August 2016 archive

Digital Curation and Storify

I have been experimenting with curation tools for many years. The urge to organise information and collections is part of being a Teacher Librarian. Teacher Librarians are experienced in finding, selecting, evaluating and sharing print and digital collections. As Valenza says human filters, such as librarians can turn overwhelming amounts of information into “gentle and continuous streams” (2012, para 2). The prevalence of digital curation tools in recent years means that digital collections can be shared in highly visual ways. A good example of this is in the right frame of my blog where I have my Pearltrees embedded.

A great blog post by Kay Oddone appeared in my Feedly feed last month that sowed the seed for my digital artefact proposal. Kay’s blog post spoke about the need for not only Teacher Librarians to be curators but for them to get their students involved too. As a networked learner, I commented on Kay’s blog post and even got to interact with curation guru Robin Good!

Storify is a tool that is commonly mentioned in the literature as a good digital curation tool for students. I had dabbled with it before for compiling tweets at conferences but I wanted to explore it further. Using Storify I followed a tip that Joyce Valenza mentioned in a video about social media curation at the Cue 2016 National Conference. Her tip was to search within curation tools. It sounds obvious but it was not something that I was doing all that often. I found a few gems that I had not discovered by doing a Google search by searching within Storify. See below for my Storify experiment.



Valenza, J. K. (2012). Curation. School Library Monthly, 29(1).

Proposal – Knowledge Networking Artefact

Proposed topic: Content curation for senior students

Proposed digital tools and/or spaces:

Brief description of nature of artefact:

This artefact will introduce senior secondary students (years 10-12) to content curation, the ability to organise, categorise, tag, present and share content (Tolisano, 2011). The artefact will present a range of tools that students can use to filter and make sense of vast amounts of information that they are exposed to through digital networks. The artefact will be used by teacher librarians during research and information literacy classes and be made available online.

Assignment plan:

  • Conduct a literature search (week 5)
  • Using my preferred curation tool Pearltrees, curate relevant resources from internet search, social networks, and literature search (week 5 and 6)  
  • Converse with students about how they bookmark, aggregate and curate resources for school and personal interests outside of school. To be used as quotes in the video (week 5 and 6)
  • Synthesise the information curated (week 7)
  • Create a storyboard of images, clips and narration for the video (week 7)
  • Just-in-time learning of specific features of Adobe Spark using tutorials and help (week 5 onwards)
  • Compile and narrate the video with my own voice (week 8 and possibly week 9)

Curation (song parody) from joyce valenza on Vimeo.


Tolisano, S. R. (2011). Students becoming curators of information? Retrieved from

Network Literacy

Image from Pixabay CC0

In 1994 I was a young graduate who worked in a university library, full of books, microfiche and CD-ROMs. I taught Information and research skills classes but network literacy was unheard of. In my spare time I went to the cinema to see Four Weddings and a Funeral, bought compact discs from JB Hi Fi and anticipated new episodes of Friends on the television. I did not have a mobile telephone and although a new web browser, Mosaic was launched that year, I was yet to experience the world wide web.

This is the same year Charles McClure wrote about network literacy. He could see that the the new “network of networks” would require new skills to use electronic information effectively (1994). He was concerned that individuals who were network illiterate would be disadvantaged and become second class citizens. He proposed that people should understand how networked information occurs, know how to access it, manipulate it and analyse it for personal and professional life.

Fast forward seventeen years and Howard Rheingold is using YouTube to talk about network literacy. Like McClure, Rheingold believes people need to understand network architecture and how they work technically. The rest of Rheingold’s views on network literacy differ from McClure’s because of the growth of the internet and the impact social networks have had. Rheingold emphasises the socially networked world that involves collaboration and sharing. Network literacy allows people to form groups, participate and innovate (2011).

Though McClure and Rheingold’s definitions differ due to the evolution of networks, both agree that network literacy involves knowledge and skills that are essential for twenty-first century literacy. Without network literacy, individuals risk being excluded from society and unable to benefit from social capital through online social networking (Pegrum, 2010).

As I have grown as an adult, so have the networks that I use. Although my library training was in the pre-internet era, it instilled in me skills that have helped me adapt and be open to new network experiences.


McClure, C. R. (1994). Network literacy: A role for libraries? Information Technology and Libraries, 13(2), 115-125. Retrieved from

Pegrum, M. (2010). ‘I Link, Therefore I Am’: Network literacy as a core digital literacy. In E-Learning and Digital Media, 7(4), 346-354.

Rheingold, H. (2011, February 13). Network literacy part 1 [Video file]. Retrieved from

Rheingold, H. (2011, February 13). Network literacy part 2[Video file]. Retrieved from