Curation: Professional Learning Project

Along with Stacia Johnson @staciajo33, we are exploring our love of information in new and exciting ways.  You can see her journey and insights on her blog.

I’ve always been a gatherer of information.  I’ve always enjoyed sharing what I know, sometimes randomly and sometimes purposefully.  It’s not that I want to be viewed as an expert, but I do like to be in the know.  Information seems extremely useful to me.  Although, like Howard Rheingold said in his #etmooc session a few weeks ago, I feel a little bit lately like I’m being chased by information.  Here is a link to that session archive.

Mindfulness, once again, I’m reminded of mindfulness.  Keep in mind my purpose when I am searching, which I touched on in a previous post (point #4).  Also don’t get distracted and forget why you sat down at your computer; a schedule and time limit will help curb this habit.  It’s already happened in this session of writing this blog post, stay focussed.

useful links
Collection or Curation – this article from ASCD Edge member Mike Fisher @fisher1000, got me really thinking once again about the difference between collection and curation.

Beth Kanter‘s content curation ideas are geared more towards Non-Profits but are useful in understanding the purposes and practices of curation.

Nancy White‘s article helps me make sense of why this might be important for me to work on with my students.  Some of the quotes I found useful from were, “Museum curators go through an inquiry process to interpret a collection of artifacts, and then purposefully select, arrange and annotate them to tell that story.  The key phrase here is inquiry process.”,  ”Participatory learning leads to increased understanding.” & “The act of true content curation allows students to construct knowledge.  As teachers, we can build the scaffolding, present the problem or ask the essential question, design the learning scenario, give them the tools, and then turn over the learning to the students.  Perhaps this act is a first step in assuring that students take ownership of their learning.  And, a bonus with this is that students are practicing a very important skill for the 21st century – information literacy.”

Words that are useful to creating a definition:  vetted, organization, annotation, presentation, seek, sense, share, appraise, verify, accuracy, authenticity, validity, niche, purpose, audience, context, synthesis, evaluation, inquiry, quality, understanding

Why is curation important?  and How is content curation educationally relevant to the students?  These are the questions I am contemplating now.  The links above are helping me formulate not only an understanding but a philosophy about information, content, curation and sharing.  This quote is one of the driving forces for my inquiry, “The ability to work with information may well be the most important skill of the 21st century.” (pg. 7 William Badke 2009 Stepping Beyond Wikipedia)

What are my next steps?  How will I engage myself in my inquiry?  Where will my efforts be focussed and where will they lead me?  How will I connect with others to help my learning journey?

1. Thanks to a connection on the #etmooc session, I’ve picked up a copy of Howard Rheingold’s book Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, mostly because I like his quote from Hemingway about crap detection.

2. Learnist, Pearltrees, and Storify are the three curation tools I’m going to try using.

3. I’ve been saving tweets in my favourites and under a #curation column in Tweetdeck for weeks, I’m going to try to immerse myself in that for a while each day and connect with some people from there to share in the learning.

4. I’m going to try to use Beth Kanter’s idea of the Ideal Content Curation Practice, that includes time guidelines for seeking, sensing and sharing.

Is anyone else out there feeling like they are being chased by information?  How do you focus yourself when immersed in the seemingly endless supply of information on the internet?  What tools have you found useful?  What helped your curation practice become more refined?  How do you use these techniques to benefit or with students?