[Editor’s Note: This article was first published on the TCEA TechNotes blog.]

Curator. What does that world call to mind? Museums? Art? A simple Google Images search will reinforce that notion. Now think about curation. Maybe you envision the very same. But if you try a search in Google Images for curation, you’ll uncover entirely different results.

Curate like a professional

What is curation?

Curation is something of a buzzword in education today, especially the phrase content curation. And regardless of your role, you are likely a content curator. The question is how effectively you curate. Librarians often excel in this, as do many teachers. Whether you are starting out as a content curator or honing your skills, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Curation should be selective. Dumping information, sites, or titles into a repository isn’t curation. Curation is more than simply collecting. In her blog post on “Curation Situations,” Joyce Valenza takes it further, adding to the process purpose, audience, context, and commentary. When curating resources, go with what you know. Dumping now will require tidying up later.
  • Choose your curation tool(s) carefully. Does the tool you’re using allow you to adequately convey information? Can your audience easily understand what you are sharing? Is the tool easily accessible by your audience and across devices? Do you need the ability to collaborate? Some tools allow for annotation and image selection while others might provide only a single-image option and no added text. Tailor your curated collection to you and your audience’s needs.
  • Promote your curated resources. There’s no point in spending time and effort creating collections that no one will see or use. Resources need to be quick and easy to find and intuitive to use. Let your teachers and students know how and where to find your collections. Are you going to send links? Will they be shared in a Classroom or perhaps posted to a website? Consider these questions as you select a tool or app.

Related: How to find, curate, and assess OER

About the Author:

Kristi Starr is the library media specialist and co-campus technology leader at Coronado High School in Lubbock ISD and the president of TCEA’s LIB-SIG.


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