Category Archives: Curation

Building Collaboration, Communication and Independence with Padlet

For the final module of our summer EDTC 6104 course, we were focusing on ISTE coaching standard 3. More specifically performance indicators e and g:

 

E – Troubleshoot basic software, hardware, and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments

G – Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers, and the larger community

 

As a teacher, a goal I have is to empower my scholars with strategies they can use to solve their problems. Not only does this help things run smoothly in the classroom but it also lets scholars know they are in control of their choices, and learning. Performance indicator G emphasizes using digital communication and collaboration tools to do some of this work. I began thinking in terms of my own experience in the classroom and how digital communication and collaboration tools empower scholars. There are many tools designed to do such things. Some I use are Flipgrid, SeeSaw, and Google Classroom. One tool that I have dabbled in is Padlet. While working with another 3rd-grade teacher in Pennsylvania on a collaboration this upcoming year for Global Read Aloud we were discussing which digital platform to use. She has been doing the GRA for a couple of years and mentioned that Padlet had seemed to work the best for her scholars; stating that is was organized, easy to use and understand by 3rd graders, and had many options for how students could enter the conversation or add to other’s thinking.

Introduction to Padlet

Padlet is an online virtual “bulletin” board, where scholars and teachers can collaborate, reflect, share links, videos, pictures, and ideas in a secure location. Teachers and scholars can use Padlet in a variety of ways. One way I want to explore Padlet is as a curation tool, which can then also lend itself as a collaboration and communication tool to be used within the classroom and with families. 

Padlet for Curation

As I began exploring more of the capabilities of Padlet my ideas shifted more from collaboration globally and thinking about it also in terms of our classroom. Specifically, as a way for scholars to access resources or ask for/ share help with others. 

 

As a teacher, you could use Padlet to post pictures of anchor charts from your room, helpful videos, links, documents, and other resources. You could have the Padlet link available for kids or print off a QR code for students to scan and pull up the resources. For example, here is a Padlet you could use if scholars are doing a research project on animals or this resource you could use to send home to families to support multiplication. Another advantage of using Padlet to curate resources is that you can also share these boards with families and keep them as reference for upcoming units or years. 

 

To shift the focus on scholars’ taking ownership of their own learning you could also embed an area on your Padlet for scholars to post their names when they feel they have mastered the learning objective and are willing to help or answer questions from others. Additionally, you could have a Padlet or place on the Padlet for scholars to post questions or think about embedding Classroom Q.

 

Padlet could solve another problem I have been grappling with which is limited physical space. This past year in class I had a scholar who expressed to me that too much visual stimulation in the room distracted him from his learning. My classroom is pretty well organized and I try to keep only relevant anchor charts up around the room. However, at times I felt like there just wasn’t enough wall space in my classroom for the material we were covering and all the student work. This made me wonder if what I thought was helping my scholars (anchor charts + student work) was instead be having other more negative effects. 

 

Edutopia’s article: Dos and Don’ts of Classroom Decorations cites research suggesting that, “Classroom walls should feel warm and lively but not overcrowded—keep 20 to 50 percent of the wall space clear, and fill the rest with student work, inspiring pictures, and learning aids.”  When thinking about the pace of which teaching and learning occur if I were trying to abide by the 20-50% rule this means that anchor charts or other visual stimuli would be constantly changing. For scholars who need review or who may need further assistance, it would be helpful to have a place to go to.

 

Keeping in mind the research suggesting that classroom stimuli can become distracting, I believe the same can apply on a Padlet board. Michael Hubenthal and Thomas O’Brien in their research Revisiting Your Classroom’s Walls: The Pedagogical Power of Posters found that “the visual complexity caused by an abundance of text and small images can set up an overwhelming visual/verbal competition between text and graphics for which students must gain control in order to give meaning to information.” (2009). Thus, if applying this research when creating your Padlet board, being mindful about what and how you organize/ present the information or resources is important. 

 

Additionally if using Padlet as a tool to bridge independence and facilitate independent learning remembering to balance it with teacher support is important. Clear modeling, guidance, and in-class support will enhance student independent learning (Hocking et al., 2018). Research, also showed that when working on building students autonomous learning scholars preferred, “dependency ‘weening’” meaning that teachers start the year with clear, structured and direct approaches and as the curriculum or year continues the scaffolds and support begin to lessen (Hocking et al., 2018).

