Content Curation: Classroom Applications

I’ve been trying out some visual content curation tools with social features which has got me thinking about classroom applications.

“Content curation is the act of continually identifying, selecting and sharing the best and most relevant online content and other online resources (and by that I mean articles, blog posts, videos, photos, tools, tweets, or whatever) on a specific subject to match the needs of a specific audience.” – Ann Handley on TopRank blog

There are available a variety of free tools in various formats that let you easily tag/save sites, articles, images, videos, presentations, etc. into a collection that you can share and have conversations about with other users. I’ve been spending some time at Pinterest, which is filled with inspiring images of recipes, crafts, clothes, housewares, quotes, etc. It’s like scrolling through an interactive magazine, where you can easily “pin” things you see/like that have been pinned by others, leave comments on other’s pins, as well as add new content to your own collections. Some similar sites include:  Snip.it, Clipboard, Themeefy.com, bagtheweb and Scoop.it!

A Good Curator

Curation is more than just aggregating content. A good curator:

  • effectively searches to locate content
  • collects content in a variety of formats: text, videos, images, etc.
  • adds his/her own voice and perspective.
  • evaluates content and collects only quality content.
  • identifies leaders/experts to follow.
  • collects content for a specific purpose.
  • selects content that is relevant for a specific audience.
  • always credits his/her sources.
  • adds original content: thoughts, creations, solutions, etc.
  • sorts, ranks, and arranges content to engage their audience

Classroom Applications

I see content curation as a way for students to develop various 21st century skills:  locating, filtering, evaluating, and ranking content; organizing, sorting, and creating content.

“…a learner that pulls in information from many different sources and media at once, reflects on the information, and then creates new content based on that information that is then shared with other learners in an interactive way that often allows those learners to also learn and create… It means using everything at your disposal to create something new in the discipline.” –A Wandering Eyre

Examples

  • Book Report: Collect online content related to the book with the purpose of “selling” it to you audience.
  • Glossary: Define terms for the current unit study using a variety of media.
  • Current Events: Students create a collection to reflect the 5 most important events of the week.
  • Introduce a New Topic: A collection to introduce a new topic of study and peak the student’s interest.
  • Identify Trends: Select a trend in fashion, entertainment, politics, business, etc, to explain with a collection.
  • Puzzle: Which of the things doesn’t belog here? How are all these items related? What historical character is represented here?
  • Historical Event: Create an exhibit of a historical event with a variety of media including primary documents.
  • Expert Tips: Students create a guide filled with expert tips on a topic related to the current unit.
  • How-to: A collection that demonstrates how to do something such as help endangered species.
  • Character Analysis: Choose character of literature, history, or current events to create a collection around. What would be in Alice’s collection?
  • Statistics, Data, Graphs: A collection of data on a specific topic.
  • Research: As a part of a larger project, students collect their research in a as Scoop.it topic for easy reference and documentation of sources.
  • About Me: As a team builder, have students create collections that reflect themselves.

Scoop.it!: A Curation Tool for Classroom Use

  • With a free account you are limited to only 5 topics.
  • Collaborators: This is a feature that I would like to see added so that you can have multiple editors contributing to the same magazine. However, there is an option to suggest a post to a topic belonging to another user that I follow.
  • Here’s a set of video tutorials: Scoop.it! is out of beta now so the signup process will differ a bit from the tutorial.
  • When signing up for an account, I never received the verification email when using my school email address *@willard.k12.mo.us. I’m guess it got stuck in the spam filter. My registration was successful when I used my gmail address to sign up.
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15 thoughts on “Content Curation: Classroom Applications

  1. Thanks, it’s a great post y’ve written and very inspirational.
    Only thing I miss is addressing the missing possibility of social curation. Wouldn’t it be great if Scoop.it – or another visual curation tool – opened for social curation. I miss that opportunity.

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