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Welcome to the sixth step in our free professional learning series on building your PLN.

In this activity you will explore:

  1. What is content curation?
  2. How to get started

What is content curation?

We are living in an era of information overload.  There is so much content shared online that we actively seek out people who have good content curation skills to cope with the information overload.

A person with good content curation skills saves us time by shifting through the vast abundance of content on the Internet to select the best, most relevant resource, on a specific topic or theme, which they organize, manage and collate for their own use and share with us.

If you look closely at most educators with a high following on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ you’ll notice that most are great content curators and share excellent resources.  Their sharing and content curation skills helped them build their PLN.

information hydrant
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Will Lion via Compfight

Watch Harold Rheingold’s interview with Robin Good to learn more about curation.

Benefits of curation

The main reasons why educators curate content include:

  1. Find, organise and manage information and resources on specific topics.
  2. Helps keep them informed about the latest information on specific topics which makes them more effective at their job.
  3. Reinforces the meaning of new information.  Content curation is a reflective process.  As you search for and curate the best resources you reflect on their value.
  4. To learn how to curate themselves so they can teach students how to curate content for research, their interests and passion  Curation is an important part of being digitally literate.
  5. To help build their PLN.  Networks actively seek and follow good content curators because they save us time.

The curation process

The key components to making curation tools part of your PLN are:

  1. News discovery tools – Find your preferred news discovery tool to select and aggregate the content.  News discovery tools save time by feeding you the most relevant content.  Examples of news discovery tools include Feedly, Flipboard and following a hashtag in Twitter.
  2. Curation tools – Choose your preferred curation tools to display your content with context with organisation, annotation and presentation.  Examples of curation tools include Scoop.IT, Storify, Flipboard Magazines, Diigo, LiveBinder, EduClipper, blog.
  3. Sharing tools – Select which networks you share your curated content on.  For example, you might share the content on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook while some people will choose to follow your curated content via your curation tools (such as follow you on Scoop.IT, Storify, Pinterest, Flipboard Magazine or Diigo).

Curation process

 

Curation tools

There are a gazilion tools you can use.

To get started:

  1. Find the tool(s) that you prefer to use for news discovery, for curation and for sharing
  2. Curate the content that helps you, and is helpful for others.
  3. Make it part of your routine to curate and share content.

Watch David McGavock’s video to see how he use Netvibes, Scoop.IT and Diigo as his Curation and Learning tools.

Popular curation tools

Which tools you use, and how you curate, is very personal.

As you saw in David McGavock’s video he uses Netvibes, Scoop.IT and Diigo whereas I use Flipboard (for news discovery, curation and sharing), Feedly (for news discovery) and blog, Pinterest and Storify (for curation and sharing) depending on what I’m curating and why.

Popular curation tools include: Blogs; Diigo; Evernote; Flipboard; Livebinder; Pinterest, Scoop.IT and Storify.

Blogs

Blogs posts are a popular way of curating content because:

  • Allows for a detailed followed up and elaboration.
  • You can customize and organize vast amounts of information in meaningful ways.

Refer to Silvia Rosenthanal’s post on blogging as a curation platform for more information.

Check out these examples of educators who curate content using blogs:

  1. Larry Ferlazzo finds and shares daily the latest news of a range of educational topics on Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day as well as curating resources into his “Best of” lists.
  2. Cool Cat Teacher’s Daily Education and Technology for Schools posts are detailed posts of articles Vicki Davis curates in Diigo and then autopost to her blog.
  3. Doug Pete publishes a weekly post of posts that caught his eye by Ontario Edublogs.

For those who are new to blogging we recommend you work through our personal blogging series.  The series takes you step by step through the process of setting up your own personal educators blog.

Diigo

Diigo is a free social bookmarking tool that allows users to share online resources like websites and web 2.0 tools in a private or public group format.

The benefits of using a social bookmarking tool is it allows you to organize and store your bookmarks to an online tool rather than in the browser of your computer.  This means you can log into your account, on any device, any time and easily find your bookmarks.

Watch the following video to learn more about Diigo.

Check out these examples of how these educators use Diigo:

  1. Vicki Davis
  2. Vicky Sedgwick
  3. Anne Mirtschin
  4. John Pearce

Refer to Using Diigo as part of your PLN for more detailed step by step instructions on how to set up and use Diigo.