 

Whether or not you are using Padlet to curate resources to share with scholars and families or using it to collaborate with scholars from around the world Padlet has the potential to shape and maximize the learning of our scholars. If you are looking for some ways to try Padlet out in your classroom these blogs are some helpful places to start:

 

20 ways to use Padlet in your class now

30 Ways to use Padlet in the classroom

Using Padlet in the classroom

Educational ways to use Padlet 

 

References: 

Hockings, C., Thomas, L., Ottaway, J., & Jones, R. (2018). Independent Learning–What We Do When You’re Not There. Teaching in Higher Education, 23(2), 145–161. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.spu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=eric&AN=EJ1167712&site=ehost-live 

 

Hubenthal, M., O’Brien, T., (2009). Revisiting
 your 
Classroom’s
 Walls:
The
 Pedagogical
 Power
 of
 Posters, 1-8. Retrieved from https://www.iris.edu/hq/files/programs/education_and_outreach/poster_pilot/Poster_Guide_v2a.pdf

 

Terada, Y. (2018, October 24). Dos and Don’ts of Classroom Decorations. Retrieved August 15, 2019, from https://www.edutopia.org/article/dos-and-donts-classroom-decorations 

 

Curating Content to Collaborate with Colleagues

How can educators in my district collaborate with colleagues to curate and share resources with each other?

I work for a district that has 20+ elementary schools and I find that it is difficult to collaborate with other educators in my grade level across the district to share resources and ideas.

In the six years that I have worked in my district, I have gotten to visit another campus to watch another teacher teach exactly one time. It was an amazing experience. I got to see what anchor charts they were using, how they structured their learning targets, what resources they were using, how they interacted with teachers, what small groups looked like, how they set up their schedule, how they transitioned between subjects… I could go on and on. Needless to say, this interaction was completely valuable to me because I had an opportunity to compare what I was doing in my class as well as learn new strategies to improve on my practice. Unless you are a mentored new teacher or on an improvement plan, these opportunities to visit other classrooms are very rare.

Another opportunity I have to interact with colleagues is at district trainings. We are given information in the form of handouts, Powerpoints, and by OneNote. I don’t know about you, but I will get pretty excited by a new idea, strategy or resource that was shared by the trainer or expanded upon by a fellow educator. I will take notes or a photograph to remind me to implement it when I get back to the class and then life happens and I forget about it, until I remember- but by that time, it’s a distant memory. I can’t find where I wrote it down, or when searching through the 4,577 photos on my phone, I ask myself, “was that training before Christmas?” As if that would help find it’s location.

My life in pictures.

And then there is the greatest invention of them all, social media. I always find the greatest ideas, links to blogs, articles to read, and of course I don’t have time to read them just then, so I save them to my collection, where they are lost forever!

So this week, I made it my mission to come up with a solution to my problem- How can colleagues share what they are doing with others? while addressing the following criteria:

Criteria for collaboration tool. Produced by wordcloud.com

Wakelet.com is a tool that I think could be used by educators to help us showcase what we are doing in our classrooms in order to share with others across our district.

Wakelet can be used to share curated information with others. In this post, I am going to concentrate on how teachers could use this tool to share with other educators, but please understand that it can be used as a tool for teachers to students, teachers to parents, as well as outside of the classroom between other groups.

I think teachers want the opportunity to learn from each other in a space and time that is convenient to them. Educators enjoy seeing lessons in action as well as understanding the purpose behind them. With Wakelet, educators are able to curate collections that:

  • have introductions.
  • explain the lesson and give context.
  • are organized.
  • make connections to the standards and curriculum being taught in the classroom.
  • allows its users to curate all media types: videos, links, tweets, Instagram posts, pictures, text, PDF’s, and student/teacher commentary to tell a story or show the progression of a lesson.
  • Wakelet has partnered with Flipgrid so you can reflect on the material and tell how you are using it in your class.

Below, I have curated all of the resources (videos, blogs, information) that I have used in order to prepare for this blog in Wakelet form. I am hoping that you can get a sense of how it could be used to collaborate with other educators.

ISTE Standard 4 Collaborator

Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems. Indicator A: Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.

