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.
Scoop.it allows users to create and share their own themed magazines designed around a given topic. 
Diigo is a soical bookmarking tool that allows users to collect bookmarks, annotate them and share to groups or lists (more information available on Diigo here).

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

Get Started Using Content Curation Tools

Each service listed above offers a Bookmarklet to help you grab items of interest to add to your curation boards. A Bookmarklet allows you to quickly grab any content you find on the web and put it into your chosen collecting/sharing service. More information on bookmarklets at: http://www.techsupportguides.com/what-is-a-bookmarklet/.  See the resources below for instructions on getting started with each of the tools listed above.

Additional Resources

About the Author:

Jennifer is an Instructional Designer at UAF eLearning interested in emergent technology such as augmented reality, interactive media, and wearable devices and how these trends fit into educational experiences. She also enjoys painting, photography, travel and exploring wilderness areas off the grid.

This page was last updated on : Oct 22, 2014