Category Archives: Social Bookmarking

Content Curation: Finding The Needles in the Haystacks

Digital Content Curation

In my #TIEgrad class, I have been learning about the value of digital content curation.  I used to think I had pretty strong curation skills because I used Diigo as a tool to collect and store important links.  Fortunately, having had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of content curation I have found the quality of content I now collect and share has increased significantly.  The process of curation is a noble one. Curating content on a particular subject also helps others find those needles in the haystack.

According to Wikipedia:

Digital curation is the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets.

Effective Content Curation

Consume

Between the dawn of civilization through 2003 5 exabytes of data was created…

but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing.

– Eric Schmidt, Google.

Online content can be viewed as a continuous stream of data cascading in front of our eyes like a powerful waterfall.  It is endless flow of user-generated content (blogs, video channels, social media platforms) and publishing (newspapers, websites) and it is ever increasing.  So how do we make sense of it?  Historically, we used search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, but even with advanced search algorithms developed by these companies results are at best ineffective.  No algorithm can compete with the effectiveness of an individual who is knowledgeable in a particular content area, collecting relevant and meaning information on a specific topic, and sharing it with a like-minded audience.  Consuming information, for the benefit of deepening ones understand of particular topic, is best served manually rather than using automated practices such as search engines.

Curate

More than merely collecting content on a specific subject; to curate is to make sense of the information we consume online.  Strong curation involves carefully selecting content and evaluating it for a specific purpose, topic, or subject.  It also involves making decisions about what is and is not useful to deepening understanding of the subject.  Content deemed useful can then be customized and personalized, by the curator, by adding ones professional experience to enhance it before sharing that curated content with one’s learning network.  Curating is a higher-level thinking skill.  In order to curate content that is useful for others the content needs to be synthesized, evaluated, and interpreted before being disseminated.  Well curated topics and subjects help to inform and allow learning to happen at faster rates.

Collaborate

Finding great content online is one thing, but being able to package it into a format that will help inform others is quite another.  Best practices on how to share content involve inviting others to contribute, disseminating curated content on a regular basis, and making sure that the content you share has been evaluated and meets the needs of your target audience.

 Once they find a quality, curated collection, they’ll stay for related offerings.

– Steven Rosenbaum

Difference Between Collecting and Curating

Collecting                                        Curating

– Independent                                                     – Shared

– Lower-level thinking skill                            – Higher-level thinking skill

– Consume content                                            – Add value and insight to content

– Less organized                                                  – Highly organized

– Closed learning                                                 – Open learning

5 Great Content Curation Tools

3 Examples of Content Curation

  1. Restorative Classroom Practices

  2. Self Regulation in Schools

  3. BC Education Daily

Robin Good’s Video Playlist – Content Curation

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMPSL-1qMG8&w=640&h=360]

Professional Development Ideas for 21st Century Teaching

Does your school offer the professional development you’re need?

Recently I worked with my Twitter PLN on the topic of professional development.  Directly after the Tuesday Edchat session we worked on a document together, describing the kind of professional development opportunities we wished our schools districts offered.  We also discussed how we could developed our own in the interim.

Here’s a list of my favourite professional development opportunities I wished my district offered:

Personally, this type of collaborative effort excites me as an educator.  I would ultimately like to master my craft (education) and I feel like I move one step closer every time I connect with fellow educators from around the globe.

