Curation for Education Archives

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  There are many buzzwords and phrases prevalent in education today.  “21 st Century Learning”, “Blended Learning”, “Personalized Learning”, “Flipped Classroom” – just to name a few. The one that has recently caught my attention and curiosity is “content curation.”

I manage a grant project in my district designed to assure students acquire “21st century skills” A current strategy for this is using backwards design, formative assessments of 21st century skills, and “blended-learning.” New for next school year: teachers are being asked to “curate resources” to accompany the backwards-planned, inquiry-based units of instruction.

I had my own ideas on what curating meant at the time I was asked to design professional development for teachers in the project – but realized very quickly that this term has taken on a life of its own, in uses by not just educators, but marketers.  A quick Google search on “content curation” turns up 1,240,000 results. Remove terms like “marketing”, “business”, “influence”, “customer”, and “startup” and the results are pared down to about 45,400 hits.

Within this subset of information about curating content, definitions of curating seem to have no boundaries – collecting – aggregating – curating –what exactly is the difference?  Or is there a difference? This curiosity led to further questions:  Why curate?  What is the value of curating for teachers? Really –what is the benefit of curating in terms of the learning goals – enduring understandings and 21 st century skills for our students?

Collecting vs. Curating Content I set out to read as much as possible of what others have written on the subject, (see my Scoop-It on Curating Learning Resources ) to help with my understanding.  My goal was to come up with a framework to define curating in the educational sense, in order to answer the question of what is the value-added of curating, vs. collecting information.  Below is the graphic organizer I used to develop my thoughts.

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Leveraging Learnist to Enhance Your Teaching

What a great example of leveraging technology to enhance the educational process by educators that will go the extra mile to truly provide a quality educational experience for their students. Leveraging Learnist, we see a teacher that earns the title Educator!

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21st Century School | Feature Teaching With Content Curation With two mobile laptop carts that are used primarily for technology classes and a student body that has limited access to computers outside of school, Stockton Collegiate International School isn’t exactly a hotbed of ed tech. That stumbling block doesn’t stop the K-12 charter school in Stockton, CA, from doing what it can to cultivate its 21st Century learners and prepare them for college and the workforce. In Hauna Zaich’s 8th- and 10th-grade English classes, for example, students—a good portion of whom are English learners—are using a process known as “content curation” to cull through the many resources on the web, select the most relevant ones, and then organize those resources in a logical format for sharing and later use. Defined as the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that relates a specific subject, content curation is less about creating new resources and more about amassing information and then maintaining it in a logical fashion. In K-12 education, content curation tools can be used to collect and share reading materials with students, stoke conversation about current events, develop group activities, and critique web-based material. Using the curation platform Learnist , Zaich pulls informative resources from the web (including videos, images, articles, and quizzes), curates them, and then makes the information available to her students both in and out of school. When teaching 10th-grade grammar lessons, for example, Zaich replaces a textbook with the many different SAT, GMAT, and GRE test prep materials that are available for free online. She collects video tutorials, handouts, lessons, and other materials on a “board” that students access using their own computers or mobile devices. One of Zaich’s curated boards introduces 10th graders to verb tenses, subject/verb agreement , and active versus passive voice to prep them for a writer’s workshop. Positioned prominently at the top of the board is an infographic that shows students how to take notes using the Cornell note-taking system. The board also includes a summary of active and passive voices added from GMAT and a lesson on the topic from Purdue Online Writing Lab. Another board is populated with resources like a YouTube video lesson on verbs and verb tenses from School House Rock and a lesson on verb problem-solving from SAT/ACT. Flipping the Classroom When selecting content to curate, Zaich said she looks for “areas where my  View Full Article…


Introducing Learnist

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Curation | Librarians can be Filters

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The Internet firehose analogy rings even truer today, twenty years after Internet access saw its beginning. Each of us is now not only a consumer but also a potential media producer, and it is easy to be drenched.

Human Filters Help

Digital curators can prevent oversaturation by filtering and diverting the onslaught and by directing what is worth sharing into more gentle and continuous streams.

Blogger, author, and NYU professor Clay Shirky, in Steve Rosebaum’s Mashable post, “Why Content Curation Is Here to Stay” on May 10, 2010, describes the problem with traditional search and identifies the issue of filter failure:

Curation comes up when search stops working. [But it’s more than a human-powered filter.] Curation comes up when people realize that it isn’t just about information seeking, it’s also about synchronizing a community. [Part of the reason that human curation is so critical is simply the vast number of people who are now making and sharing media.] Everyone is a media outlet. The point of everyone being a media outlet is really not at all complicated. It just means that we can all put things out in the public view now (Shirky in

Human filters make a difference. Librarians can be filters in the best sense of the word. Librarians can synchronize communities.

