Save, Share, and Stockpile Easily: The accessible way to curate and collaborate

Many of our posts focus on educational technology tools. This post discusses Wakelet, which we feel is useful for anyone who uses the internet.

In 2018, we posted about URL shorteners, making it easier to share resources. Since then, we’ve discovered a new favorite tool, Wakelet.

Wakelet is a wonderful way to save bookmarks so you can access them in any browser on any device, helpful for those of us who jump between browsers and devices. It works best in Chrome, but K also uses it in Edge Dev, the new Chromium version of Microsoft Edge. However, it isn’t JUST for bookmarks!

Share Collection menu from Wakelet. QR code on the left, URL at the bottom with a copy button to the right and icons for Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Google Classroom, Remind, and Microsoft TeamsShare your collections from within Wakelet to Google Classroom, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Remind, or Microsoft Teams. It also provides a QR code and URL. Set your collections to private (just you), unlisted (requires the viewer have the link), or public (open to the world).

Another incredible feature? Collaboration! Invite contributors by name (if connected on Wakelet), email, or with a shared link. Bonus? They can ONLY add to your collection, not delete or edit other items in the collection. They don’t even need a Wakelet account to contribute.

Teachers can easily collect resources from students.  Last May, K helped a teacher whose students make Sways, YouTube videos, and PowerPoints for an end of year project. By sending a contributor link through Remind, the students could add to the collection so the whole class could see the final projects.

Accessibility is important and Wakelet has added features to address this. As of July, Wakelet now has Immersive Reader, a Microsoft accessibility tool. Check out our YouTube channel for the tutorial. But that’s not all! They created another wave of goodness with Read Mode! 

A few browsers have an option for a reading view. With a quick click, the distractions surrounding many articles magically disappear, allowing for easier viewing and printing. Wakelet has added a similar feature with Read Mode. 

But wait, there’s more! And, no, it isn’t an additional $9.95 with shipping. As with everything else in Wakelet, it is FREE! Once in Read Mode, not only do the distractions go away, but you can also use Immersive Reader with all the helpful tools such as Read Aloud, which reads the article in your choice of speeds AND language. Change the theme to add a color background. Personally, I like the black theme with white text for easier viewing. Teaching your students grammar? Have them highlight parts of speech. 

As a teacher, I appreciate the ease of Wakelet to share lists of resources with students, but worry about distractions? Or clickbait trying to tempt you away from the initial article? 

With Read Mode, no more! 

With a simple click of the icon next to the article, you get just the text of the article. Click the Visit Original button to view the full article with images. Click the Immersive Reader button to have the article read to you at varying speeds with translation, grammar tools, line focus, theme colors, and other options to make the reading process easier.

What can you add to Wakelet? Links, text, YouTube videos, Tweets, bookmarks, images, PDFs, and files straight from your Google Drive. Once added, you can edit the descriptions and titles of most (not Tweets). Wakelet auto-populates with an image and description, if available. Sort resources, add, delete, without having to create a new link each time.

Upload your own images for the cover image, background, and individual posts, or select from their free library. You can resize and reposition them, as well.

Missed a Twitter chat? Curate the tweets by searching the hashtag (or keyword or user). If you use Google and Microsoft tools, check out the #HybridEdu chat archive.

Four view options: Media, Compact, Grid and the newest: Mood Board. Media shows the full description and image. Compact is more like a list. Grid and Mood Board look similar to Pinterest.

 

Do you have OpenTab-itis? The habit of leaving dozens of tabs open? A favorite feature is the ability to create a collection using any (or all) tabs that you have open once you install the Wakelet extension.

Wakelet collection: Day Brighteners! For those days when I need affirmation with tweets from @BeckyKeene and @MtholfsenNEW IDEA! Ever have one of those days when you need affirmations? Back in April, @Mtholfsen sent out a tweet that made K’s MONTH! Create a private (or public) collection for messages like that in Wakelet. Text, tweets, etc. Next time you get a tweet that makes your day, send it to Wakelet! Another option: if you have a student out ill, create a collaborative Wakelet for students to post get well messages.

Check out Wakelet’s YouTube channel or their Twitter account. If you are an educator, they have a guide just for you!

Currently, K’s district is a hybrid district meaning students and staff have access to Microsoft AND Google tools.  Sharing through Wakelet gives you agnostic curation!

