you can also see other resources from other courses. There is additional potential hidden as Wakelet adds ways to embed content. As Flipgrid can be embedded easily within a Wakelet, you can record a video in Flipgrid as an introduction to a topic or as a reflection. One of an Occupational Therapist’s core skills is reflection, and I’ve been encouraging students to record video and audio only Flipgrids (and place in a Wakelet) as a way for them to develop their reflection and communication skills. It is possible for educators to become ‘Wakelet ambassadors’ with training and for students to become ‘Student ambassadors’ so there is additional support.
Microsoft OneDrive files are easy to embed into Wakelets, as are YouTube videos and other media. It is therefore possible that a sessions content (including activities for students to do in the session) could be embedded within a Wakelet and then added to Blackboard in an alternative and more inclusive format. A Wakelet can also easily be embedded within Microsoft Teams. I discovered these things as part of doing the DigiLearn Champion pathway, and asking the DigiLearn community, and the Blackboard team lots of questions.