Curators make sense of the vast amounts of content that are continually produced. They are talented at scouting, identifying relevance, evaluating, classifying, organizing, and presenting aggregated content for a targeted audience. They create what Allen Weiner calls”“informed playlists” (

Perhaps Albert Barnes was the ultimate curator for the pre-digital world. His suburban Philadelphia art collection and educational facility was unlike any other. Barnes was known for his visionary scouting, and for his careful selection of art work before the world discovered it as great. Known for his thoughtful juxtaposition of paintings, Barnes created wall ensembles for his students. One section of a gallery wall might contain works of different styles, periods, and from different parts of the world. They were gathered strategically so they might be contextualized, compared, and studied. His goal was for these wall ensembles, these highly curated works, to inspire learning.

Why Must School Librarians Curate?

Librarians are uniquely qualified to curate. School librarians are perhaps most ripe for this function, because they understand the curriculum and the specific needs and interests of their own communities of teachers, administrators, learners, and parents.

We school librarians are used to critically evaluating, selecting, and sharing content and tools for learning. We are used to taming information flow to facilitate discovery and knowledge building.

We currently have opportunities and tools we have never had before to organize attractive digital collections. We can now present multiple perspectives to add value to the individual items by presenting them in a new context, to collaboratively create wall ensembles for learners, and to help learners do the curating themselves.

As school librarians we can think of digital collection curation as the selection and assembly of a focused group of resources into a Web-based presentation that meets an identified purpose or need and has meaning and context for a targeted audience.

Unlike other Web curators, librarians are not simple one-interest enthusiasts. For us, those identified purposes include supporting teachers in their graduate level research, guiding an AP U.S. history class through finding relevant primary sources for document based questions (DBQs), leading a third grade class through their inquiry project about insects, leading the entire community in identifying copyright-friendly media or digital storytelling options, teaching middle school students how to develop an argument or how to document sources in MLA format. Those resources might include traditional library resources as well as links, instruction, artifacts, widgets, media feeds, news streams, specialized search tools, personal commentary, handouts, rubrics, mindmapping and outlining tools, and so much more! And as for those traditional resources, curation offers a face-out shelving approach for books, databases, reference eBooks and their widgets, as well as the potential to focus, scale, and maximize our use and investment in these resources.

It used to be that library catalogs functioned as the sole entry point to our collections. While some of us have done a fine job expanding the circ/cat for a new understanding of collection, for many the catalog is becoming one element of our larger collection. To manage the new possibilities for collection, a variety of curation solutions are needed with the choice of one entry point. Most likely, one platform will need to be chosen as a parking lot—it may be the library catalog, a wiki, Google Sites, or LibGuides—and it is possible to put a variety of other curation efforts in these spaces using links or embedded code. With aggregation, they will all play nice together.

Libraries are about facilitating physical and intellectual access to information and learning. Curation is an opportunity for librarians to scale out their practice, to reach community members 24/7 at the point of need, to maximize the use of digital purchases, and to point to our value as a teacher. At a time when some school librarians are expected to travel among multiple schools, curation may be a way to scale our practice and be effective if it isn’t possible to be physically present. Curation allows us to represent the presence of an information professional.

We need curators more than ever as we connect complex text to the Common Core State Standards, and as we maximize the potential of emerging curation platforms and eBook building tools like Apple’s iBooks Author App (

Why and What Are We Curating?

Curation of current digital resources (e.g., podcasts, slidecasts, infographics, blogs, presentations, twitter streams, ebooks, etc.) can facilitate the discovery of valuable Web content and can also promote and lead users back to valuable print materials.   View Full Article…


CRS Website “For Educators” Webinar

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Content Curation Tools for Educators

content curation tools

content curation tools (Photo credit: Aivar Ruukel)

What is Content Curation?

As instructors, we are all  information curators.  How do you collect and share currently relevant content with your students?  How do your students research and share information that they find with the rest of class? What tools do you use to manage or facilitate presentation of resources? Is it public? Can students access it at other times? In groups?

Modern web tools make it easy for both students and instructors to contribute online discoveries to class conversations.  Using free online content curation software, we can easily integrate new content in a variety of ways.

How can I use Content Curation in My Class?

