Sunday, August 18, 2013

Curation: A Skill for the 21st Century

If information is the currency of a democracy (Thomas Jefferson's words), then curators are important agents in that democracy.   In an age when information is ubiquitous and students, turn to Google as a delphic oracle, it seems to me that teaching curation skills is an essential part of learning about digital literacy.  Students need to learn good search skills but what is the value of the discovery if they are unable to evaluate the credibility of what they have found?  Curation skills presumes search capabilities.

Curation and sharing are quickly becoming the default mode for this century.  If 'content is king', then curation must the the throne on which the king sits.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Top Ten Reasons to Teach Curation

I have been thinking about curation lately.  Last year at Alan November's BLC conference in Boston I sat in on a session with the completely amazing Joyce Valenza.  I had been following her for a while but to read her posts and then listen to her in person is like the difference between reading about riding a horse and actually mounting a fabulous steed for the ride of your life.  I was in awe at the breadth and scope of this woman's grasp on important issues for 21st century learners.  I learned so much from that one session and my interest with curation crystallized then.

gcouros flickr stream

In preparation for a workshop I will be giving soon at the Future of Education/L'avenir de l'éducation conference in Montreal August 19-21st, I have put together a quick and dirty list of my top ten reasons for why I think that curation is an essential skill for the 21st century.

Top Ten Reasons Why

Is An Essential 21st Century Skill


1.  Curation is the antidote for hoarding data.

2.  To curate means to consider your audience.

3.  To curate is to give a context and meaning to data: to construct knowledge.

4. To curate well is to focus on the salient amidst the clatter of ubiquitous data.

5.  To curate means to exercise higher order cognitive skills - analysis, evaluation, reflection.

6.  Curation gives students an editorial voice.

7.  Curators are valuable filters for their circle of learners.

8.  To curate is to bring value to a circle of learners.

9.  To curate is to contribute to the ‘global brain’.  (Robin Good)

10.  If information is the currency of democracy (Thomas Jefferson), then curators are essential agents of that democracy.  Curation makes sense of data and learning to curate is a democratic skill.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pushing and Pulling Information Flow with IFTTT

It's time to take RSS feeds to the next level and we can do this easily using ('if this then that').  Think of channels of information that ebb and flow around you.  Ifttt creates 'triggers' or 'if this then that' statements that trigger a certain action to happen.  If you subscribe to a blog, or any website where there is new content, you receive some notification when new material is posted.  You can create your own triggers and channel your information flow to suit your needs.  Ifttt has sixty eight channels that you can trigger with different 'ingredients'.

For example, you can tell ifttt to send you a text message every morning reminding you to do your sit ups!  Simply select the date/time channel and the 'ingredient' you want, which in this case would be date or time.  Then select the text message service, enter your phone number as well as a message for yourself about the reminder.

At first glance ifttt might seem a bit intimidating but play around with it for a while and browse the recipes others have shared.  Try one out for yourself and see how you can use this service to stay (or become) organized.  

I will be using ifttt in my classes this year and helping my students be informed about the latest materials I bookmark for the anthropology class.  I have included the video (in two parts) for extra help and information.  
 Use ifttt with Diigo & Twitter

Use ifttt with Diigo and Gmail

If you find this useful, please comment, either on the blog or my YouTube page!