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Content Curation and the Digital Age

I truly identify with the video above created by 21 century fluency and believe that teachers need to come to grips with curating their world just as much as students do. If teachers don’t understand how to effectively locate, read, evaluate and communicate information in digital environments it is going to be challenging for them to support students to develop those desired skills too.

I loved Rosenbaum’s 3 simple tips for developing curation skills and his analogy of curation being like choosing which information you like and share being like choosing your clothes carefully as a visual representation of who you are and what you stand for.

Creative Commons Licensed image. Retrieved from https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRMDhpr8AWcaoEpwB4xLr-T3-4SGElfsbHOqdpQ-KolAv1TBQR6ZA

Personally I have always found curation to be the most challenging task when learning online in the digital age. I am forever finding useful links, inspiration and resources and then losing them again when I try to relocate them the next day or week. To try to combat this issue and enhance my own digital literacy or fluency, I have explored the following digital curation tools to varying degrees of success.

I love Pinterest as I can easily save and classify website links based on set areas and then link to pinterest boards of others to share my ideas. However, the down fall is that I merely aggregate ideas using Pinterest and you cannot really comment on or rank the quality of the resources you’ve saved or the reasons for saving them. It would be great if they added this option.

 

 

I have explored Diigo and Delicious but I find that the process of saving and organising the links isn’t intuitive and I rarely end up using them. I also believe that this is also because I haven’t  explored the use of these tools with my colleagues enough and feel self-concious sharing my reflections with online connections I’ve never met face to face.

Evernote was one of the first digital curation tools that I began experimenting with. It offered me the ability to save, categorise and share information easily. However, I found that I used up the free account space quite quickly and I haven’t been able to justify paying for the service for the amount I use would use it.

Sites such as the World News feed on Reddit show an excellent example of how informal social curation can work well and provide alternate perspectives, a wider range of sources and criticisms of reporting on current events. Although  there is no target audience, it is important to note that some level of curation is applied in informal social contexts just as in formal ones.

After having a play with Storify – can certainly see its potential for collaborating and grouping links and sources together in a  meaningful way that can be used as an informal lesson planning template or a guide for thinking. However, I don’t find it a useful way of curating thoughts and resources in the present moment as you actually have to go into the site to work out what you want to share and add it in piece by piece. This does have its positives as it ensures deep reflection and thought about resources, but  it is also time intensive, so it’s not something I’d be naturally drawn to use when organising thoughts and ideas for my day-to-day teaching and learning. I like that Storify 2.0 has the option like Tackk where others can add to and comment on your Storify pages. Again, though this has a subscription cost and I wasn’t able to explore the tool in depth.

 

Visser (2011) believes that being a curator is both being a strategist and a curator and then defines the roles of a curator. He defines the roles to be:

  1. Searching, filtering and selecting content to become a taste-maker for the target audience.
  2. Providing curatorial leadership to help other workers within an organization understand what makes valuable content for the brand — so they can be enlisted to create and maintain content based on these evolving criteria.
  3. Spotting trends, and feeding these to the strategists who will use them to help define future direction.
  4. Distributing — identifying channels and fine-tuning them.

I believe that all of these roles are vital in education and they need to be practised by teachers, students and educational leadership teams.  Teachers should select and filter information for their classes, model curation strategies. Leadership teams should be setting an example of how to use curation to enhance education and looking for the trends and future directions for how to refine and distribute information. They should be ensuring that they have a plan and process for curating educational information to support and enhance professional development of their teachers and the learning of their students.

 

Do you agree? Do you have any digital curation tools that you find useful for organising both your own and your pln’s digital information?

 

References

Repman, J. (2014) Curation is the new search Retrieved from http://storify.com/jrepman/curation-is-the-new-search-1

Visser, G. (2011, November 25). Gerrit Visser: Use smart knowledge networks to be a curator. Paper.li.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Emma
    If you like Pinterest, Pearltrees is worth exploring. I have been using it this year for my studies and I like that boards can be embedded into blogs, wikis and websites.

  2. Thanks for your advice Karen. I’ll definitely have a look at and experiment with Pearltrees. Not coming from a library background, content curation has never been my strong point!

    • Thanks so much for your help. Have just been playing with it and am already finding it really helpful. Wish I’d found out about it when I started this course as it would have helped me to organize everything in a much more useful way.

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