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!

Keeping Your Sanity During the Holidays

Updated November 2019: The holidays are approaching and it can be a hectic time for some. Here are a few free apps/websites/programs that help us keep our sanity.

DECEMBER 2019 UPDATE: Check out this Wakelet collection of Google activities from @EricCurts, adapted by me (@Filibuster3) for Microsoft along with other holiday ed tech ideas.

Purple OneNote logoFirst off, in case you haven’t noticed a trend in our blogs, we LOVE ONENOTE! It is a free program from Microsoft that is app-based, software, and web-based so it is with you wherever you go! If you don’t already have a Microsoft account, here’s a referral link which gives you some extra storage space. Best Twitter account to follow for updates? Definitely @mtholfsen!

schoolhouse at night with star trails in the skyWe posted a YouTube video to our channel that shows how K uses OneNote, Office Lens, and CopyMeThat for organizing recipes, but OneNote can organize so much more! Add a checklist for things to do, gifts to purchase, cards to send, what to pack for that holiday trip, etc. Create a receipt section and use the Insert/Camera feature (or Office Lens, another free app from Microsoft) to keep track of receipts and costs. (Tax season is coming!)

Copy Me That logo with grey and red kitchen utensilsIf you aren’t familiar with CopyMeThat, check out the video. It starts around the 3:55 mark. One click and those online recipes are put into your collection without all the distractions and extra information. It is like Reading View (Edge and Safari browsers) or Read Mode (Wakelet) for recipes!

Microsoft Sway logoWant to collect family pictures? Create a shared OneNote notebook and let everyone add their memories, pictures, audio messages, and more! Another option to keep the kids busy is have them create a Sway including videos, pictures, audio files, etc. You can insert the Sways directly into OneNote. Aren’t familiar with Sway? It’s a free app from Microsoft. Again, here’s a referral code if you don’t already have a FREE Microsoft account. (Using the code gets you and us a little extra OneDrive storage. Everyone wins!)

black pen making white swish on a blue backgroundOnce you have that FREE Microsoft account, you also will have access to Microsoft Whiteboard which is now web-based if you have an Office 365 account, but is also an Apple app and Windows 10 app/feature which work with personal Microsoft accounts and Office 365 accounts (work/school). Collaborate on boards to write messages, reminders, leave notes for yourself, etc. We use OneNote for holiday shopping lists, but you could also use Microsoft Whiteboard. Follow @ianmikutel on Twitter for helpful tips and updates.

green and white Flipgrid logoIf family and friends are not able to be with you, consider using Flipgrid to create video messages. (Also good for entertaining children! Give them a prompt. Suggestions: favorite family memory, what makes you thankful, why is someone thankful for you, funniest memory from this year, etc. Recently, K tweeted an idea to have kids describe how someone in their family makes their favorite dish during the holidays. When she taught preschool, her school did a similar project for Mother’s Day. A favorite? “My mom makes pizza!” “How does she make it?” “She picks up the phone and calls Pizza Hut!”) It can also be used within Wakelet (Learn about Wakelet later in this post or read our full blogpost on Wakelet.)

Seeing AI - Turning the visual world into an audible experience.Have trouble reading the small print on ingredients? Use Seeing AI (iOS) to have it read to you or scan the barcode to identify the object. Do you have a family member who is having difficulty remembering people? Tap the 3 line icon in the top left to open Face Recognition. Take pictures of family members and label them with their relationship: Carl, your youngest son, or Violet, your granddaughter. When they use the Person feature with faces you’ve entered, it will tell them who is there. Here’s a quick overview of Seeing AI.

Wakelet

 

A few months after originally writing this post in 2018, we learned about Wakelet and haven’t looked back since. Similar to OneNote, you can use it for a variety of resources. One feature that makes it unique is the collaboration feature. Share a contributor link to allow others (even if they don’t have Wakelet accounts!) to add to a collection. Use it for YouTube videos, family pictures, important files organized by topic, or read our Wakelet blogpost for more incredible ways to use Wakelet, which is web-based, app-based, and FREE!

Need more activities? Create a family secret code using Microsoft Font Maker. Open Excel and create pixel art family portraits or holiday images.

 

You don't always have to agree with someone, but it should take much effort to be nice.

One thing to remember during the holidays, you don’t always have to agree with someone, but it shouldn’t take much effort to be nice.

 

PAUSE P-Is it positive? A-Is it accurate? U-Is it understandable? S-Is it spam? E-Is it enlightening? Before you post or send, pause and consider if it is Postive, Accurate, Understandable (check for clarity and accessiblity), Spam (fake news), and is it Enlightening (or Educational)? Consider if it will make a Difference (PAUSED) Will it make things better or worse?If someone upsets you, before responding, think about if whatever you say will make a difference or remember that they may be going through things you don’t know about. PAUSE before responding, whether in person or digitally.

 

🎁HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!

banner with 3 dogs: Filibuster (basset hound) in a Santa hat and green coat "The Original Filibuster" and then Dug, a boxer in reindeer antlers and TeddyRoo, a golden dog with a Santa hat, all in front of presents and a Christmas tree - banner along the bottom "Happy Holidays to All!"

My Adventure with iBooks Author After Using OneNote

2/26/2019 UPDATE: IT IS LIVE! My FREE “book” is now available in the Apple Books store for Mac and iOS. 