Welcome to Wakelet, Continue with Google, Continue with Facebook, Continue with Office 365 or E-mail address Password, By checking this box you agree to Wakelet's Terms, Privacy and Rules. Sign Up
Browser login
Log in Log in with email or Log in with Facebook, Log in with Google, Don't have an account? Sign up
App login screen

You can sign into Wakelet with Google, Office 365, Facebook accounts or an email address.

 

 

 

 

frozen wave against sunlight
Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

So what are you waiting for? Dive on in! The water’s GREAT! #WakeletWave

 

 

 

 

Start with the FREE course on the Microsoft Educator Center:

Then, check out K’s collections. Look for others to follow. Create a collection of your own. We even used it to archive our blogposts for easy searching.

Oh, and in case we didn’t mention it enough – Wakelet is FREE!

Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety

For about 5 years, I have been giving assemblies at many of our district’s elementary schools on digital citizenship and internet safety. Several times, I have been asked to share the presentations which have been modified from NetSmartz presentations. NetSmartz has given me the okay to share (links at the end of this post).

NOTE: Having a one-off assembly is only a starting point and should not be the only strategy used to handle this issue. Check out “How to Stop Bullying in Schools” by Megan Holohan for more tips on what works and what doesn’t.

NetSmartz character saying

Each year, I try to change them up a little, adding anecdotes or new tips. They are in 3 categories: Transitional Kindergarten through 1st grade (15-20 minutes), 2nd and 3rd grade (about 20 minutes), and then 4th – 6th grade (about 30 minutes) with sometimes an extra time with just 6th.

Some tips:

  • Accept now that you CANNOT stop all bullying! Your child, your student, even YOU will probably be bullied at some point. I can still remember the girl who teased me in elementary school, where we were, what she was wearing, and what she said to me. I was not (and still am not) a fashion maven, but back then, we had moved from small towns in the Midwest to Southern California and did not have a lot of money.
  • Words have power. Please never say they don’t. When you remember the full name of an 8 year old classmate decades later, words have power. I read that there should be 5 or more positive comments to negative comments. Aim to be the one on the positive side of that ratio.

So what can you do?

Be a presence in children’s lives. Encourage them to speak up (diplomatically, when possible) if they see something wrong. Allow them to ask questions. Teach them how to handle a bully. Role play.

During the assemblies, I ask for 2 volunteers and make one of them “the bully” (often the smaller of the 2 since bullies are usually portrayed as bigger). Next, I ask “the bully” to show the group a mean face. (This often involves growling or giggling.) Then I walk “the victim” through how to respond.

  • “Can you ask them to stop?” Yes.
  • “Does that work?” No.
  • “Could you walk away?” Yes, but they might follow.

Next step, I whisper to the student to walk towards their teacher and tell the other to follow. “Is the bully going to continue now?” No! “Why not?” Because there is a teacher! Walk towards a teacher, a staff member, a parent volunteer, or, if you can’t find an adult, I tell the primary students to find the tallest 6th grader (and let the teachers know that I’ll be telling the 6th graders about it at their assembly so they aren’t surprised if small children suddenly stand next to them.)

This is also a fun moment to role play how students REALLY approach their teacher: “TEACHER! TEACHER! TEACHER!” Try to infuse some lighthearted moments so the assembly doesn’t feel like all doom and gloom. I ask them if their parents like when they tug on them and say, “Mom Mom Mom Mommmmmm” or “Dad Dad Dad Dadddddddddd” to get their attention. The students always laugh and shake their heads no.

Next, I give them a few more options. Compliment the bully! It will often surprise them and render them speechless so you can walk away. Bullies probably don’t feel good about themselves so pay them a compliment. It is really hard to say something negative when being complimented. Brooks Gibbs has a great YouTube video to illustrate this (starts at the 3:44 mark until the end). 

For the last option, I tell the students that me giving assemblies isn’t going to stop bullying. Even adults have to deal with bullying so the goal is to give them response skills. I let them know that though I can’t stop the bullying, but they can! If you see bullying happening, step in and try the steps above. If you don’t feel strong enough to stand up to the bully, just ignore them and invite your friend to walk over to a game or activity. If the bully follows, head towards a grownup.

