Talking about content curation

The phrases “content curation” and “digital curation” are some THE keywords in the online world, especially in my library networks. The tools that are spoken about as curation tools are many and varied. I have been trying to  focus my thoughts on what I believe curation means specifically to me. Why is it important to my learning and how do/can I use it with colleagues and also with students and why should I?

I will run a session, or more if needed, for teachers at my school about digital curation tools. The approach I will be taking is explaining why it is a useful thing for teachers to do. When properly used these tools will assist our teachers with their professional learning as well as helping them collaborate with professional colleagues.

The AITSL Professional Standards for Teachers includes a section on Professional Engagement. The first paragraph under this is: Teachers model effective learning. They identify their own learning needs and analyse, evaluate and expand their professional learning, both collegially and individually. One of the ways to demonstrate such learning is through professional reading. It is easy to keeping a record of professional reading and evidence of learning and sharing if you become a good content curator. Content curation also covers the collegial aspect.

Content or Digital Curation is not simply collecting links or a lot of links. Many teacher librarians, myself included, have been collecting links (for example: school topics, research) for years. So:

  1. It not really a creating process as such but rather a process of sorting, arranging and then further publishing about information that already exists in the on-line or digital world.
  2. It is a process of first finding digital content that might be useful then sorting the results for the best/most relevant ones, value adding with annotations and then sharing them in meaningful (organized) ways.

Good curators identify and define their topics or subjects at the outset. They then select what to keep whilst providing some context and annotation. Good curators make sure they correctly credit the sources as they offer their networks appropriate and easy access to their curated sources. Continue reading

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