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Teachers as Curators

A giant stone face at The Bayon temple in Angkor Thom, Cambodia After an interesting semester of online teaching both undergrad and graduate pre-service teachers, I am intrigued by the recent discourse on digital content curation. This emerging role intersects public relations, communication and media arts, information literacy, media literacy, news literacy (and others).

Currently, curation is a highly relevant topic within my current role as teacher educator. When it comes to the digital world and P-12 education, teachers wear the hat of curators of content. Yet, what does it mean to be a digital content curator? I am torn between the mode of curation that focuses on aggregation of online resources (to cull the most relevant information about a particular topic into a single location) and the more complex mode of distillation (synthesizing information into a simple format where only the most important or relevant ideas are shared). The difference between the two has everything to do with critical thinking—which we know makes all the difference in educating all learners.

I am also wondering if curation is less about the content and more about the rhetorical mechanism of making sense of content and then packaging it and pushing it back into the data stream. From this perspective, it is the unique perspective of the curator (or in this case, the teacher) that is of value, rather than the access to content itself.

I am interested in how teachers and their students can use web curation tools such as PLAYground, Edtwist, and Padlet as curriculum development tools as well as student-driven technologies.

Submit a comment below to let me know your thoughts and experiences.

Some of the most popular internet content curators discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with their roles:

What is Curation? from Percolate on Vimeo.

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