In this week’s post, I think that I have found a tool that could be very useful for educators in my district that would allow us to “visit” each others classrooms and collaborate with each other. I think that it addresses ISTE Standard 4 in that it allows us to learn from each other in order to improve our practice in a time that is convenient for all.

Module 2: Teaching Content Curation to Empower Students

I have found that most if not all intermediate elementary students really lack the skills to check the credibility of sources derived from the internet. Typically students will type a search term into a search engine, like Google and are then faced with millions of results. Here is a great example of a type of natural disaster my students recently researched for a presentation when getting over 83 million results, it’s not surprising that students may feel overwhelmed. According to Kingsly & Tancock (2013) students “when faced with so many results to their first attempts at searching, can quickly become overwhelmed.” (p. 392) “They simply shut down and pursue whatever information is easiest to retrieve” (Kingsly & Tancock, 2013, p. 392). Of course, search results can be narrowed down in a number of ways, one being instructing students on how to best search for information that will pertain to them and their topic.

Teaching students to evaluate sources and to think critically about the information they retrieve from the internet is often one of those skills that is assumed to be built into a curriculum. However, I’m convinced that it may not receive enough attention from teachers to prepare students to be successful curators of digital information in the information rich environment in which we all now live. So, I started gathering data and researching questions I had around ISTE student standard 3 to begin to explore how to develop some of those skills in my students. ISTE 3 Knowledge Constructor that says, “Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experience for themselves and others” (ISTE 2016). I found that not surprisingly there is a lot of information and there are a lot of tools out there to help us be better content curators. Many of these tools would probably work to allow us to teach the same skill to students as well.

In my research into ISTE student standard 3 I specifically wanted to find out, how could I begin to teach intermediate elementary students to begin to curate information to evaluate the accuracy, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources to help them generate meaningful connections or conclusions? I wondered what would be an a appropriate entry point for this critical skill with students whose understanding of digital literacy, digital citizenship and general competencies with technology are just developing. I did find some helpful ideas and frameworks for beginning to develop the media literacy skills of elementary students. One example is the set of core competencies that Henry Jenkins identifies that “young people should acquire if they are to be full, active, creative and ethical participants in this emerging participatory culture” (Fromm & Mihailidis, 2014, p. 94-95).  The skills that Jenkins includes were probably not as necessary before the proliferation of digital media. It seems to me that developers of curriculum are still trying to figure out how to fit all of these skills into their products. As a teacher I can’t wait, I need to begin teaching these skills to students now. They are necessary to develop digital citizenship. Those skills are sort of like a guide for why curation needs to be taught to students. Fromm & Mihailidis (2014) argue that today’s digital citizens must be,

“well-informed citizens in both understanding information and in their ability to evaluate and analyze what they are seeing (Swiggum, 2008, p. 16), they muse also centralize the user within this experience. Curation does exactly this, requiring with almost every media interaction the application of a broad range of media literacy skills Jenkins outlines” (p. 95-96).

So curation is really a means to develop the digital literacies that students will need in their lives.

Okay so curation is useful for students, now how can I begin to teach it? Luckily the two sources I found helped me to answer that question. First I found that just like good teaching in all subjects, the skills and thinking should be modeled by teachers before students are in put in front of a computer screen in order to help students develop online competencies. I often find myself thinking that students already know how to research. As soon as we begin a research project, they begin asking, can I look this up on the internet? Or they say, there is no information on my topic in the book I have, please let me look on the internet.

I found in my research that modeling would help students to achieve better results in their own research. In Kingsley and Tancock (2013) the author suggest that teacher who is guiding a class in researching about famous Americans, would model asking questions about the famous American before beginning to research. The teacher would be guiding students to “ask question in the categories of “When, where, and how did this person live?” and “Why is this person important?”” (p. 392). After students have gathered information from their questions they can begin to triangulate their data. For my middle elementary age students it seems manageable to teach them to use Wikipedia. “For nearly every topic there will also be a Wikipedia page that students can use to verify basic information” (Kingsley & Tancock, 2013, p. 395). Next it would be useful to show students some basic ways to determine author’s credentials again Kingsley & Tancock (2013) suggest some very manageable ways to do that. First, model how to look for information under a “contact” button, or and “about us” link (p. 395). The last suggestion is to screen for content bias simply based on website suffixes or other data found on the website. The article suggested potential biases for .com websites being commercially motivated or that .gov websites may be maintained to reflect the views of a certain political party. The authors also suggested using a website’s mission, objective or purpose to check for the goal of certain websites. Finally teaching students to evaluate to check for personal opinion as opposed to information linked to references that demonstrate academic or legitimate organizations is the last suggestion for how to screen for content bias. (Kingsley & Tancock, 2013, p. 395-396)