In summary:

  • Ask them to stop.
  • Walk away.
  • Walk towards an adult.
  • Smile and compliment the bully.
  • Or, if none of those work, hopefully a peer steps up to assist.

pile of Halloween candy Another area we discuss is using the internet. The internet is amazing, but I compare it to a bowl of Halloween candy. Some candy you love, others… not so much, and too much of it can make you sick. Find those pieces that you enjoy and avoid the others!

What's the difference between an online-only friend and a face to face friend? clipart from Phillip Martin ClipartA few weeks ago, I presented at my young nephew’s school. We talked about being safe online and not talking to strangers. If you wouldn’t do it in person, don’t do it online. I give them an example: Would you stand in the middle of the park and shout your name, age, where you live? Then don’t do it online!

During Easter dinner, my adult niece asked how I met my friend, Bonnie, who was coming to visit from out of state. “Online.” I quickly learned that my young nephew had been paying CLOSE attention during the assembly. “Auntie! You said NOT to meet people online!” Oops. I was busted. To clarify, Bonnie and I met about 20 years ago in an online forum for a Disney game. She worked security at the parks (which I was able to verify online) and knew I was a teacher. We chatted online and finally met in person about 10 years later at Disneyland, a very public place, and we were both adults so I stand by my recommendation to children about meeting people online, but do internally laugh a bit, especially now.

Parents often ask if I talk about sexting. Yes, elementary students have had issues with this! It’s sad and scary so, yes, I do address it, but from a different angle thanks to a colleague’s idea. I put up this picture of a young girl with a GIANT snot bubble.

young girl with a giant snot bubble coming out of her nose

This definitely gets their attention. I found this image online marked with Creative Commons rights which means someone posted this picture! We talk about pictures that may seem funny to share with friends, but what if you aren’t friends in a few weeks? Or what about in a few years when you both like the same person? Guess what is going to be shared!

If you take a picture you want to share, SHOW it to your friends, don’t SEND it. That way, you retain control of the image. Once you send an image, you cannot take it back and you no longer get to decide who sees it. This often opens up a discussion that they may want to have with their parents about posting pictures. (Think of how your child would feel about that picture in 10 years, 20 years before posting it.)

Hopefully, this will give you some ideas to talk to your children and/or students. I’ve included the presentation links and other resources that I recommend. If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Twitter @filibuster3.

Below are the links to my 2018-2019 PowerPoint presentations (note, some fonts may be different on your device and need reformatting):

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 school closures, I wasn’t able to get to all the school sites this year so I’ve started doing voiceovers and posting the presentations to YouTube.

Resources:

Recently, in an ISTE discussion, @belmedia shared these resources which I found SPOT ON!

When Kids Realize Their Whole Life is Already Online (The Atlantic)

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/02/when-kids-realize-their-whole-life-already-online/582916/

 

Film Club: ‘If you Didn’t ‘Sharent,’ Did You even Parent?’ (The New York Times-Learning Network)

Note: The short film could be used with students or parents.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/learning/film-club-if-you-didnt-sharent-did-you-even-parent.html 

 

I’m 14, and I quit social media after discovering what was posted about me (Fast Company)

https://www.fastcompany.com/90315706/kids-parents-social-media-sharing

Productivity? Meet Accessibility!

The purpose of this article is to share how some of those tools can make you more productive.

As a former classroom teacher and current technology trainer, part of my job is to find tools to assist staff and students. In July 2017, after being asked to present on accessibility tools at my local Microsoft store, I started collecting resources in a OneNote notebook. In it, I have included Microsoft, Apple, Google, Chromebook, and any other resources that are necessary for some, but beneficial to many.

Tired of ads and clutter distracting you while trying to read an article? Microsoft helped solve that problem with Reading View in the Edge Browser. (Before and after screenshots) Check out some of other features in Reading View such as Read Aloud and the Learning Tools. If you have an iPhone or an iPad, you can use Safari Reader to do the same thing. For Macs, see this site for instructions. Chrome user? Try the Mercury Reader extension.

Internet Search Tools handout in Word next to the same handout in Sway with "before" and "after" inked on them.Trying to do an internet search, but getting too many results? Check out this list of easy ways to fine tune your searches in Bing and Google. You can also learn how to quickly turn a boring document or PDF into a beautiful presentation. View an example here of going straight from Microsoft Word Online into Sway (video also includes the new translate tool in Immersive Reader).

