Friday, April 5, 2013

The power of curation

This was written by Scott McLeod who is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky and the Founding Director of CASTLE, the nation's only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school leaders. He blogs regularly at Dangerously Irrelevant and can be found on Twitter at @mcleod. This post was originally found here.

by Scott McLeod

Most students need help learning how to get organized. And if we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that most adults need help in this area too! One of the best ways to use technology in the classroom is to help students and educators learn how to curate and organize the information and resources that they find on the Web.

There are a number of different tools available for Internet curation.

Delicious, a social bookmarking service, remains a favorite of many. By adding the Delicious button to their Internet browser toolbars, students and teachers can quickly bookmark a web site, blog post, video, or any other resource that they want to access again later. It's also easy to add keyword tags or notes to anything that they bookmark, which means that they can quickly create collections of things about which they're interested or passionate. [Creating a new unit? Tag the resources! Doing a school project? Tag everything found online with a special class project tag! Found three new skateboarding or music videos and want to save them? Tag them!] Since Delicious is an online service, it is easy for educators and students to log in and access their bookmarks from any device. Plus, many mobile apps now have the ability to send directly to Delicious, which means that individuals can bookmark resources from their mobile phones or tablet computers too.

[TIP: Common tags that are used by multiple students and faculty members also are a great way to create collections of learning resources by unit, class, or subject area.]

Another useful curation tool for teachers and students is Evernote. Evernote is a digital storage tool that allows individuals to create and store notes, documents, web sites, and much more. Evernote is a very robust digital storage box that can handle nearly anything that students and educators may want to throw into it, including text, images, documents, audio, and video. Like Delicious, Evernote has buttons for Internet browsers that allow users to quickly 'clip' and save all or part of a web page. This is particularly useful for capturing online information that may expire or disappear later, because once you've captured something in Evernote, it's yours to keep! Also like Delicious, Evernote supports keyword tagging which means that individuals can quickly label and categorize notes and other resources. Additionally, Evernote allows students and educators to create folders to further organize materials. Those folders can even be shared publicly online with other people. Evernote lives on multiple platforms and thus can be used on a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer as well as on smartphones. Everything in Evernote can be synchronized across devices, thus facilitating access at any time from anywhere. Evernote also has a very robust user community that shares tips on how to get the most out of the service.

There is a wealth of information available to us online. The challenge for most of us is how to organize and make sense of it. Mastery of digital curation tools is a critical learning need for both students and educators.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, My name is Jessica Mose and I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am in EDM310 (a blogging class). First, I want to start off by saying that if I was not in this class I would not have a clue as to what Delicious meant. But after reading your post and having prior knowledge I understand how it is used. It is a great tool and everyone should have knowledge of it, because it is helpful for both teachers and students. However, I have not heard of Evernote, but it sounds just as amazing as Delicious and I would definitely use this tool in the future. Saying that also makes your last statement very true that the information is out there we just have to organize and make sense of it all. I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing the differences and similarities between Delicious and Evernote.


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