Review of Wakelet

Prior to this class I had never heard of or used Wakelet. My first exposure to it was when Dean shared the Wakelet he created for his content catalyst. In our class discussion, many people spoke about how great it is and I was intrigued. As I was still looking for an app to look into, I was eager to see what Wakelet was all about.

When you click on About on Wakelet.com, they describe their mission as, “working to change the way people find, organize and share information. In a world of algorithmically-driven content, Wakelet puts people first, helping them organize and find the most relevant, authoritative and compelling content from across the web”.

What is the purpose? What does it provide the user?

Wakelet is a tool that allows you to save, organize, and share content. It provides the user with one place to curate articles, videos, images, tweets, and anything else you can find online. This is achieved by creating a collection. Collections that you create are private by default. This can be changed at any time to unlisted – only people with the link can see it or as public – everyone can see it. Watch the video below for more information on how to create a collection.

What are the educational uses?

As we teach students to navigate the internet and develop literacy skills such as synthesizing, analyzing, creating and collaborating I feel that Wakelet is a tool that can assist in developing those skills. While there are many possibilites for using using Wakelet in the classroom, I cannot speak directly to them as I did not have the opportunity to use it with students. I had hoped/planned on speaking to someone who has more direct experience with it than me but due to events of the past month it was not possible. Based on my own personal for my project and research on the content catalyst, I would love to use Wakelet with students. I see great potential at all different levels. From providing students with a teacher generated collection, to having students effectively research and develop their own collections, to collaborating with others to develop a collection. Wakelet promotes itself as a “powerful storytelling tool for teachers and students”. They have even developed an educators guide which is available to download from the For Educators section of their website.

What do the terms of service and privacy guidelines mean?

My use of Wakelet has made me a fan and I plan on continuing to use it and tell others about it. As I stated above, I see educational value and believe it would be a useful tool to use with students. Before taking this class that would have been where I stopped. I used it, I liked it and I see value in using it with students. However, that is not the only criteria that should be considered when deciding if it can be used with students. As I read further into the terms of service and privacy policy of Wakelet I discovered some interesting information. I found the terms of service and privacy policy easy to find and for the most part easy to read. While there is still technical legal terms, they have written it in a way that users will be able to understand. Maybe that is just my lens now as I was searching for specific information that prior to this I did not consider?

A summary of the terms of service is that by using Wakelet you are agreeing to all of their terms either as a registered user with an account or as a user without an account. Also simply stated, if you do not agree to the terms, don’t use Wakelet. As I read further I came across the question, can children use Wakelet? The answer: “of course, but Wakelet is not currently directed to children and we expect that use by children will only be done with the guidance, supervision and consent of their parents, guardians and/or authorized school officials”.

This statement led me into the privacy policy which begins with, “At Wakelet, the privacy of you and your students is very important to us. We do not sell any personal information to advertisers or third parties. We only share data with third parties when necessary to provide and improve the service”. Wakelet shares data with the following service providers: AWS, Redislabs, ElasticSearch, Cloudinary, Mixpanel, mailchimp, embed.ly, zendesk, Google Analytics, unbounce, pushwoosh, ANS, slack, and Loggly. The privacy policy also explains that some of the service providers are based out of the European Economic Area (EEA). It goes on to explain, “where we transfer your personal information outside of the EEA, we ensure a similar degree of protection is given to it”. So while Wakelet is not selling any personal information you provide when creating an account or from using their tool, they do share your information with other companies.

So what does this mean for using Wakelet with students? There is an entire section titled COPPA and Students which begins with “you must be over the age of 13 to be a Registered User of Wakelet”. The policy goes on to state that teachers can invite students under the age of 13 to contribute to their collections through the Collaboration feature. It suggests that students can create a nickname, only visible to their teacher and other contributors to the collection. When using the Collaboration feature in Wakelet, students are not required to provide their name, address or other contact information. This means that aside from what policy and procedures exist within your school division, Wakelet is stating that no one under the age of 13 should have an account. See the video below for more information on how to use the Collaboration feature.

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