Forgot your reading glasses? CTRL + will quickly zoom in (CTRL – to zoom out, CTRL 0 to return to default) or use the Seeing AI app on your iPhone or iPad or Office Lens, which is now available for iPhone, iPad, AND Android. Read more about both here. Office Lens also has Immersive Reader. Take a picture of an article and it will read it to you! Perfect for long commutes. (Also available in Word and OneNote.)

advanced features for Mouse Properties screen in the Pointer Options tab with Hide pointer while typing and Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key checked.

Presenting on a PC and want to make sure your audience can see your cursor or pointer? Check out these settings to make both more visible  such as showing the location when you press the CTRL key and watch for future Windows 10 updates. @JenMSFT posted about color options on a future build. Cursor & pointer page in Windows 10 settings with option to change pointer size and color with hot pink highlighted

 

Watch for future articles on productivity (AKA accessibility) tools, visit my OneNote for more information, and visit the YouTube channel we started, Greg& Karyn: GKTechies. Simple, no nonsense tutorials with captioning.

You can follow me (Karyn) on Twitter @Filibuster3 and we are starting to use @GKTechies together.

One Slide Wonder

yellow, blue, and white logo IACUE Inland Area CUEThis weekend is the Inland Area CUE Tech Fair and I (K) will be presenting on Google, Microsoft, and Apple accessibility tools and features:  “Accessibility for Some, Benefits for All”.

Accessibility tools are necessary for some, but many could be used by all students. In this session, we will review various tools for Microsoft, Google, and Apple products and discuss not only how they can assist those who need them, but how they could benefit all your students.

Back in November, I presented at the CETPA conference for Microsoft on the amazing Learning Tools and apps like Seeing AI and Office Lens with a PowerPoint that was shared. Also included was a OneNote collection of accessibility resources.

As I prepared for this presentation on a variety of tools, I debated the format, looking at Jeopardy games using PowerPoint or gameboards in Google Slides. I found a great PowerPoint template “Colorful product roadmap timeline” and loved the layout. At that moment, I decided to go with a ONE SLIDE PowerPoint presentation.

Wild thought? Maybe, but how often do you receive a slide deck after a presentation and never look at it again?

I’ll keep you posted with how it goes! Here’s my One Slide Wonder. Sounds like a good hashtag! #OneSlideWonder

Accessibility Roadmap PowerPoint slide https://delivr.com/2rpy3

 

BOO! It’s Boolean tools!

Halloween is coming up so we thought we would deliver an early “treat”.

HANDOUT UPDATED AS OF 2/22/19 TO INCLUDE CATEGORY SEARCH. See the tweet here. (For comparison, I searched philosophy “The Good Place” and got over 3,000,000 results. When I searched philosophy:”The Good Place”, less than 50,000 results!

So you visit Bing or Google, ready to do a search. How many hours do you have to scan millions of results for the information you need? Boolean Tools to the Rescue! Below is a handout K created for a presentation for teachers a few years ago that was followed by requests for a copy to share with the teachers’ own children.

Many of us know about the + and the -, but what about the * and the ~? (Yes, there is a use for that weird key in the top left corner besides emoticons!)

Feel free to comment below if you have found other shortcuts for filtering internet searches. Most appear to work in both Bing and Google.

Here is the link to the handout in Sway. Below is an example of the handout in Word and how it changed when I imported it into Sway.

Internet Search Tools handout in Word next to the same handout in Sway with

URL Shorteners – Why? Which? How?

Today’s post is all about URL shorteners. While there are many out there, my focus is on ones I have used personally. At the end, I’ve created a chart giving you a quick overview of all 4 and their pros and cons.

Why use URL shorteners? They make life easier when sharing a link verbally or when creating a QR code. Below is an example of 2 QR codes. On the left, the original link. On the right, the link using a URL shortener. Which one could be easier for attendees to capture on their phones, especially if far from the screen?

TINYURL.COM

In July 2017, I did a presentation on Microsoft’s accessibility tools for my local Microsoft Store. I created a OneNote resource to share with attendees using a Tinyurl link.  For example, this takes you to our YouTube channel: https://tinyurl.com/gktechiesyt

Tinyurl is VERY easy to use. Simple paste your link and click Make TinyURL! You can also personalize your link by entering a custom alias in the 2nd field before clicking the Make TinyURL! button. Links are NOT case sensitive. https://tinyurl.com/GKTechiesyt works the same as https://tinyurl.com/gktechiesyt.

screenshot of Tinyurl.com homepage "Welcome to TinyURL"

Easy, quick, and free! However, there was no data, nothing to tell me if anyone was using the resource I created. I kept updating the OneNote for me, but had no idea if others were viewing it.

