Wednesday, September 12, 2012

(15) Week 6: Content Curation

Project progress:

Congratulations everyone! At the start of week 6 we have achieved half of our badges, and gathered several key tools for our Digital Toolkit:

Week 1: Presence: Establishing your digital identity using LinkedIn and digital presence using Yammer
Week 2: Connection: developing your Personal Learning Network with Twitter
Week 3: Mobile: using mobile devices and cloud apps
Weeks 4-5: Security: working securely in the cloud

These four skills have equipped you with the basic tools you will need to develop the next two key skills, Curation and Creation.

We will spend the next 6 weeks on these two skills, and on how they can enhance our work.

Week 6: Digital content curation

Content curation is the process of finding and sifting through the enormous amounts of information on the internet relating to a particular topic, selecting the quality resources and ideas, then presenting them in a meaningful way to share with your PLN (professional learning community).

Social media tools offers us as educators, researchers and professionals the opportunity to develop your PLN and harness the power of this network to find, use and disseminate information, ideas and research. 
"Unlike traditional search technologies, which only return results related to the search terms that
you input, social tools harness your network to inform you about issues and developments you may
not be aware of. They can even provide alternative strategies and approaches to questions based on
collective experience. In other words, ‘search’ can provide you with answers only to the questions you ask, whereas social media can also provide you with intelligently-filtered information that helps to stimulate new questions, in the same way that a conversation with a colleague".
from Cann, A, Dimitriou, K, Hooley, T (2011) Social Media: A guide for researchers (link

"I think social media made me a better researcher because I find stuff out a lot
quicker. I now have a network of individuals I respect and am confident in their work.
The network discovers and filters and discusses. I have connected my research to the
real world in a way that would not have been so easy before and maybe not possible."
Terry Wassall, University of Leeds

Why is content curation a vital 21st century skill?

The Age of Abundance
It is no longer information scarcity that is the problem, but rather we face the challenges of:
(1) too much information
(2) inaccurate information
(3) knowing where to find information
(5) evaluating the quality of the information.

So, locating, sorting, organising and sharing of resources is a skill that is vital in the age of information abundance and of rapidly growing importance. This skill is known as curation, or "content curation".

There are many reasons to curate: here are some.

Curation for teachers is useful to:
  1. gather quality resources to use in our teaching
  2. reduce the need to recreate our own resources
  3. foster students' curation skills
  4. support ongoing professional development
    Curation for researchers:

    Curation is a useful activity for researchers and research students to undertake as it involves:
    1. learning to skillfully access, select and store content on the research topic from a torrent of information from a range of media platforms
    2. disseminating your work and attract those interested in your research
    3. establishing your profile as a trusted topic expert.
    From Minocha and Petre (2012) The Handbook of social media for researchers and supervisors, The Open University.

    Content curation Tools

    We will add several curation tools into your Digital Toolkit so you develop an understanding of which may work best for you.

    The example we will look at this week is - a content curation tool that allows you to create a Topic, and collect web pages, blog posts, articles, videos etc, into magazine style collections relevant to that Topic. This Topic can be followed by others who are interested. You can also follow Topics curated by others.

    Curation of a topic you are interested in is
    an excellent way to build, learn from and contribute to your Personal Learning Network.

    Task 1: Get to know and VIEW others' curated collections

    Step 1:
    Go to and take the guided tour.

    Step 2: Look at these topics that have been curated:
    (1) I have curated a Topic for the SENSES project here. Notice there are our blogs, as well as videos, websites, articles etc.
    (2) Joyce Seitzinger has curated a set of resources on Digital curation for teachers using You can click on Joyce's name to see the other topics she curates.

    (3) Here are some other examples:
    Australian Health
    Trends in Higher Education
    Online collaboration tools
    Healthcare technology
    The 21st Century
    Data is beautiful
    Amazing Science

    Step 3: Explore the interface further and get to know it thoroughly.
    It takes some time to get to know a new program. Actively explore the whole interface to find out what it can do. Look at all the toolbars, links and buttons in turn. Often if you mouse over the buttons and links, you will see the explanation. Then click on everything! Explaining what can do to someone else is a good way to test that you understand it.