Instructors are using online content curation tools in the classroom to:

  • create group activities.
  • organize and disseminate new content as a sort of digital handout to students in online and flipped classrooms.
  • collect and share professional reading materials with students.
  • foster discussion about current events.
  • encourage students to become both content creators and curators.
  • connect to experts outside class and to the world knowledge base.
  • critique information available on the web.
  • teach students to curate social media.
  • help students gain credibility and exposure.
  • keep track of online research efforts.
  • create reading lists.
  • help students gain access to the ‘collective intelligence’ of the Internet.

The following are some real-life examples of how content curation tools are being used in education.

Pinterest is a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website. The service allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections linked out to sites of origin.

Storify is a way to tell stories using social media such as tweets, photos and videos. Users search multiple social networks from one place, and then drag individual elements into stories. Users can re-order the elements and also add text to help give context to the readers. allows users to create and share their own themed magazines designed around a given topic. 

Pearltrees is a content curation site that forms communities through sharing links through a visually striking interface. 

[…]  View Full Article…

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Content Curation as Assessment for Learning

Comfortable Seating, Learning Resource Centre,...

Comfortable Seating, Learning Resource Centre, Edge Hill University (Photo credit: jisc_infonet)

I’ve had a long pause for travel and then, once I returned in mid-October, catching up with comments on

drafts for doctoral students and getting a conference submission away. Sometime last week I managed to get my head back into this space and begin thinking again about course design. I’d previously thought through feedback and experience of recent offers and come to the conclusion that ab initio development of curriculum materials should be replaced by an activity that would be closer to curation than creation, encouraging students to engage with a  personal learning network to locate and curate resources to support teaching of technology education. The challenge now is to develop that idea into an assessment task that will help to engage our students in appropriate learning.As always, there are some constraints imposed by bureaucratic processes. There are limits on the number and timing of assessment items that make it more difficult than it need be to arrange for an optimal flow of activity with checkpoints at the most appropriate places. It seems undesirable, and risky, to trust the outcome of an untried assessment process to a single submission at the end of semester. Ideally there might be multiple checkpoints that would provide for corrective feedback along the way so that students who initially misinterpret the requirements can be helped back on track. If I’m serious that this is about assessment for learning rather than assessment of learning then it seems sensible to try to arrange that students do not spend the semester learning the wrong thing.

Given the administrative restrictions, I decided a little while ago that the best I could do would be to arrange a checkpoint by placing a requirement for a plan/report about 3 weeks into the semester. That would require students to make an early start on the curation process and would deliver them feedback early enough

to allow for adjustments where those might be necessary. The final piece of assessment would include the curated collection and whatever report might be needed around that.With that basic structure in mind for the content curation task I needed to think about how that might be described and specified in a way that would both allow a degree of choice for students about content and tools and ensure some defensible basis for assessment of the products (and process). Rather than risk reinvention fr

om scratch I spent time last week searching for material to support my assessment design, ideally by way of a ready made rubric. I’d been collating links to material on curation in Diigo for a while and some concentrated search turned up a variety of resources related to content curation but no ready made solution to my assessment challenge. About the closest I came was the curation project in a class offered by Corinne Weisgerber. Using some ideas gleaned from that course syllabus and other sources I found in my search last week I’ve been working toward setting up at least the skeleton of the curation task for EDP4130. I’m focusing first on envisaging what students might produce at the planning stage and by end of semester and writing some marking guides around those. Once I have that in place I can think about preparing a fuller description of the task with links to relevant resources. That will almost inevitably result in another iteration through the marking guides to align and refine those. As usual, I expect the first steps will be the most difficult because they involve a blank page. Once I have a draft, the refinement might be easier. View Full Article…

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Educators Curate Content Leveraging Scoop.It

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Content curation is getting a lot of “press” in the field of education. While not my area of expertise, it is easy to see thoughtful, dedicated teachers looking for creative ways to provide education content for the students.    provides insight in how Educators can use Scoop.It to enhance the discovery and presentation of Internet content for their subject matter…

Get The Scoop And Give Your Visitors The Info They is a freemium service (more on that below) that allows you to create a web page to share
It does that by (1) combining clever curation tools that make it easy to gather content in one place with (2) a reasonably wide range of sharing functionalities to let people know about your page.what you find interesting with the world.

What Can You Do With It?

Here are are some practical ideas that people have already come up with on how to put to good use:

  • Create a simple webpage for a single topic.  If you are teaching about a specific topic (a holiday, country, person, etc.) in some depth, you can aggregate articles on the subject matter on one page.  See here about a teacher who used it to make a Ground Hog’s Day page.
  • Publish a magazine for colleagues or like-minded types on what you think are interesting or pertinent topics.  An example can be found here as well as links to other useful web applications.
  • Organizing in one location materials that you might use across different classes.  You can use a page to aggregate educational videos, online quizzes, spelling resources, and other similar stuff.  These guys/gals can show you how to do it.
  • If you are teaching about an active news item, you can use curation tools to create a page that is constantly updated with the latest items on the topic.  Here is more about how to go about doing that.
  • Or use it to create your own lightweight, low-maintenance blog with automated content addition.  Take a look at this pagemaintained by this teacher.