Both of us work in educational technology. Because of my (Karyn) background in special education, my passion project is accessibility. In July 2017, I was asked to present at our local Microsoft Store on accessibility tools so I created a OneNote to share.

Bitly analytics Locations: United States 13,808, Canada 522, United Arab Emirates 352, +52 more 686 with a blue circle graph for 15,368 total clicks in the centerThat original OneNote is continually updated and has been clicked over 15,000 times in over 50 countries! (I LOVE analytics! Learn more on our blogpost comparing various URL shorteners. I originally used Bitly, but switched to Delivr.)

However, though we use Windows/Microsoft programs (in addition to Google, Apple, etc.), we realized others might not and so I decided to duplicate the collection into an Apple iBook using iBooks Author.

Purple OneNote logoAfter having used OneNote for the collection for almost 2 years, this was a drastic change. OneNote allows me to drag and drop content. I can easily move pages and sections. If I paste in a YouTube link, the video is automatically embedded. I can right click on images to quickly add alternative text for those who use screen readers. With OneNote, there are draw tools, typing tools, insert features, translation capabilities, and, the icing on the cake, Immersive Reader with the ability to read back what I have typed, translate, highlight grammar, and more.

iBooks cover: First Edition - Focus on Auditory Tools - Filling your Accessibility Toolbelt with Apple, Google, Microsoft and more, collection by Karyn Fillhart Bitmoji in bottom left corner saying Knowledge is Power with brown haired woman wearing glasses sitting at a deskiBooks Author has templates that provide a beautiful book experience. I love the look. However, after the ease of OneNote, iBooks Author is frustrating. To insert video, I have to upload the video file which means downloading files available on YouTube. Since it is a book format, I changed my mind about organization and decided to have a section for various platforms so the Microsoft tools and features would be grouped, the Google, the Apple, etc. No problem in OneNote. Big problem in iBooks Author. Apparently, you cannot move pages around without the tedious copy and paste method.

My goal is still to create an iBook, but I have decided to take it in smaller bites, to create an iBook for individual sections from OneNote. I will be converting the auditory section first with tips for those who may benefit from extra auditory support.

If you have used iBooks Author and have tips, I would appreciate any suggestions! Also, do you have a favorite tool/program for sharing large amounts of information? We’d love to hear about it!

Comment below or DM me on Twitter @Filibuster3 or our joint Twitter account @GKTechies.

FAVORITES (as of right now)

In the last few weeks, I’ve discovered some pretty amazing websites which has prompted me to blog about current #EdTech favorites that make life, education, jobs easier. #WorkSmarterNotHarder

In no particular order, here are some FREE!!!! tools, apps, and websites to check out!

Purple OneNote logo1. If you don’t know OneNote, you are missing out! So I said “in no particular order”, but THIS is my number one. I use it DAILY, both personally and professionally. It is a mobile app, Windows 10 app, software, AND web-based so it is with you EVERYWHERE!

So how does it help – Remember Trapper Keepers? Those coveted binders in the 80s with the folders inside to organize your classes? That is basically OneNote. It’s a digital binder for organizing just about anything. Create as many sections as you need with as many pages with as much area on each page to sketch, insert images, YouTube videos, documents, etc.

Potential uses (how I’ve used it):

  • homework agenda
  • vacation planning
  • organize IEP paperwork
  • kids’ artwork (section for each grade with pages for favorite projects, writing, etc.)
  • saving magazine articles so you can recycle the physical magazine
  • share tutorials by topic
  • journal
  • conference planning
  • photo album with photos AND videos!
  • lesson planner (including the digital whiteboard)
  • too many more to list, but check out @OneNoteC on Twitter for more OneNote information

Needless to say, I LOVE ONENOTE!

Rewordify.com Understand what you read.

2. A few months ago, while in a webinar with @LeslieFisher, I learned about Rewordify.com. An informational handout and quick start guide are provided. Basically, you paste in text and it simplifies the wording. Great for English language learners. Personally, I have used it when reading a vocabulary-ridden article and just needed to rest my brain!

 

Purple Smmry logo with an arrow on each side

3. Along the same lines, check out Smmry.com. Paste in text, a link, or upload a file and it will summarize it into a designated number of sentences. The default seems to be 7, but you can adjust it. How would I use this? When short on time, facing a long article, and I just want to get the gist of it, the CliffNotes, if you will. Students could use it to look for key points or teachers could use it as a lesson to determine if it really pulls out the main ideas. Thank you, @ksuding, for sharing this on Twitter!

 

red Office Lens logo

4. Office Lens! Office Lens is an amazing app available on various devices, but the iOS version is my favorite due to Immersive Reader. For a quick demo, see the video on our YouTube channel. Take a picture of an article, adjust the size of the text, and even have it read to you.

 

Seeing AI - Turning the visual world into an audible experience.5. Last, but not least, on the list is Seeing AI. Seeing AI is an iOS app to help those with visual impairments. See the video on our YouTube channel for an overview. It will read a document, read handwriting, identify currency, describe the scene around you, even help identify someone near you. You can save the image so if it “sees” that person in the future, it will tell you who it is, which could benefit those with memory issues. During my initial tests of the app, I noticed it often gave the person’s emotion which made me think of those who have trouble reading the emotions of others. So many possibilities!

We would LOVE to hear about YOUR current favorite apps, websites, and software – the tech that makes life easier and allows you to work smarter, not harder!

Tweet or DM me on Twitter – @Filibuster3, comment here, or comment on our YouTube videos.