Content curation will play a major role both in the way we teach and in the way we educate ourselves on any topic. When and where it will be adopted, it will deeply affect many key aspects of the educational ecosystem.
Robin Good: Excellent guide to digital curation resources by Charles W. Bailey, Jr.. It includes alphabetically organized lists of digital-curation related resources from academic programs to file formats, guidelines, organizations, blogs, and a very rich list of digital curation software tools.
From the site: "This resource guide presents selected English-language websites and documents that are useful in understanding and conducting digital curation. It is also available as an EPUB file (see How to Read EPUB Files)."
Robin Good: Must-read article on ClutterMuseum.com by Leslie M-B, exploring in depth the opportunity to have students master their selected topics by "curating" them, rather than by reading and memorizing facts about them.
"Critical and creative thinking should be prioritized over remembering content"
"That students should learn to think for themselves may seem like a no-brainer to many readers, but if you look at the textbook packages put out by publishers, you’ll find that the texts and accompanying materials (for both teachers and students) assume students are expected to read and retain content—and then be tested on it.
Instead, between middle school (if not earlier) and college graduation, students should practice—if not master—how to question, critique, research, and construct an argument like an historian."
This is indeed the critical point. Moving education from an effort to memorize things on which then to be tested, to a collaborative exercise in creating new knowledge and value by pulling and editing together individual pieces of content, resources and tools that allow the explanation/illustration of a topic from a specific viewpoint/for a specific need.
And I can't avoid to rejoice and second her next proposition: "What if we shifted the standards’ primary emphasis from content, and not to just the development of traditional skills—basic knowledge recall, document interpretation, research, and essay-writing—but to the cultivation of skills that challenge students to make unconventional connections, skills that are essential for thriving in the 21st century?"
Robin Good: Short post but very relevant points to start looking at. @chopemurray at Opencollaborarchy is the first individual I see catching the different shades of curation "intent" that are characterizing the "surge" of content curation initiatives, projects and tools all around us.
From the original post: "However the evolution of digital curation is experiencing some fragmentation. Not that this is bad, but it does suggest the differences should be understood as curation tools will differ in features and capabilities as each tries to satisfy its target customer base.
So far I have identified 3 major distinctions in [what is "sold" today as] curation:
a) Content Distribution
Marketing Content: comes in several forms as marketeers move away from landing pages on Facebook and web sites, and seek to amplify brand presence through curated content.
b) Sense-making - Topic-focused
Information (or Knowledge Content): More focused on collecting and condensing information to support a topic or subject. Most commonly a reference site usually set up for either internal or external collaboration
c) Personal Expression
Curating Personal Content – less dependent on content management features and capabilites: can either be used for amplification (self-branding) or condensing (information)."
Rightful. Calls for deeper analysis. 8/10
P.S.: I invite you also to contribute to the poll provided at the end of the post. Notwithstanding that the poll will reflect only the opinions of those answering it, I'd very much like those few investing in curation as a sense-making activity to make their voices heard.
Robin Good: What does curation mean from an educational viewpoint? And what is the key difference between "collecting" and "curating".
Nancy White (@NancyW), a 21st Century Learning & Innovation Specialist and the author of Innovations in Education blog, has written an excellent article, dissecting the key characterizing traits of curation, as a valuable resource to create and share knowledge.
She truly distills some key traits of curation in a way that is clear and comprehensible to anyone.
She writes: "The first thing I realized is that in order to have value-added benefits to curating information, the collector needs to move beyond just classifying the objects under a certain theme to deeper thinking through a) synthesis and b) evaluation of the collected items.
How are they connected?"
And then she also frames perfectly the relevance of "context" for any meaningful curation project by writing: "I believe when we curate, organization moves beyond thematic to contextual – as we start to build knowledge and understanding with each new resource that we curate.
Themes have a common unifying element – but don’t necessarily explain the “why.”
Theme supports a central idea – Context allows the learner to determine why that idea (or in this case, resource) is important.
So, as collecting progresses into curating, context becomes essential to determine what to keep, and what to discard."
But there's a lot more insight distilled in this article as Nancy captures with elegance the difference between collecting for a personal interest and curating for a specific audience.
She finally steals my full endorsement for this article by discretely inquirying how great a value it would be to allow students to "curate" the domains of interest they need to master.
I think our nature is to be active and engaged … that’s how we are out of the box. And if you begin with this presumption, you create much more open, flexible arrangements that almost inevita...
"Web 2.0 transitioned to many-to-many communication, creating participatory culture with social networks prevailing. The disposition of these networks can be defined as “[fostering] social connection—creating, contributing, sharing” (Shirky, 2010). No longer is the communication platform most important in delivering a message, the content is."