Evernote

Evernote enables you to collect information, curate resources, find your resources and share with others all from the one workspace.  With Evernote, your notes, web clips, files, images, photographs, voice memos, and handwritten “ink” note can be sorted into folders, tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and access whenever you need them on every device and computer you use.

Evernote also enables you to view, input and edit data even when an Internet connection is not available.

Watch the following video to see how Evernote can be used for curation.

Check out these examples of educators using Evernote to curate and share resources from a conference:

  1. Mila Natasha’s shared notebook from ISTE 2014.
  2. Cindy Vavasseur’s shared note from ISTE 2014 Day 1.

Watch the following video to learn how to use Evernote.  For more information refer to Evernote for Teachers – Getting Started.

Flipboard

Flipboard was originally designed as a social network aggregation, magazine-format app for iPad in 2010.  It is now the most popular of the magazine-like content aggrregator apps for iOS, Android, Kindle and Nook.

Flipboard’s strength is you are able to bring your social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn into one location alongside your favorite news sources and anything else you like to read, or watch (like YouTube) – all while making it easily to share your favorite content with your social networks and enabling you to easily curate your favorite content into Flipboard magazine(s).

Watch this video to see FlipBoard in action.

Flipboard is a powerful tool for curating your own curating your favorite content into Flipboard magazine(s).

Benefits of using a Flipboard magazine include:

  1. A Flipboard magazine lets you quickly curate and share articles you like directly to your own magazine from within Flipboard (or using the Flip It bookmarklet in your web browser) while also sharing the articles with  your social networks at the same time!
  2. Other Flipboard users can subscribe to your Flipboard magazine(s) allowing them to easily read the articles you like to share.
  3. Flipboard magazines can be enjoyed on the web so that any one who clicks on a link can read your magazine using their web browser regardless of whether or not they use Flipboard.

Here are links to some of my Flipboard Magazines:

  1. Educational. Technology and Blogging tips
  2. ISTE Insights – example of how you can use a magazine to curate conference resources.

Examples of other educators using Flipboard magazines to curate and share:

  1. Vicki Davis’s Education, Teaching & Tech.
  2. Kevin Hodgson’s Making Learning Happening.

Watch this video to see how I use Flipboard.

You’ll find detailed step by step instructions on how to set up and use Flipboard here.

Livebinder

LiveBinders is your digital binder for all of your online content and learning.

With your LiveBinder, you can create a central hub full of resources on a topic that you choose.  Most everything that you can think of can be added to your LiveBinder – links to websites, YouTube videos, Flickr images, PDF/Microsoft Word documents, and QR codes are just some examples of rich content for your LiveBinder.

Check out Joy Kirr’s (@joykirr) “Genius Hour” LiveBinder  to see how Livebinder can be used for curatiing resources.

Refer to the Educator’s Guide to Livebinders to get started.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board or pinboard that allows find and curate images, videos or websites.  It appeals to those how like to use visuals as a prompt or way to social bookmark websites.

You add items to your Pinterest accounts using Pins.  A pin is a visual bookmark which could be an image, video, slideshare or a web clip of a web page.  When you click on a pin it takes you to the site where the pin was sourced from so you can learn more.

Watch this video tutorial to learn more about Pinterest.

You can check out how we use Pinterest here.

Examples of other educators using Pinterest to curate and share:

  1. Eric Sheninger
  2. Larry Ferlazzo
  3. Vicky Davis
  4. Joyce Valenza

Scoop.it

Scoop.it allows you to create a web page to share what you find interesting with the world.

It does this combining clever curation tools that make it easy to gather content in one place with a wide range of sharing functionalities to let people know about your Scoop.it page.

Watch this video to learn more about Scoop.it.  For more information on Scoop.it refer to how to keep your content fresh with Scoop.it.

Check out these examples of how Scoop.it can be used:

  1. Robin Good
  2. Harold Rheingold
  3. Leo Havemann
  4. Karen Stadler’s Just iPadding Along.
  5. Kindergarten
  6. Information Communication (ICT) Class

Storify

Storify is an online tool that lets users create stories or timelines using media collected from around the web including Twitter, Facebook, Instragram and YouTube.  Storify is very popular with media organisations for covering ongoing news stories and is used by educators for a wide range of purposes including archiving twitter chats.