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Brian Weaver provides hands on insight into leveraging Scoop.It for the classroom: tutorial

Instructions on using for the classroom

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Learnist, a Grockit developed, Pinterest like, educator specific curation tool has recently announced apps for the iPad and iPhone! See below to learn more about how Learnist is assiting educators provide compelling and entertaining lessons for their students…


Earlier this year, social learning company Grockit launched Learnist as a Pinterest-like platform for education. The company is on Thursday rolling out iPhone and iPad apps for the new platform. Through the apps, users can both create and consume content.

Learnist, a Pinterest-like social learning platform from ed tech company Grockit, launched in May to let teachers and students of all kinds can create “learn boards” for everything from 8th grade English standards to data visualization to punk music.

On Thursday, the company is announcing that it is rolling out apps for the iPhone and iPad.

Over the past few months, the company said, tens of thousands of people have joined the site to check out about 20,000 user-created “learnings” – collections of web videos, blogs, images and other content sequenced to help people learn various topics and skills.

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Among the users are a “small army of teachers,” said Grockit founder Farbood Nivi, who have created numerous resources to support K-12 students and teachers, including learn boards for every Common Core standard for grades 7-12 (the standards are part of a new education initiative to bring differing state standards into alignment).

But, he added, Learnist is as much a platform for the life-long, or casual, learner who wants an education in yoga or photography as it is for the formal student who needs extra coaching in chemistry or algebra. As of now, he said, the content on the site is split about 50-50 between formal and informal learnings.

Since launching in 2007, Grockit’s social learning technology has focused on online test prep. But earlier this year,

Credit Photo: Nivi said, the company decided to point about 90 percent of its resources toward Learnist, which was initially created as more of an experimental platform.

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How Learnist Works

Learnist makes it super easy to share what you know by pointing to existing web resources. You can use videos, blogs, books, documents, images, anything to explain how to learn something. This short video will teach you about the basics of Learnist l…


Introducing Learnist

please check out this animated video done by some enterprising art students. We think this animation captures why we’re creating Learnist.

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Content Curation on the #iPad

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

As you start down the “curation” process, finding tools that allow you to most efficiently find and save content is mandatory. I have mentioned before that I use MyCurator to assist me with this process by actually finding relevant content automatically. But much of the content I chase down is not readily available in any one tool so I need more generic tools to help me publish the content I find. Here some interesting ideas on how to leverage some of these tools and how they are being used on iPads and more…

Credit Photo – Joyce Seitzinger

Pocket ( is a pretty good app for content curation as well. I use it in combination with Flipboard to save things for later use and reading. I mention those tools too, however I’ve put them in a different process. Take a look here… When Educators Become Curators Cheers (see slideshow below).I am a big fan of Evernote for organizing things important to me. In the Windows version, you can save searches and even create toolbar buttons for them. Combine with tagging, and you’ve got something very powerful. Thanks in no small part to this post by Ruud Hein, I […]







When Educators Become Curators – keynote slides #moothr12 from Joyce Seitzinger

New Teachers Should Become Content Curators – Curtis Bonk – Curtis Bonk, professor emeritus at Indiana University, shares what he thinks are the new skills required to teachers of the 21st century to leverage the power of the Internet for learning

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The combination of online technologies, massive quantities of information and content curation could have a significant impact on how one receives an education in the not to distant future. Robin Good‘s article, below, presents a compelling reason why content curation will be changing the way you and I and our kids and grand kids learn moving forward…

There is a growing number of key trends that are both rapidly revolutionizing the world of education as we know it and opening up opportunities to review and upgrade the role and scope of many of its existing institutions, (as the likeliness that they are going to soon become obsolete and unsustainable, is right in front of anyone’s eyes). George Siemens , in his recent Open Letter to Canadian Universities, sums them up well: 1) An Overwhelming Abundance of Information Which Begs To Be Organized The goal is not (and probably it never was) to learn or memorize all […]  Photo credit: Shutterstock     Click here to view original web page at







The Importance Of Curated And Free Content – George Siemens – Open education advocate George Siemens shares his point of view on content curation. Professionally curated makes you stand out from the competition and should always be compensated, while it is the free content that builds u…

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