Welcome to the sixth step in our free professional learning series on building your PLN.
In this activity you will explore:
- What is content curation?
- 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.
Watch Harold Rheingold’s interview with Robin Good to learn more about curation.
Benefits of curation
The main reasons why educators curate content include:
- Find, organise and manage information and resources on specific topics.
- Helps keep them informed about the latest information on specific topics which makes them more effective at their job.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
There are a gazilion tools you can use.
To get started:
- Find the tool(s) that you prefer to use for news discovery, for curation and for sharing
- Curate the content that helps you, and is helpful for others.
- 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 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Doug Pete publishes a weekly post of posts that caught his eye by Ontario Edublogs.
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:
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 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:
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:
- 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!
- Other Flipboard users can subscribe to your Flipboard magazine(s) allowing them to easily read the articles you like to share.
- 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:
- Educational. Technology and Blogging tips
- 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:
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.
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.
Refer to the Educator’s Guide to Livebinders to get started.
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:
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.
Check out these examples of how Scoop.it can be used:
- Robin Good
- Harold Rheingold
- Leo Havemann
- Karen Stadler’s Just iPadding Along.
- Information Communication (ICT) Class
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:
We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about PLNs by undertaking one or more of these challenges:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.