"Personal identity deals with questions that arise about ourselves by virtue of our being people (or, as lawyers and philosophers like to say, persons). Many of these questions are familiar ones that occur to nearly all of us now and again: What am I? When did I begin? What will happen to me when I die? Others are more abstruse. Personal identity has been discussed since the origins of Western philosophy, and most major figures have had something to say about it. (There is also a rich literature on this topic in Eastern philosophy, which I am not competent to discuss; Collins 1982 and Jinpa 2002 are useful sources.)"
A study in 1985 “On the Brain of a Scientist: Albert Einstein” found that Einstein’s brain was actually not significantly different from others. As an Organization Development blogger put it:
===> what made Einstein different was his mind. <===
His thinking and passion for learning were the basis of his genius. His brain was the same, but his intellect was markedly different. He was often humble about his intellect, and instead said that learning relied on working hard and imagining the impossible. So what made his learning so different? What can we learn from Einstein?
"While both can lead consumers on a unexpected journey, chasing the white rabbit into previously unexplored corners of the web, [a Curator] actually helps sift through the media abyss, singling out worthwhile information, and often “adding value” by lending context through their own ideas and opinions. The former are rebloggers."
Great pick by Robin Good where writer Chris DeLine goes through the recent attacks on Tumblr to actually paint an interesting picture of Curation as something "not entirely different than Creation."
Reading this article took me back to when we started Scoop.it. Back then, we felt the need - in spite of Tumblr's already growing success back then - for a platform dedicated to Curation. While some questioned the opportunity, this post and the growing success not just of Scoop.it but other curation services are a great sign of the legitimacy of that need.
Interestingly as well, it's fascinating to me to see that post curated with one angle by Robin, with another angle by Jan and then by me with a different twist again. This is typical of this idea that Curation is some form of creation: by enabling expression. I would not have picked up Drake's opening comment nor would I have thought about writing about it but I can more easily express some thought on a piece of already-existing content. Hopefully adding context for a particular audience which - with great satisfaction - we see Scoop.it users develop a lot more (and in a better way) than - says DeLine - "rebloggers, basking in all the beautiful projections on their Tumblr sites and Pinterest pages, hoping that someone (anyone!) stumbles across them and sees the collection as a reflection of themselves."
Robin Good: Start this video clip at 1':42" (up to 3':30") and you can get a pretty good idea of what a content curator does and why what he does has so much to do with sense-making, making things understandable for others and ultimately extracting contextualized "meaning" from information "as is".
Must-see. Excellent. 9/10
P.S.: Thanks to Howard Rheingold for spotting this clip and sharing it.
What is curation? Does it really help or is it adding more noise to the soundwave of information already coming at us? Where do you draw the line between social sharing, personal expression and true curation?
Robin Good: Good article by Rex Hammock on RexBlog.com highlighting the confusion arising from using the term curation when it is not really appropriate.
He writes: "Somewhere along the way, the inherently-confusing metaphor of curation being applied to content on the web went from something like, finding relevant content and pointing readers to it to something like, find content on other sites and simply re-write what they say and place it on our site and that’s okay, as long as somewhere you credit the source.”
He has several more interesting points. here a few key excerpts from it: "While I believe “curation media” can be a helpful service to readers, the act of writing a story that rehashes another story — without adding some insight or background — is a disservice to all involved.
"...I’m not suggesting that the act of sharing articles you run across is anything but good. I’m not even suggesting that websites like Huffington Post or Business Insider are nothing more than re-writing services. (I’m not “suggesting” it, as it’s well known.)
This is the bottom line: To be of any value (or to prevent you from appearing foolish), your curation needs to be more than merely re-writing something that has already been re-written one or two times.
****** Like Robin I give this 7 out of 10. Ther are some curators such as Robin I rarely add much content to because they are expressing my thoughts in some cases better than me. Part of good curating is to select and share, or just select. I just posted a great Infographic by MaxOz (how the world spends its time online) because it fit something I believe or am interested in. In Such a case a rare straight scoop is fine.
Mostly I am way to talkative and full of beans to not weigh in (lol). As far as the "rewriting" goes I agree with Robin, not adding anything and calling it yours doesn't make it so. If someone were to paraphrase my writing, call it their curation and then give credit they insult me. Like shooting me and then apologizing - the one doesn't compensate for the other :).
PS. See my Scoop of Robin's DisplayNote review on Startup Revolution for Part II of this conversation about curation.
Robin Good: Readlists is a simple web app which allows you to easily create curated lists of web resources, articles and links and bundle them to a downloadable eBook.
"A Readlist is a group of web pages—articles, recipes, course materials, anything—bundled into an e-book you can send to your Kindle, iPad, or iPhone."
To create a "Readlist" you simply click on the Create a Readlist button and add one url at a time. The system gently grabs metadata info like title and author and elegatly lays it out in an ebook formatted reading index ready to be published.
Almost two years ago I wrote Curation - The Next Web Revolution. I'm glad I wrote that piece not because it is one of my most popular and cited ScentTrails, but because one of the creators of Scoop.it (Marc) saw it and offered ...