As I read through Jeff Utecht’s Reach, I reflected on the importance of curated collections as a way to develop your PLN, share resources with the world, and be part of the 1% through creation without the in depth time required for blogging. If I could add one more chapter to his book, it would be titled The Power of Curation.
Curated Collections are pretty straightforward. Just like a curator at a museum selects, arranges, displays and explains pieces of art in a show, subject experts and amateurs around the web are curating collections of resources on any imaginable topic. They can be used both as an instructional tool, strategically sharing resources with students, and as a learning tool, empowering students to curate their own collections as they explore new topics. I think they’re so powerful that I am going to workshop Extended Essay students on Curated Collections as party of the “Planning Your Research” stage of the research process.
Pintrest – This visual bookmarking tool has taken off as a curation site. I’ve heard it described as Fantasy Football for women because of its popularity in planning weddings, saving arts and crafts activities, and visually arranging fashion ideas. Like all things on the Internet, it has been harnessed for use in education, libraries especially. I use it to collect “If you liked this, then read this…” lists, bulletin board ideas, research and instruction tools and more. I also like to collect travel destinations here rather than on Diigo because I want to see where I’m going, not just look at the link. Lots of libraries use it to share resources with students for research and reading. I know a DT teacher who could use it with his students as they plan their projects.
LibGuides – Any time I start a pathfinder to support research at LIS, my first stop is LibGuides. Librarians all around the world have carefully crafted research guides on nearly any topic you can think up. Like mining a Wikipedia article for keywords and resources, LibGuides hands you reliable resources on a glittering platter. You can search the guides by keyword, type of library or topic of interest. Used by school library powerhouses like Joyce Valenza and Buffy Hamilton, I will be adopting LibGuides as my pathfinder creator of choice in the next budget cycle. Until then, I’ll keep pulling resources from LibGuides and constructing my own pathfinders in Google Sites.
- Visit LibGuides Best Of page and explore what matters to you
ScoopIt is a nice combination of the visual and the text as you “Scoop” a website you like, feature it in your collection with an image and your “insight”, or comment on its relevancy. I am a beginner Scooper. For example, I am currently working on two collections: Library as Community Space and School Libraries and Research. Don’t judge Scoop.It on me alone; There are some excellent librarian Scoopers out there. Check out
The final curation tool I want to share is paper.li. paper.li also blends the text and the visual by allowing you to create a daily or weekly newspaper-style publication of the topics you choose to follow through social media. You can add content from Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Facebook, RSS feeds and more. Then you can determine which topics and sources will have the highest priority. paper.li becomes both a branding tool for you as people are awed by your curation skills as well as a research tool by feeding you information you want to know. As a librarian who’s in it for the travel, my Travel paper.li always makes me feel better after a rough day convinces kids reliable resources matter.
Want something more serious? “Page” through:
These content curation tools are certainly not the only ones put there. What do you use to curate your content? How could you see yourself using these in instruction? How would you teach your students to use these as learning tools?