Curation: Creatively Filtering Content

We are living in an era of information overload.  So much content is shared online that curation is needed as a way to get value out of the information flood.

Content curation is the process of shifting through the vast abundance of content on the Internet to select the best, most relevant resource, on a specific topic or theme,  so that we can organize, manage and collate the content for ourselves and share with others.

Content curation is about working smarter and not harder.  Content curation is also a reflective process; as you curate resources you reflect on their value.  Reflection makes new information stick in your brain.

Why is curation important?

Curation is a life skill and an important part of being digitally literate.  Educators need to know how to curate information so they can teach students how they can curate content for research, their interests and passion. As part of this process educators need to encourage students to curate information using techniques that address their own personal learning needs.

While at the Edutech National Congress & Expo I curated the best resources shared from the Edutech conference into a Flipboard magazine.  An important lesson I learnt from curating the Flipboard magazine is curation is a very personal process.  As individual we have our own different learning styles and techniques; and this can be reflected strongly in how we curate and share content.

The purpose of this post is to showcase all the different ways content was curated at the Edutech National Congress & Expo to:

  • Provide a deeper understanding of curation.
  • Provide inspiration to try alternative curation methods.
  • Make you appreciate the importance of curation.

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

The curation process

The curation process includes the following types of tools:

  1. News discovery tools – used select and aggregate the content.  All about saving 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 - used to display your content with context with organisation, annotation and presentation.  Check out these examples of content curation tools.

At a conference you might also use note taking tools such as Google Docs or Evernote to document information from each session, then supplement your information by finding additional content using news discovery tools and finally share the most relevant resources with your network using curation tools.

Curation process

Curation tools

There are a gazilion tools you can use.; and which tools you use, and how you curate, is a personal as the tools you use to build your personal learning network (PLN).

Curation is as simple as:

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

Popular Curation tools

Here is a summary of popular curation tools from our survey of 190 educators.

Favorite Curation Tool

Second Favorite Curation Tool

Below are examples of all the different ways educators used to curate or share information from the Edutech National Congress & Expo.  Comparing the tools used to curate at EduTech with the curation survey results highlights choices are personal and based on the outcome you’re trying to achieve.

Blog posts

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.

Check out Silvia Rosenthanal’s post on blogging as a curation platform for more information.

Blogging as curation

There are two main approaches used for conference presentations:

  1. Reflective post - your reactions to their presentation and your thoughts on what they are saying/shared.
  2. Summary post - summary of the content shared during the presentation.

Martin Pluss’s Sir Ken Robinson’s Keynote EduTech 2014 post is the most amazing example of a summary post.  Martin wasn’t at the conference.  He wrote this post entirely by curating tweets shared using the #edutech hashtag.  Any tweets he wanted to refer back to later he marked as favorite using his twitter client.  You’ll find Martin’s EdutTech Day 2 post here.

Below are Martin’s favorited tweets from Ian Jukes’s presentation:

Favorite tweets

Here is how you can do this using TweetDeck:

1.  Add your hashtag term to the search box in TweetDeck and press Enter.

Add search term

2.  When the search window loads click on Add Column.

Click on Add Column

3.  Your search column will load in TweetDeck and all tweets using that hashtag will be updated as they’re tweeted.

4.  Mark any tweets you want to refer back to later by clicking on Favorite.

Favorites are represented by a small star icon next to the tweet and are normally used when a twitterer wants to save (refer) to a tweet later.

Favorite

Learn more about using TweetDeck here.

Here are examples of reflective posts from the Edutech conference:

Brain storming tools

Brain storming tools allows you to collaboratively organize your thoughts and ideas.   The two different brainstorming tools used by educators at the Edutech conference were:

  1. Popplet
  2. Mindmeister

Popplet is a popular collaborative brainstorming tool that can be used to create graphic organizers, timelines, and many other visual organization forms.  Popplet is also a powerful presentation tool.  Students can create popplets on their computers or using the iOS app.

Check out Nick Jackson‘s Popplet from the Edutech conference.

Nick used Onenote to save notes on his tablet.  This allows him to scrawl with stylus, draw images, add links and be messy.   Later he used this notes to create his popplet or a mind map using Mindmeister .  Below is a copy of his original notes.

Visual notes

Mindmeister is an online tool that allows you to create, share and collaboratively work on mind maps.

Here are where you will find Nick Jackson‘s Mindmeister’s created from Edutech.

Flipboard

Flipboard is my main news discovery and curation tools because:

  1. It allows me to easily aggregate content from a range of different sources.
  2. Quickly curate and share articles I like directly to my own magazine from within Flipboard,  using the Flip It bookmarklet in my web browser, while also sharing the articles with my social networks at the same time!