Watch this video to learn how to use Storify.

Storify can be embedded into other websites as a Slideshow, Story or Grid.

Below is a storify on curation in education embedded as a Slideshow. 

Check out how these educators use Storify:

  1. Larry Ferlazzo
  2. Alec Courosa
  3. Vicki Davis
  4. Sue Waters

Your Task

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about PLNs by undertaking one or more of these challenges:

  1. Watch Harold Rheingold’s interview with Robin Good and leave a comment on this post to share what you learned about curation from watching the video.
  2. Watch David McGavock’s video and review our list of popular curation tools.  Leave a comment on this post to share what tools you currently use, and why, for news discovery, curation and sharing.  Also tell us which of the curation tools you plan to try and why.
  3. Choose one of the popular curation tools such as Blogs; Diigo; Evernote; Flipboard; Livebinder; Pinterest, Scoop.IT or Storify.  Set up an account with that curation service and leave a link to your account so we can see how you are going with your new curation tool.
  4. Write a post on your blog about what you learned.  The focus here is to reflect on your learning. For example, ‘What did you learn about using curation for building a PLN that you didn’t know?’, ‘What did you like/not like about the popular curation tools?’, ‘What advice did we give that you don’t agree with or we should have included?’  Please include @edublogs if you tweet your post — so we can share your post with our network.  Leave a comment with a link to your post so we can read it!

Also feel free to leave a comment to ask any questions or share your tips.

23 Comments

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  1. The video taught me that the most important aspect of curation is the thought process behind it. A curation has been deliberately created. It’s not just a ton of information that is streamlined according to a topic.

  2. I already have a Pinterest and LiveBinder account, but I’m going to try Flipboard because the idea of having one place to put all of this stuff sounds great to my overloaded brain.

  3. I began using Pinterest at the beginning of the school year. In addition to saving education ideas under the board “Ideas for the Classroom,” I also utilize Pinterest for personal interests, such as recipes, makeup, and fashion. My Pinterest username is Mary Kulin. I just set up a Flipboard account today and have saved many useful articles regarding technology in education. My username is Mary Elizabeth Kulin. After watching the videos, I also have an interest in Scoop It and Diigo.

    • Mary Beth Kulin
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  4. It appears to me that curation is to some extent similar to a search engine that has been refined for individual interests and experiences. The curator filters through an abundance of information, selecting pieces they have deemed to be valid and important and placing them into some form of an online data storage. People should be well-versed in the subject that they are curating in order to make the best decisions about the information. The addition to this is that others are also able to find and view these online curations and use the information that has been refined for them and eliminate the overflow of bad information.

    • Daniel Surovchak
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  5. Wow. Not only do I often feel I am drowning in content. I am now drowning in the choices of curation tools! They look so inviting. The visual elements that help to organise and structure the way you want to store and file significant things is a gigantic leap from the numerical filing system in metal draws that were the only way to file things at the beginning of my working life. David McGavock’s video gave some me lots of new ideas about the tools. I certainly agree with Sue about the idea of having a means by which you could narrow down the choices to a fit with your personal preferences. A little survey or questionnarie or a drag and drop of images that could generate a curation tool to match you. Like a dating site but to find a curation partner! After all the relationship is an intimate one!

    I have posted ‘Curation for the Curious’ on my blog
    http://thinkit.edublogs.org/2014/10/29/curation-for-the-curious

    • Hi Ms Mayling

      Very easy to down in curation tool choices; there are so many to choose from! I did consider setting up a table of the tools and suggestions of what tool to use based on what you are trying to achieve but decided that might make it even more confusing.

      Instead I’ve tried to limit to the more popular tools used by educators so it isn’t too overwhelming.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  6. I set up a LiveBinders account. I had seen it used at a conference before, but I had never tried it myself. I was surprised just how easy it was to set up! I’ve only just started using it, but I’m pretty excited about being able to collect resources for myself and for my students using this tool. Right now, I’m just using LiveBinders to collect education blogs that I often visit: http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=1537093&backurl=/shelf/my. I can see how this resource could be great to use to collect resources for student projects though, as well!

