Curation is the process ofculling resources to fit a particular need, but it is also the process of connecting with a global community by sharing those resources. One of the Shared Foundations in the AASL National School Library Standards is Curate. Curation in instruction looks different in every grade level and for each lesson. For younger students, educators typically curate resources for them. As the student progresses through the inquiry process and grows, curation migrates toward self-curation. The student becomes the curator.
Finding a tool in which to store digitally curated sites, documents, research, articles, and information can appear daunting (or on the other end of the spectrum, be single-sourced). Digital curation seems to be the norm today as much of our information has been digitized. Even Vatican archived documents are being digitally curated. What curation tools can you use and share with your students?
Most people are familiar with Pinterest. Using a board format, websites and digital content can be curated and organized by topic. During a conference in which Deborah Wiles gave a keynote on her writing process, she stated that she often uses Pinterest boards when writing a character. Each character would receive a board, and the board is filled with things that the character may find interesting. The major downfall with Pinterest is that the origin of pins can sometimes be hidden behind multiple links. Pinterest also offers the option to create collaborative boards. I love sharing boards with teachers as we are planning units together. We can both add helpful resources, tools, and sites to a board, making them easy to find and use later.
Google Keep is a great curation tool. It allows users to save resources, notes, and links. Since it is a Google product, it cloud syncs all of the information into the user’s Google Drive. The great thing about Google Keep is that the app can be added onto mobile devices. This allows curators to add their resources on the go or as resources are found. Users can add others to their Keep files to collaborate on the curation of resources. With Google’s built-in link sharing, curators will find it easy to share their resources.
Wakelet is a digital curation tool that allows users to curate conversations. By inputting a hashtag or username, curators can build a list of tweets that include that particular hashtag or username. When Storify closed in May 2018, many users migrated to Wakelet. #ArkTLChat utilizes Wakelet to curate monthly chats. The tweets can be saved in chronological order or reverse order. The only downfall I experience with Wakelet is searching tweets. They only appear 50 at a time, so the curator must scroll through often thousands of tweets, as I did when curating the resources shared during Springdale’s (AR) Innovation Institute. Wakelet threads can be shared on social media sites directly within the site. It also has a handy embed code option!
Pearltrees is a fairly new-to-me curation tool. Curators can use Pearltrees to curate in multiple different ways. Users are able to simply add webpages by link, search other collections, or browse through previously curated resources. Pearltrees also offers users the option to create collections by curating a variety of resources by topic. To get an idea of what curation through Pearltrees looks like, visit Michelle Luhtala’s Curation Collection. While Pearltrees has a paid subscription, it also provides basic curation services for free.
With many of the previous curation tools, users must create logins to begin curating resources. Destiny Collections by Follett allows teachers, students, and school librarians to build Collections, as do most other circulation systems. The AASL Standards Implementation Task Force has posted items that focus on each of the Shared Foundations that may be useful when working through the curation process. Old-fashioned hyperdocs and bulleted lists of resources can also be used in the curation process. How can you assist in the transition from teacher-curated resources to student self-curated resources in a global learning community?
Author: Ashley Cooksey
Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.