Now that I’ve talked about how students can evaluate the accuracy, credibility and relevance of information I want to talk about some other way students might curate information and why it will be beneficial to them going forward. Fromm & Mihailidis (2014) “offer four key competencies for developing a critical approach to curation in digital culture.” The competencies are critique, contribute, collaborate, and create. (p. 97). I spent time above discussing how students can critique the information they discover online, and discussed how a teacher could assist in teaching that critiquing process. Now I want to look at how to scaffold students to explore the other three competencies. To teach students to contribute we can use social media as a model. To be media literate students have to be taught to “understand that their contributions to public spaces as helping to define narratives, dialog, and topics of interest for a large group (Fromm & Mihailidis, 2014, p.99). As an elementary teacher I’m not quite sure how to incorporate social media into my classroom to help students understand how to contribute. I think there are some tools like SeeSaw that could allow me to begin this teaching, but I would need to be very deliberate in showing how the microcosm of our classroom app based social media account relates to the larger social media networks used outside the classroom. I could also create a class Twitter account and use that to connect with other elementary classrooms, but I think for my age group of students contribution would be more teacher directed. Collaboration is the next competency. Again I feel limited by the age of my students. This seems like the next step to establish the meaningful connections ISTE 3c discusses. In an elementary classroom maybe after completing a research project students get in touch with an expert in that field and share their ideas or suggestions for how to approach a particular problem would be one way to collaborate. Jenkins calls the shift from contribution to an active form of collaboration “the nexus of participation and media culture” (Fromm & Mihailidis, 2014, p. 99). So no doubt this is an important skill, but I’m still left wondering how exactly to provide authentic experiences for collaboration to my students. Finally they should create, “the media literate curator must be able to create context to build a sense of connectedness and place in digital culture” (Fromm & Mihailidis, 2014, p. 99). Again as an elementary educator I think that what my students create may differ from secondary students, but I think the important thing is giving them the opportunity to create and then to add what they have created to the voices online. I think that if I begin to teach students these critical skills they will begin to develop into skilled curators of digital media which will allow them to be “more analytical, participatory, engaged, and interactive youth in both online and offline life (Fromm & Mihailidis, 2014, p. 96).

Resources

Fromm, M.E., & Mihailidis, P. (2014). Scaffolding curation: Developing digital competencies in media literacy education. In M. Stocchetti (Ed.), Media and education in the digital age: Concepts, assessments, subversions (pp. 91-101). Frankfurt, DE: Peter Lang.

2016 ISTE Standards for Students, (2016). ISTE International Society for Technology in Education. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards/for-students-2016

Kingsley, T. & Tancock, S. (2014). Internet inquiry: Fundamental competencies for online comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 67(5), 389–399. doi: 10.1002/trtr.1223

Forums, curation, and mathematics (Module 2, Knowledge constructor)

Module 2 is about investigating ISTE Student Standard 3: Knowledge Constructor – “students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.” Looking at the indicators generated a lot of questions for me about how I can foster these things in a college math class. I want to document all of my questions here for future reference, but I really investigated just two of them (in red text).

In response to indicator 3a, “students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits,” I asked:

In physics education research, there is a need to study how students use their textbooks (Docktor & Mestre, 2014, p. 22) and while there are some research-based textbooks, most courses do not use them (p. 21). So I’m curious if there is research on how math students use their textbooks. Are there any research-based math textbooks? What resources do students use when they have math questions – what do they do when they are stuck – what strategies do they use to get unstuck?

In response to indicator 3c, “students curate [i.e., to gather, select and categorize resources into themes in ways that are coherent and shareable] information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions,” I asked:

Can I find a place where students are sharing resources in a coherent way? (Places to look: Reddit – YouTube – FB groups.) Can my website host a forum for students to share their resources? Can I use Facebook groups as part of the course? Can I require college students to participate in a FB group? (Should I?)