    • Ms K Kauffman
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    • Hi Ms K Kauffman

      Thanks for sharing a link to your Livebinder account. Livebinder is excellent for sharing resources or curating resources but is more time consuming for reading blog posts.

      Have you thought of setting up Feedly and adding those blogs to your Feedly account? The latest posts from all the blogs are automatically feed into your Feedly account where you will be able to quickly read the latest information. You’ll find this faster for reading blogs than using Livebinder.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  7. I can see the importance of curation to have a way to deal with the information stream from twitter, etc. I am new with twitter and it can be overwelming on what to do with all the info. I use pinterest for my art classes at school and like it. I have enjoyed the blog I am creating with my class. I am going ti look into Diigo and Symbaloo more I think that would be very useful. I have looked into livebinder but not tried it yet.

    • Kelly Onyskiw
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    • Hi Kelly

      Pinterest is ideal for art classes. Symbaloo is very popular as a hub for sharing resources with students. Some teaches embed their Symbaloo on a page on their class blog – http://help.edublogs.org/symbaloo/

      Diigo and Livebinder are both for curating links you want to refer back to later.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  8. I am sorry I have not had time to do the activities but I did look at The video. I thought it was interesting. I am not very technological and have a lot to learn, but I am interested in Diigo and Scoop it. I will have to take it slow. I am from the old generation.

    • Mercedes martin
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    • Hi Mercedes

      Hope the video helped! Slow and steady is the best approach. It is better to focus on learning one thing then trying to learn everything and becoming overwhelmed.

      Diigo and Scoop.IT are both good choices. Diigo is really good for bookmarking links that you want to come back to while Scoop.It is a good way of finding new information and easily sharing information with others.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  9. Well, I have watched the animated Robin Good and really understood what he meant about the number of tools out there to use as curation. I also watched David McGavock’s ideal dashboard…but it really made me think it is I who has to go out beyond and explore…everyone has a different take and until I dive in…I will not learn to curate and share…

    • Hi hrowli02

      Great to hear Harold Rheingold’s interview with Robin Good video helped! I would love to have a series of videos like David’s to highlight our own personal preferences for curation tools. We each have personal preferences depending on what we are trying to achieve and our personal learning preference.

      Mine tends to be slightly more visual which is why Pinterest, Flipboard, Storify and blogging suit the way I like to curate.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  10. I currently use two resources for content curation Diigo and Symbaloo. I use Diigo to collect and save all the url’s I come across online. This is my personal bookmarking tool. I use Symbaloo to share out resources with others in an easy to update way. I give one address to a webmix which I can be adding/modifying regularly.

    • Hi Mr G

      Both are really great curation tools. Symbaloo has been really popular to use as a hub to share resources with students.

      Are you aware you can embed your Symbaloo webmix into a page on your blog ( http://help.edublogs.org/symbaloo/ )

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

        • Thanks Dan! I may need a DOH! I even remember reading your post! I’m sure I had shared it on Twitter when you originally published it but maybe I am imagining it?

          Sue Waters
          Support Manager
          Edublogs | CampusPress

  11. For curation, I use Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/cyndigh/education-teaching/) and LiveBinders (http://www.livebinders.com/play/play_or_edit?id=63272), as well as Symbaloo (http://edu.symbaloo.com/home/mix/13eOcLXQE3). I’ve considered looking at Evernote, but can’t seem to find the time to familiarize myself with the program. I am interested in looking into Flipboard so maybe I’ll check them both out this weekend. I’ve used Diigo in the past for a Web 2.0 class but did not like it.

    • Hi Cyndi

      Thanks for sharing your favorite curation tools. I’m the same as you! I’ve dabbled with Evernote but haven’t made enough time to familiarize myself with using it. I think Evernote is a great option to use when you are at conferences and need to records notes offline when there are Internet access issues. Once you have Internet access you can quickly sync the notes with your account and share with others (if you want).

      Diigo is one of the better options for quickly searching and finding links you’ve bookmarked. It would save me time finding the links but I think we are both more attracted to visual curation tools which is why we struggle with Diigo.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  12. Hey, Miss W.
    I’ve completed your activities, and really enjoyed writing them. I just wanted to thank you for posting the activities and to tell you that i’ve enjoyed them!