    Task 2: FOLLOW others' curated collections
    Step 1: Join here.
    (Note: the login window asks you to register with a Twitter or Facebook username - but if you don't have either, you can click the link that says "I don't have a Twitter or Facebook account". However, feel free to contact me to arrange a meeting and I can get you started on Twitter!)

    Step 2: Search for topics that may be of interest to you and then choose good quality topics:
    (a) Search: Type a term (such as Health) in the Search box at the top, then click on Topics to see all the topics people are curating on that term.
    (b) Evaluate: Identify the good quality Topics. The green star indicates it is a highly ranked collection, and the green number in the top left is the score of quality.
    Step 3: Once you have found a topic, click the "Follow" button for that topic. Do this for 3 or more topics.

    Step 4:
    Follow the SENSES project topic.

    Step 5:
    Click on the button to return to your home page. Now click on the Topics  and Community buttons at the top of your page to see the full collection of the topics you follow and people you are connected to.

     Task 3: Set up your own page
    Step 1: Install the bookmarklet - a button for your browser toolbar that allows you to Scoop webpages.
    Here is the bookmarketlet. Click on it from within each browser you wish to use.
    And here are more general instructions on installing bookmarklets.

    You will also need to install the bookmarklets on your tablet or iPhone (here are iPad instructions).

    Step 2: Create your Topic (click on My Topics & Create a Topic

    p 3: Curate your topic. 
    As you come across resources relevant to your Topic during your work day, just click the button on your toolbar. It's that easy!
    You can edit the description and the image if you wish, then click Publish. You can do this from any computer - just install the bookmarklet.

    Step 4: When you have three resources in your Topic, write in the Comments area below the name of your topic so we can follow it.

    Best practice curation tips!
    1. Curate a specific topic or set of topics so that you are identified as a trusted source or expert on that topic
    2. Share only the best quality resources so you are offering value to your network 
    3. Curate frequently and regularly so your collection contains current content and your followers benefit from re-visiting.
    4. And some more excellent curation techniques here.


      Congratulations, you have earned the Week 6 Digital Curation badge!


      1. Great resource Suzy! One question though - is there a way to edit topics once they are created?



      2. Great to see your two topics Megan :)

        Yes you can edit the text and image of each Scoop.
        If you mouse over the lower edge of a Scoop, you will see some buttons appear.

        - The star is to FAVOURITE the Scoop
        - The four arrows allows you to MOVE a Scoop within your topic page. (My SENSES project topic has many Scoops so is two pages).
        - The pencil symbol is EDIT: click this to edit the amount or content of the text that appears, and change the image that is displayed.
        - The TAG symbol allows you to allocate tag terms to help people find your Scoops when they search using that term. So it's a good idea to tag each Scoop.

        On the bottom right of each Scoop are communication / commenting buttons that also appear to your readers, or to you when you are viewing others' Scoops.
        - The REACTIONS button allows you to comment on a Scoop.
        - The SHARE button allows to you put your Scoop or others' Scoops on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. and also to get the url for that particular Scoop so you can email it or put it in your blog etc.
        - The THANKS button only appears when you are viewing others' Scoops and allows you to express your gratitude to that person for curating a resource you find useful!

        So it's a highly collaborative platform isn't it :) A little different to your Favourites list in your browser!

      3. Oh this was tough. I think I have three in now. The topic is Food for Living - see if you can also see my three topics so far. Have been facing challenges!!

        1. Great stuff Lynn, I liked your Scoop on the DASH study. Keep curating, your topic so your Followers have a reason to come see :)

          Also you will see some topics have a green star: this means they are rated highly according to the criteria of:
          1) how often the content is updated: so scoop and rescoop regularly
          2) number of viewers and followers: you can tweet your updates to encourage people to visit, and reScoop others' Scoops to connect with other
          3)how many resources: so develop a good depth of coverage of your Topic

      4. Hi Susie, does this work on an i....ok never mind, I have found the answer. So is scoop it a sort of marriage between twitter, facebook and a personal newspaper?

        1. Hi Gie

          Yes I can see where you are coming from, that has the graphical and curated collection elements of newspapers, combined with the sharing aspect of Facebook, and the connecting and Personal Learning Network power of Twitter.
          I am finding it a very useful 'place' or 'networked intelligence' in a sense. It is helping me keep my learning very connected and current.

          In fact I am finding I am using Google far less for general search, as is an already curated collection of good quality resources, ideas and people.

          What do others think?