Mrs. Cook’s Corner

Curating Content to Collaborate with Colleagues

How can educators in my district collaborate with colleagues to curate and share resources with each other?

I work for a district that has 20+ elementary schools and I find that it is difficult to collaborate with other educators in my grade level across the district to share resources and ideas.

In the six years that I have worked in my district, I have gotten to visit another campus to watch another teacher teach exactly one time. It was an amazing experience. I got to see what anchor charts they were using, how they structured their learning targets, what resources they were using, how they interacted with teachers, what small groups looked like, how they set up their schedule, how they transitioned between subjects… I could go on and on. Needless to say, this interaction was completely valuable to me because I had an opportunity to compare what I was doing in my class as well as learn new strategies to improve on my practice. Unless you are a mentored new teacher or on an improvement plan, these opportunities to visit other classrooms are very rare.

Another opportunity I have to interact with colleagues is at district trainings. We are given information in the form of handouts, Powerpoints, and by OneNote. I don’t know about you, but I will get pretty excited by a new idea, strategy or resource that was shared by the trainer or expanded upon by a fellow educator. I will take notes or a photograph to remind me to implement it when I get back to the class and then life happens and I forget about it, until I remember- but by that time, it’s a distant memory. I can’t find where I wrote it down, or when searching through the 4,577 photos on my phone, I ask myself, “was that training before Christmas?” As if that would help find it’s location.

My life in pictures.

And then there is the greatest invention of them all, social media. I always find the greatest ideas, links to blogs, articles to read, and of course I don’t have time to read them just then, so I save them to my collection, where they are lost forever!

So this week, I made it my mission to come up with a solution to my problem- How can colleagues share what they are doing with others? while addressing the following criteria:

Criteria for collaboration tool. Produced by wordcloud.com

Wakelet.com is a tool that I think could be used by educators to help us showcase what we are doing in our classrooms in order to share with others across our district.

Wakelet can be used to share curated information with others. In this post, I am going to concentrate on how teachers could use this tool to share with other educators, but please understand that it can be used as a tool for teachers to students, teachers to parents, as well as outside of the classroom between other groups.

I think teachers want the opportunity to learn from each other in a space and time that is convenient to them. Educators enjoy seeing lessons in action as well as understanding the purpose behind them. With Wakelet, educators are able to curate collections that:

  • have introductions.
  • explain the lesson and give context.
  • are organized.
  • make connections to the standards and curriculum being taught in the classroom.
  • allows its users to curate all media types: videos, links, tweets, Instagram posts, pictures, text, PDF’s, and student/teacher commentary to tell a story or show the progression of a lesson.
  • Wakelet has partnered with Flipgrid so you can reflect on the material and tell how you are using it in your class.

Below, I have curated all of the resources (videos, blogs, information) that I have used in order to prepare for this blog in Wakelet form. I am hoping that you can get a sense of how it could be used to collaborate with other educators.

ISTE Standard 4 Collaborator

Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems. Indicator A: Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.

In this week’s post, I think that I have found a tool that could be very useful for educators in my district that would allow us to “visit” each others classrooms and collaborate with each other. I think that it addresses ISTE Standard 4 in that it allows us to learn from each other in order to improve our practice in a time that is convenient for all.

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4 thoughts on “Curating Content to Collaborate with Colleagues

  1. Melissa,
    Thank you for the helpful resources on Wakelet. It is a good tool to connect teachers, students and parents which can save time and space limitation to build collaboration among them. And Wakelet also allows a variety of media types which can support teachers to use whatever formats of resources that they are comfortable with. Thank you for the sharing.

  2. Melissa, what a cool tool Wakelet is! I love the way you used it for and in this post – very helpful for readers to understand how it works. I have information all over the place, and I like the way Wakelet can be a visual and organized archive. Thank you for this.

  3. I want to introduce my computer science students in my JavaScript class to Wakelet. Often, when brainstorming ideas for their website project, they visit many, many different websites. They struggle with keeping track of the interesting controls and presentations used on all of these websites. Using Wakelet, they can capture each of these visited websites for later research and use it as references in their final project, and even in their final presentation. Terrific!

  4. “In the six years that I have worked in my district, I have gotten to visit another campus to watch another teacher teach exactly one time”. Isn’t this a sad statement? This also makes me think about the student teachers we work with. Why do we keep them in a silo? How can we expose them through Instructional Rounds that are intentionally supportive? You have created a system that would make visiting and learning from each other the norm instead of the exception. I think about how great it felt to give feedback that was positive and supportive. When this happened we watched classrooms grow in instruction, teachers grew as confident facilitators and the mood of our school was infectiously positive. Starting from a positive and creating a norm of collaboration means that when critical feedback does occur it can come from a place of trust and support instead of criticism and judgment.

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