In response to indicator 3d, “students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions,” I asked

I would like to see some examples of students exploring real-world issues in math. Can I find some real-world-related final projects? Or can I find some examples of inquiry-based math?


I decided to look into creating a forum on my website and using Facebook groups in college courses because I wanted to make sure I could offer my students a space for sharing class-related things with each other (and I’m not a huge fan of the LMSs that I’ve used – as a student – when it comes to sharing resources and communicating).

Question: Can my website host a forum for students to share their resources?

Yes.

WordPress has a variety of plugins for this. I installed “Forum – wpForo” (more information about the plugin can be found on their website, here). I am fairly happy with the forum. It has the main thing I want, which is threaded comments. Implementing the threaded comments theme was a little confusing (directions below), but otherwise installation was very easy. There are a few things I don’t love about the layout/display of the forums. For example, if you choose to “Answer” a post, you will add a normal comment, if you choose to “Add comment” you will reply in a threaded fashion – I wish they were called “comment” and “reply.” But overall, I’m pretty happy with the plugin.

(Version 1.1.1) To implement the threaded comments theme go to: Dashboard side panel > Forums > Forums > (click edit on the blue category) > (in the upper, right-hand box choose the “QA” category layout).

Question: Can I use Facebook groups as part of a college course? Can I require students to participate in a FB group? (But should I?)

Yes. Yes. And…no?

I’m sure it depends on the college, but from the looks of it, generally you can use FB groups in college courses, and it looks like some instructors do require FB participation. I found a great blog by Nisha Malhotra, PhD where she reflects on implementing FB in her course. The comments on the blog are also very insightful and show differing opinions on whether or not you should require FB participation.

Considering this blog was posted four years ago, I would like to find a similar resource but more current. A lot has changed in four years and I have a feeling students’ feelings about FB have changed. Indeed, it was just this last year that I heard for the first time, from a high school student, that FB is for old people! Who knew?! I would bet there are more people consciously abstaining from FB today than there were four years ago. (Not just because it’s “for old people,” but probably because of that too.)

While I really like the idea of a FB group for a class, I don’t think I could bring myself to require FB participation in a course. Based what I think FB can mean in our culture today, I think it is important to respect a student’s choice to not use FB. This is one reason I really wanted to look into putting a forum on my website. Then I could offer both as an option for online participation.

But is this really curation, or is it just collection?

By the end of this module, I decided that what I have really done is found resources that aid in sharing curations, rather than resources for curating. A classmate of mine found a wonderful blog about curating by Saga Briggs. I think Briggs paints a clear picture of what curation looks like and I now imagine curation as being able to say, “Here are some resources that I think are valuable, and here’s why I think they’re valuable together.” A forum or a FB group could be used in that way, but I think it would require prompting if the goal was to have every student curate resources. Additionally, Briggs includes a list of 20 resources for curating.

Possible Curation Assignment for Math

A while back I wrote a possible prompt that is more in line with collection. It needs to be adjusted to align with curation.

Initial prompt: Find a resource that helps you with something related to the course. Maybe identify something you struggle with and find a resource for that. Or maybe find a resource that helped you understand a topic better or helped you with a homework problem. Write a summary explaining what the resource is with the idea that you are helping someone decide if the resource would be valuable to them. Be sure to reflect on why it was helpful to you.

To turn this into a curation project, they could either share multiple resources that helped them with something and include in the summary why the resources are helpful together; or they could find additional resources after the fact to go with their “personally helpful resource.” The goal would be to create a “resource bundle” to help someone else with the same thing/topic/problem they needed help with. They could share this bundle to my forum or in a FB group.

I anticipate needing to help students learn how to find resources, but I also hope that they can learn from each other, and that this assignment could help them do that. O’Connor and Sharkey (2013) and Kingsley and Tancock (2014) both discuss how students struggle to find information when it requires digging, and during much of my undergrad that was definitely true for me. Somewhere in the beginning to middle of undergrad, I realized how unskilled I was at searching for information and using my textbooks. I realized this because I saw how my close friends/peers used their resources. They didn’t actively teach me how to do the same, but I began learning how to use my resources by watching them. I know what it’s like to not know how to search for information, and I know how valuable the skill is when you can.

Moving forward, I would like to check out the resources listed in Briggs’ blog and practice using them to get a better feel for the process of curating (as opposed to collecting).


