Review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2014
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WeKWL

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Templates, collaboration options elevate solid graphic-organizer tool

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
1-7
Great for:
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)

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4 images

Pros: Chart options offer a useful approach to evidence-gathering; collaborative features are straightforward and reliable.

Cons: Limited help text and a bare-bones interface might leave some users wanting more.

Bottom Line: Although the interface isn't flashy, this is a solid tool that can provide real value in a classroom.

Introduce students to how they can use KWL charts for assignments in an ELA, social studies, history, or science classroom. Break kids into small reading groups, assign different passages from a text, and have kids make KWL charts for the text. Have kids create KWL charts about a content-area textbook chapter or passage for homework and ask them to submit their charts via email or cloud-based storage.

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WeKWL is a collaborative tool for creating digital KWL charts -- graphic organizers that help kids capture what they know (K), what they want to know (W), and what the expect to learn (L) from class content. Users can choose the basic chart or modified charts that include columns for evidence (E) and corresponding challenges (C). Once users create a new file, they can add entries, one by one, to any column.

After creating a KWL chart, users can export it as a PDF, and share it as a PDF via email, message, or another app on their device. If users turn on the collaborative features, an unlimited number of students can log into the same chart to make edits and add content in real time. WeKWL is one of a suite of collaborative apps that includes WeMAP, WeSketch, WeWrite, and more.

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Graphic organizers give kids helpful templates for organizing their thoughts and ideas, and this app's built-in templates and no-nonsense interface lets kids get straight to the point. Collaboration is easy, too: It's super-simple for kids to create a new collaboration session and to work from multiple devices. The ability to automatically share charts as PDFs is useful as well, making this an effective tool whether kids are working from another app or submitting a completed assignment.

The app doesn't offer much guidance on what a KWL chart is or how to use one, so kids and teachers should have a good sense of the charts' purpose and potential before using it. The interface requires a lot of trial and error (or some time with the manual) to determine what features are available. Framed well, however, this could be a useful classroom tool.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

No-frills interface may confuse some users; teacher needs to create context and appeal.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Several built-in templates offer solid options for users to organize their thoughts and think critically about their learning.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Despite limited in-app help, this is an effective tool for helping students organize their thoughts and set learning objectives.


Common Sense Reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Teacher Reviews

(See all 2 reviews) (2 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jennifer A. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Montclaire Elementary School
Los Altos, CA
Helpful to Organize Information

WeWKL is a fantastic teaching tool. I like the digital nature of it because then students aren't loosing a piece of paper. It is very helpful for my students to see the comments made by their peers as well as anything I might choose to add to further the conversation. The collaboration is much more useful than having each student create their own chart and then sharing these one at a time on an overhead.

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