Time to spare? Time to breathe? Most of us find that we rarely have a spare minute in the day. Sometimes it feels like you can barely keep your head above water with deluge of information we get from all the various media in our lives. I've often heard the expression of drinking from the firehose to describe the experience of learners trying to filter online content.
That's why learning how to curate and save and share online content can be a real time saver.
Don’t you hate it when you know that you saw a great image, or precisely the right article or video online and then can’t find it again? Curation may be one answer. Curation combined with collaboration may help your whole grade level or department.
You all know what collaboration is, but what about curation? Isn’t that just for libraries and museums? No. Curation of online content can be done by anyone. There is simply too much information available today and aside from web site authentication, this flood of information is an ongoing issue, it’s just plain overwhelming. This is where your PLN, your peers, and the global network of educators can help. Fourth grade teachers across the country are all using very similar curricula. AP bio teachers all need to get through the same material. Teachers across the world routinely create, curate and collaborate.
There are as many ways to curate information as there are people, so I will just go over a few of them. Teachers today can demonstrate and model the use of these tools to help students make sense of the information that they are inundated with.
Social Bookmarking is an excellent way to save resources, to share to friends, a group or a class. Most social bookmarking platforms are set up so that you can use them across devices and access them anywhere that you have an internet connection. Teachers at HES are familiar with one of the tools, Symbaloo as we use it as a start page for students, as well as a start page for teachers.
Here’s a short video from Beth Holland at EdTechTeacher to explain a little more about one of these tools- Diigo, which just happens to be my favorite. You can set up a class to use Diigo, set up or join Diigo groups, etc.
These are a few of the popular curation and collaboration tools:
Aside from these tools I often use curation tools to pull from social media online. These are tools you may want to check out.
Does this take time? Yes. It is generally time well spent. Although I think that social media can sometimes be an enormous time suck, it is also critical to at least take a peek outside the bubble of Pioneer Valley and learn from other teachers around the globe. Hadley has plenty of silos already- open up your classroom walls and create, collaborate and curate with others. I spend about an hour a week on Twitter, look at the headlines from some of the other feeds and if something catches my eye, will investigate further. I learn something new every day- and it's not just about tech- it's about teaching.
The tool I use constantly, on a daily basis, is Diigo. Everyone is different. Pick one tool, try it out. Model it with your students.