It is only in the last few years that I have undertaken my own curation of digital content. It began as a way to keep a track of the information and resources I was discovering through my study and then naturally gravitated into my professional and personal life. Now I am looking more closely into how I can use it with my students.
In the 21st century where it is very easy to suffer from information overload as an adult, imagine how overwhelming it must be at times to a child in primary school. We need to teach children how to filter information and how to organise the information they find that is useful to them in such a way that they can retrieve it easily. We should also be introducing them to: 1) the benefits of accessing information from other curators; 2) how they can collaborate with others as curators themselves and; 3) how being effective curators and sharers of information can be of benefit others.
Tolisano (2011), in her blog post Students becoming curators of information? identifies that quality curation requires the skills of higher level thinking, the ability to organise, categorise and tag the content and a responsibility towards the network relying on you. As such these are skills that will benefit students throughout their lives both in and out of formal learning situations and so should be taught from as early as possible. Valenza (2012) supports this when she states that curation skills are information life skills that can meet academic and personal information needs.
In my reading and research Scoop.it keeps popping up as an effective tool for real-time curation which may be suitable for primary school students. I have not utilised this as yet aside from being directed to an occasional article appearing on someone’s feed but I like the way it presents visually. A post by Leanna Johnson (2013), on TeachThought about using Scoop.it in the classroom and why students and educators like it raised a few positive points for me. She states:
Why Students Like Scoop.it
1. Inclusion of visual elements
2. Community networking
3. Immediate tap-in to a broad range of social media
4. Autonomy and expression in a collaborative environment
5. Ongoing, succinct conversation through commenting
6. Ownership of personal learning
7. Mobile Learning Potential
Why Educators like Scoop.it
1. It provides personal learning and deeper understanding of topics
2. Individual or cooperative work
3. Research using filters
4. Understanding of how keywords attract online readers
5. Activity similar to discussion boards, a necessary skill for online LMS environments
6. All levels of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, the low-order to high-order cognitives educators consider when choosing technology tools
7. Mobile Learning Potential
Leanna also notes the potential of protecting and monitoring younger children using Scoop.it by logging them in to a main account. I can see the benefits of this, particularly in the early stages of teaching about curation via a social platform.
I am going to begin by exploring Scoop.it myself and creating an account and then next Term when I am facilitating Year 5 in their research on rainforests I will introduce them to collaborative curation of digital resources. We will become curators in the information jungles.
Johnson , L. (2013). Why Scoop.it is becoming an indespensible learning tool [Blog post]. TeachThought Blog. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/why-scoopit-is-becoming-an-indispensable-learning-tool/
Tolisano, S. (2011, June 12). Students become creators of information [Blog post]. Langwitches Blog. Retrieved from http://langwitches.org/blog/2011/06/12/students-becoming-curators-of-information/
Valenza, J. (2012). Curation. School Library Monthly, 29(1), 20-23.