For conferences and twitter chats I subscribe to hashtags inside my Flipboard account.  Tweets using the hashtags are automatically feed into Flipboard where I read through the information shared and then curate the best resources into my FlipBoard magazines.

Here is what it looks like inside my Flipboard account.

Flipboard

Here is a link to the Flipboard magazine I created for the Edutech Conference

Flipboard Magazine

This video explains how I use Flipboard to find, curate and share content.  You’ll find a complete step by step guide to setting up Flipboard here.

Infographic

Another way to curate information is to use an Infographic.  When students create infographics, they are using information, visual, and technology literacies.

Check out Paul Hamilton’s infographic.

Here is where you’ll find more information on infographics.

Scoop.it!

Scoop.it! is a curation platform that enable users to collect news, articles, and other sources found on the Internet, and share them on their own custom-themed Scoop.it! site.  Scoop.it! is like a social bookmarking website but with a visual, online magazine-like format.

Some bloggers set up their Scoop.it! account to autopost their scoops to their blog.  You can also embed a link to your Scoop.it site in a post or page.

Reason why educators use Scoop.IT include:

  • Provides a visual space to curate specific topics into elegant magazines.
  • Visually attractive, customizable and connects easily with other social media services. Scoop.IT allows you to curate and publish content simultaneously and easily.
  • Provides useful analytics. 
  • Easily access curated content on all devices.

Here’s Learning E-nabling Scoop-it! from the Edutech Conference.

Slideshare

SlideShare is a site where you can host your presentations and share with others.  Slideshare is ideal for those who want to embed Presentations in their posts and websites rather than upload their PowerPoints directly and insert as a link.

It’s also an excellent site for locating Presentations created by others.

Check out the following Slideshare created to share information from the EduTech Conference.

Storify

Storify allows you to curate your own stories from photos, video, tweets, what people post on social media sites and your own narration.

kdcollins_ed’s EduTech 2014 is an excellent example of using a Storify for curating a conference.

Here are other Storify’s created from the conference:

Here’s a quick video on how to use Storify.

Visual Notes

Visual notes created on tablets were very popular at the EduTech conference.

Below is a selection of just some of the great visual notes shared!

Video hosting websites

Videos are a great way of curating and sharing content.

Check out Claire Amos’s EduTECH – What we heard and what we took away video.

What do you think?

Remember the examples I’ve provided were of all the different ways educators used to curate or share information from the Edutech National Congress & Expo.   Other popular curation tools include Diigo,  Twitter, Evernote, Pinterest, Facebook, BagtheWeb, Livebinders, Pearltrees, Listly, RebelMouse, Symbaloo, Delicious, LibGuides, MentorMob.

Have I missed any important curation tips?  I would also love to hear how you curate!

Let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to add it to the post!

6 Responses

  1. Rolfe Kolbe (@rolfek) says:

    What a fantastic post on so many fronts, thank you! A great summary of curation tools with examples of use and also the best round up of personal takes on the EduTech conference as well. Thanks!

  2. Kim Flintoff says:

    Hey Sue, You might look to adding GroupMap to your brainstorming tools – allows a range of structured collaborative mapping.

  3. Sue Waters says:

    Hi Rolf – Thanks for the nice feedback. Hope the links to all the content from EduTECH helped.

    Hi Kim – Thanks for sharing GroupMap. I will definitely check it out. Do you have a link to a GroupMap you’ve created? I haven’t published the results from latest year’s curation survey and have considered what is the best way of re-surveying it again this year. One aspect I hadn’t considered in the original survey, which was highlighted when I curated the Flipboard Magazine, was the impact of what we were curating and what we were trying to achieve has on our choices. That aspect is really hard to include in a survey.

  4. Keith Lyons says:

    Delightful, Sue. I wondered how long this post took to write. I see curation in general, and your work in particular, as wonderfully altruistic.

    Best wishes

    Keith

  5. Sheri Edwards says:

    Perfectly explained and so needed. I’ve shared you post at our #clmooc ; we have many newbies flooded with information who will learn much from this post — as will experienced webbers. Thank you, Sue!

  6. John Pearce says:

    Hi Sue,
    Another great post, (you folks are really kicking goals at the moment) :). I especially like the stats related to the tools, interesting. If it’s of any interest, have a look at http://goo.gl/uTU8pE , my Curation slidedeck, (I think your paper.li gets exemplified). The deck also contains a link to some ideas I had on using a couple of tools in the classroom, (see http://goo.gl/pQKfh), which I presented at a Teachmeet to which Celia Coffa responded with http://goo.gl/ft5gN2. Fun…..

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