BITLY.COM

Shortly after that presentation, a colleague told me about Bitly. You can personalize the link, change the link title, AND have data. Example: for internet search tips, see http://bit.ly/InternetSearchTips.  Plus, there is a free version! You can see specific clicks in the last 30 days and the top 3 locations.

Now for the cons: What I found frustrating is that I can see the link for my accessibility resource has been clicked 15,368 times in 55 countries (as of 8/26/18), but cannot see the full list of countries. (UPDATE 5/21/19 – more countries are now listed in the free version! UPDATE 7/1/19 – those countries are gone again) Also, Bitly links ARE CASE SENSITIVE. bit.ly/internetsearchtips will not work, but bit.ly/InternetSearchTips will go to the correct resource.

Bitly analytics with a list of countries and a blue circle graph with 15,582 total clicks in the center

 

DELIVR.COM

Then along came Leslie Fisher‘s webinar and I discovered Delivr. WOW! Now I can see a LOT of data so I started sharing my accessibility notebook with this link: https://delivr.com/27zf2. With Delivr, you can pull a report for the last 90 days to view the traffic to your link. As long as I check it within those days, I can keep track of the countries specifically and even states and provinces.

Also, Delivr links are NOT case sensitive. https://delivr.com/27zf2 goes to the same resource as https://delivr.com/27ZF2.

Delivr data as of 8-26-18

So what are the downsides to the free version? Unlike TinyURL and Bitly, you cannot personalize the end of link so it isn’t as easy to share out verbally. You are also limited to only 5 links at a time. HOWEVER, you can change where the link points to at any time.

For example, I created a handout of internet search tips (Boolean tools) in Word (Bitly link). Then, a colleague imported it into Sway (Bitly link), inspiring me to use that medium instead. The Word link had already been tweeted out and I couldn’t change where it pointed so I had to create a new Bitly. With Delivr, I could have changed it, Internet Search Tips (Delivr link), so people who had the original link would get the newer format.

YELLKEY.COM

If you are sharing a link verbally, Leslie Fisher also introduced me to an incredible tool called Yellkey. What is Yellkey? Basically, when you need to share a link easily and quickly, drop it into Yellkey and a URL is created using yellkey.com/ and a common word is added to the end. For example, yellkey.com/star.

Yellkey - enter URL and length of time for key to exist. Next field for selecting time for link to be live. blue button "generate yellkey" made with love by delta lab

Upside/downside? That link only works for up to 24 hours. You set the time, however.

Be aware that links ARE CASE SENSITIVE. The add on word must be lowercase, according to my tests.

Yellkey enter url and length of time for key to exist. 5 minutes, 10, 15, 30, 1 hour, 3 hours, 6, 12, 24 hours

There are numerous other URL shorteners online, some with dubious reviews like AdFly, which sounds great to monetize your resource, but I found posts talking about viruses and scam questions.

Goo.gl has been used by many, but is no longer an option.

 

COMPARISON CHART and SUMMARY

Bitly: free, but can upgrade to enterprise version for $6-7k a year, overall statistics and the last 30 days available, can customize link. Delivr: free for 5 links, subscription plans available - cheapest is $270/yr for 100 links, detailed overall statistics for the last 90 days available, cannot customize link. TinyURL: cost is free, data is none, can customize link. Yellkey: free, no data, cannot customize link.

They are difficult to rank, but I would put Delivr as my favorite due to the INCREDIBLY DETAILED statistics, though you cannot customize the link and you only get 5 links in the free account version. (If sharing a link verbally, you could paste your Delivr link in Yellkey and then have the user bookmark it.)

Bitly also offers free accounts AND you can customize the links and see overall statistics and 30 days worth of data. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the number of links you can create. The free version doesn’t let you change the site the link is pointing to, but you could create a fresh Bitly.

Tinyurl is free, lets you customize, but does not give you data. No sign in.

Yellkey is free, does not let you customize, does not give you data, and has a time limit. Sometimes, I did not like the word it created. One example was Yellkey.com/fear which sounded negative, but you can just create another one. No sign in.