At the start of the 2017–18 school year, I challenged our staff at Cedar Crest Middle School (CCMS) to tell the story of our school—to showcase the learning that was happening, the community that we were building, and the positive aspects of our school that were occurring every day—through social media. Our staff quickly took to Twitter and started to tweet regularly. It was awesome, and I was proud of our staff for embracing this challenge.

After a few months of regular tweeting, we faced our first challenge. Not all of our families were on Twitter—or any social media at all—and were missing out on the best and most engaging content about CCMS’s story. How could we find a way to reach all of our families without having to post on every platform and help our families without social media connect to our school story? Enter Wakelet.

Why Wakelet?

Wakelet is a curation site that allows teachers and leaders to collect links to websites, social media posts, pictures, documents, and PDFs in a one-stop shop for their constituents. Wakelet is a versatile and intuitive platform that allows its users to store information in collections. These collections can be accessed through individual links or via a customized link to the user’s homepage.

I discovered Wakelet on Twitter and started using it about a year ago. I have found Wakelet to be a valuable tool that increases our efficiency and allows us to reach more of our students, families, and community. I love the power of Wakelet. It lets our teachers use the social media platform of their choice while providing me the opportunity to curate all of the posts to create a weekly collection that I publish for our families and community.

Our school’s goal was to tell our story to as many of our families as possible. However, more than once I heard from families that they did not want more social media accounts. Wakelet was the solution to this concern! I am able to collect all of our tweets, social media posts, pictures, and documents into one space and provide families with one link to access all the amazing stories from one week at our school! Wakelet is a great vehicle for me to share as much information efficiently and effectively as possible.

How does Wakelet work?

Wakelet allows me to curate tweets, Instagram posts, and documents to our collection each week—highlighting the awesome learning, both academic and social-emotional—that take place in our school. Adding information to your collection is as easy as clicking a plus sign or copying a link. I am able to search Twitter by username or hashtag or upload a picture from my phone. I can take advantage of our school hashtags like #FalconPride, #FalconsCARE, #FalconFriday, #CommUNITY, and #FalconFamily and add tweets to my collection with a simple click.

I capture the stories from our school by the week so that our students, staff, and families can find related stories, tweets, or posts by date instead of having to scroll through hundreds of posts or tweets. I have even created collections of special events like our #MiniTHON or #CommUNITY Day to set those events apart. I publish our weekly Wakelet that I call “This Week at CCMS” every Friday before I leave school for the weekend. And it doesn’t take me long—about 15–30 minutes—to curate the weekly Wakelet.

My customized Wakelet page gives our families and communities access to all of my collections from our school. I post my customized link that is easy to remember and accesses all of my collections. The link to my Wakelet account is on my Twitter profile, our school website, my blog, my Instagram profile, and my e-mail signature.

Wakelet has become a tool for efficiency in our school. It is a way for our stories to be curated, collected, and saved in one location for easy access to all of our stakeholders. And Wakelet even has application for professional learning; check out the collection I curated when I recently guest hosted #prinleaderchat with fellow Digital Principals of the Year Kristina MacBury and Brian McCann. 

School leaders have an awesome responsibility to share the stories of the amazing things happening within their schools! Wakelet offers an easy-to-use, one-stop shop for all of our families to access information about our school. How will your school tell its story?

Mariah Rackley was named one of the Digital Principals of the Year for 2018 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Mariah is completing her 18th year at Cedar Crest Middle School and her 10th as the building principal. Mariah’s professional interests include leadership, student agency, personalized learning, innovation, creativity, and motivation theory. Follow her on Twitter @MrsRackleyCCMS. 

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