“The growth in digital information is staggering. As trusted content curators, learning professionals help learners cut through the noise to get the information they need.” -David Kelly
Content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.
Curation is an increasingly important skill. Being digitally literate requires you to curate things to address your own personal learning needs. As L&D people, we should be leading the way. But it’s not only for ourselves, it is also for our organizations. Curation is a good way to extract value from the flood of information we face every day.
To make sense of the world, for ourselves and those we hope to move, we must wade through a mass of material flowing at us every day – selecting what’s relevant and discarding what’s not. -Daniel Pink
If you think about it, isn’t instructional design and creating training programs a form of curating? Taking all the information you can find on a topic, analyzing it, paring it down, organizing and presenting it in a logical, easy to consume format. Sounds like curating to me! Courses are a common form of curation, but definitely not the only form.
Click to Tweet: Instructional design is a form of content curation.
Watch Harold Rheingold’s interview with Robin Good to learn more about curation.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of what this looks like in practice.
- David Kelly (@LandDDave) curates the backchannel from a lot of training conferences. If you aren’t able to attend, you’re still able to peek in and see what is happening. You should definitely subscribe to David’s blog. (Yes, now. We’ll wait for you to get back before we continue.)
- JD Dillon (@jd_dillon) “flips” useful articles into a curated Flipboard magazine.
- Curated by the ultimate “interestingness hunter-gatherer” Maria Popova, Brain Pickings offers the week’s most unmissable articles across art, science, design, history, and the usual miscellanea, alongside short highlights from other notable reads.
- Robin Good curates a massive amount of media, software and other valuable content.
- Check out this example he curated on the topic of curation.
- Some of the tools we’ve explored in this program can be used for curation. For example, this collection of Articulate Storyline tutorials on Diigo and #PowerPoint related pins on Pinterest.
In his article, David shares this simple three-step curation process, adapted from Harold Jarche’s personal knowledge management (PKM) framework.
- Seek – Find information that is of value to workers.
- Sense – Make sense of the identified content and add value that shows how it applies to the work and work environment.
- Share – Once content is identified and the curator has added context, the content can then be shared.
Now that we’ve introduced the concept of curation and seen some examples, let’s explore how you can make it happen. I really believe Harold Jarche’s Seek-Sense-Share framework for personal knowledge management (PKM) is a great model. It makes a lot of sense to organize your approach around the three steps in his PKM process.
Finally, as learning practitioners, we’re awash in information about social tools and technology-enabled learning. It can be easy to overlook how unfamiliar busy professionals are with some of these technologies—especially in a work context. We need to take the time to help familiarize them with new tools, using practical, realistic examples. – Eric Kammerer
Now I’d like to share a few practical ways to use curation tools and techniques in the Seek-Sense-Share context.
Seek: Seeking is finding things out and keeping up to date. These are tools that help you save time discovering relevant content efficiently.
- Feedly: We covered Feedly earlier in the program when we talked about RSS and feed readers. Feedly is the great way to organize, read and share the content of your favorite sites all in one place. You can save and share items to other social tools directly from within Feedly.
- Flipboard: Mainly used as an app for your tablet or smartphone, Flipboard is “a single place to discover, collect and share the news you care about. Add your favorite social networks, publications and blogs to stay connected to the topics and people closest to you” You can use it to easily aggregate content from a variety of sources and presents the content in a very nice magazine type format. And you can quickly and easily curate and share articles directly from within Flipboard with the click of a button. You can “flip” things into your own magazine or use the Flip It bookmarklet in your web browser. Check out JD Dillon’s ‘magazine’.
- This video shows how to use Flipboard to find, curate and share content. You’ll find a complete step by step guide to setting up Flipboard here.
- Twitter is also great for the curation process. Don’t forget to leverage lists and hashtags.
Sense: Sensing is how we personalize information and use it.
- Evernote: Evernote is great for collecting and storing information using folder and tagging functions that can be used to organize content you find valuable.
- Diigo: Allows you to collect bookmarks, annotate web pages with highlighting and sticky notes that persist when you return to the site, and share bookmark collections with others, among other features.
- Blogging: (WordPress, Blogger) Blogs posts are a good way to curate because they allow detailed followed up and elaboration. Plus there are a lot of possibilities to customize and organize a lot of information in a blog including the ability to embed content from other sources into your blog posts, etc. Check out this post on blogging as a curation platform to learn more.
- SlideShare is a site where you can post your presentations online to share with others. They can also be easily embedded into blog posts.
- Storify enables you to curate your own stories from photos, video, tweets, what people post on social media sites and your own narration. Here’s a quick video on how to use Storify.
Share: Sharing includes exchanging resources, ideas, and experiences with our networks as well as collaborating with our colleagues. These tools enable you to organize, annotate and display your content.
- Feedly, Flipboard, Zite, Twitter, Storify, Blogging, Diigo (See above)
- Social Bookmarking tools: Diigo, Delicious, Pinterest
- Scoop.it! is a curation platform that enable users to collect news, articles, and other sources found on the Internet and share them on their own custom-themed Scoop.it! site. Scoop.it! is like a social bookmarking web site but with a visual, online magazine-like format.
- Rebel Mouse, Paper.li
There are a bazillion tools you can use.; and the tools you use, and how you curate, is very personal. Try a few out. Keep what works and don’t worry about whether or not you’re doing it “right”. There isn’t any one “right” way. If it works for you, it is all good!
You already have a reputation online and you’re either managing it yourself or leaving it to chance. Curation is one good way to control!
Activity 1: Choose a tool for each curation step: Seek, Sense & Share
- Leave a comment about which tools you selected. Bonus points for your thinking about why you picked what you did.
Activity 2: Answer at least one of the following questions.
- Do you think curation should play a role in learning & development?
- Think about and share how you are already curating? (If you are reading blogs, blogging yourself, sharing links on Twitter, saving your bookmarks online, pinning things to Pinterest, etc you may be curating and not even realize it!)
- How do you personally benefit from curation? Either your own or someone else’s.
- Will you explore any new tools from this list? Are you looking for any tools to fill a particular need?
- How can your organization benefit from curation?