References

Briggs, S. (2016). Teaching content curation and 20 resources to help you do it [blog]. Retrieved from http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/content-curation-20-resources/

Docktor, J. L., & Mestre, J. P. (2014). Synthesis of discipline-based education research in physics. Physical Review Special Topics-Physics Education Research, 10(2), 020119, 1-58.

Kingsley, T., & Tancock, S. (2014). Internet inquiry. The Reading Teacher, 67(5), 389-399.

Malhotra, N. (2013). Experimenting with Facebook in the college classroom. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-with-technology-articles/experimenting-with-facebook-in-the-college-classroom/

O’Connor, L., & Sharkey, J. (2013). Establishing twenty-first-century information fluency. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 53(1), 33–39.

wpForo. (2016). WordPress forum plugin. Retrieved from http://wpforo.com/

The Curious World of Curation – ISTE Standard #3 “Knowledge Constructor”

This week: a drink from the fire hydrant. For this module’s question we were assigned to look at ISTE Student Standard #3, “Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.” It was in this context that I was drawn … Continue reading "The Curious World of Curation – ISTE Standard #3 “Knowledge Constructor”"

Constructing Knowledge through Curation

Triggering Question: What are ways in which students can critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others?

The key word in that statement for me is Constructing Knowledge. How can we teach students to organize and keep track of digital artifacts so that they can start to see the big picture, make connections between multiple resources and begin constructing new meaning for themselves?

As I was thinking about that, and learning more about “curation” as a skill, it dawned on me how important it is to be purposeful about the questions that you craft about your topic.  Without those purposeful questions it is easy to get distracted by what you find in a search and difficult to know how to tag and comment on the resources you do find to make sure they are relevant to your task. Part of constructing knowledge is, after all, the answering of questions and gaining enough surface knowledge in order to be able to analyze, evaluate and synthesize the information into deeper understanding.

When i first started thinking about curation, I started by learning how curation is defined. Nancy White’s wiki page, Curating Resources in Education, created a little Aha moment for me when I was reading about what she sees as the differences between Collecting and Curating. When we ask students to do research we often stop them at the collecting stage or at least that’s where we stop teaching them. If they have their three resources, regardless of whether they really learned anything useful from the website, we’ll call it good.

What she suggests makes curating more valuable is the focus on higher level thinking skills and looking for resources with quality, rather than quantity. Also, curated resources are shared with others because they have value to both the individual and other learners. Collecting with Purpose!!!

The ISTE 3c standard states: “Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.” I read a great article by Heather Bailie on Curation as a Tool for Teaching. It has some  great research and links to other articles on curation. I liked her definition of curation “curation is locating, evaluating and selecting (usually) online content on a topic, adding value by contextualising and possibly through tagging or commenting or both; and using digital tools to provide access to the curated material,”  which I think clarifies for me the how of helping students make meaningful connections. Tagging, sharing and adding annotation or comments to online resources allows students to “add value” to the content they find online in ways that help them make their own sense of the material and begin to make connections between their questions and interests and the information they find online.

I decided to give it a little bit of a go myself. I’ve used Diigo.com, Scoop.it, Edshelf.com and a few others before but I tried a tool called Scrible.com. It let me tag, comment and save links to websites as well as add annotations and “post its” to pages. I haven’t done it yet but it also allows me to add documents and bookmarks to my curated library and then I can share it with others. Here’s my early first steps with Scrible, although it wouldn’t let me share with a link to my collection like Diigo does. I think that If I did it again, or with students, I’d have them create tags based on their research questions before I showed them a tool like this so they could start by sorting and tagging information that was relevant as they began their search.


Curation is becoming more and more important in the business world (Bhargava 2011) because marketers need to help their customers narrow down the firehose of information that can be found on the internet. Online tools like Scoop.it are used by companies as well individuals to help collect and give meaning to information in people’s interest areas. It’s still going to be important for teachers to help students understand the bias in using some of the sites that curate the “top 20 apps for doing your homework” but, like Wikipedia (another useful socially curated site) , they can be good launching places to start research as long as you know what you are looking for in the first place.

 

Resources:

  • White, N. (2016, November 5). Curating Resources in Education. Retrieved January 17, 2017, from http://curatingisthecure.wikispaces.com/