Many thanks to #Edchat, my PLN, the following educators – @actionhero, @missbartel, @21stcenturychem, @DrTimony, @cybraryman1, @davidwees, and everyone else who contributed to the document: http://bit.ly/aFuWAd

8 Ways To Keep Current With Technology and Technology Integration In The Classroom

8 Ways To Keep Current With Technology and Technology Integration In the Classroom

  1. Create a Personal Learning Network (PLN) and use technology as a method of communicating, collaborating and sharing ideas.  Your PLN may be local: educators in your school, nearby schools, or district wide. Alternatively, you may also decide to develop a virtual or global PLN using social networks such as Twitter , Educator’s PLN, Classroom 2.0, or for Canadian content CEET.
  2. Use a social networking tool such as Twitter to communicate with other education professionals.  Twitter is a micro-blogging web2.0 tool where education professionals share ideas, resources, ask for help, and provide opportunities to collaborate.  Updates, or Tweets as they are known, are restricted to 140 characters.  Therefore communication is to-the-point.  To find education professionals already using Twitter follow the link: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AmdX57Dqx0tEcE1fWkU1QlMwU2dxRGFibmhsOFoyYUE&hl=en_GB
  3. Participated in Twitter chat such as #edchat – a weekly discussion about education issues at 4pm PST on Tuesday’s, or #teachertuesday
  4. Use an RSS reader such as Google Reader.  An RSS reader brings all your favourite blogs to you instead of having to go out to the Internet to view them.  Once you’ve subscribed to some educational technology blogs, you can share your feeds with other educators.  My Shared Google Reader Feeds
  5. Take advantage of social bookmarking.  Social bookmarking tools such as Diigo and Delicious allow users to store their bookmarks on the web, which makes them accessible from any computer with an Internet connection.  Additionally, these tools allow users to share bookmarks with others.  In other words, if you find a great resource site and you’d like to share with your PLN you can do so with one click of the mouse.  A very powerful tool in the PLN arsenal.
  6. Participate in Virtual Professional Development (VPD).  Sometimes as educators we need to take control of our own learning because our Districts are unable to provide differentiated professional development for all teachers.  With this in mind, I’ve found workshops, webinar’s, and webcast’s covering a wide range of technology related topics everyday of the week.  Here is a link to view upcoming events.
  7. Join and participate in technology Ning’s, Wiki’s, and blogs.  These spaces are kept current by educators who believe technology integration should be the norm and not an add on.  Here are links to my technology Ning’s, Wiki’s, and some excellent technology blogs.
  8. Take some time to share your ideas with other teachers in your school.  Soon you’ll be learning from them.  Sharing and learning with and from others educators makes it easier to keep current with technology and technology integration in the classroom.

Broadening My Horizons Using Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is the third tool I use to build my PLN. A powerful social bookmarking tool such as Diigo can be useful in sharing, annotating, and organizing your bookmarks and the bookmarks of others in your PLN.

Bookmarking and Sharing

Using the Diigo service allows users to bookmark a URL to Diigo’s servers which means those bookmarks are then accessable from any computer or smartphone with an Internet connection.  During the bookmarking phase users can tag the bookmark to easily find the page for use later.  Diigo allows user to search their own bookmarks by title, by URL, or by tag.  User’s are also able to organize their bookmarks by creating lists.  For example, a teacher may opt to create a list that mirrors the subjects taught by that teacher.  Therefore when he/she needs to find bookmarks related to science he/she can easily click on the science list within the user’s Diigo page.  It is also possible to take a snapshot of the webpage you are going to bookmark.  This could be useful when comparing sites that change often.  Not only is it possible to bookmark URL’s using Diigo, it’s also possible to bookmark pdf’s, blogs, and any other online material.  Finally, if you have a Twitter account you can automatically tweet your latest bookmarks directly to your followers, during the bookmarking phase.

If Diigo was purely a bookmarking service it would be solid product, but it offers its user’s so much more, making it a great product.  Once you’ve developed a set of bookmarks it’s possible to share those bookmarks with friends or members of your PLN.  This allows you to see what blogs your peers are reading, what websites they’re saving for later use, what paper’s they’re reading, and who is sharing bookmarks with them.  This is a powerful option when collaborating or attempting to expand your knowledge based in a particular area.

Annotating

Before, or after for that matter, a URL is bookmarked it’s possible to highlight text and pictures.  The is particular useful when researching.  It is also possible to add notes to the page with multiple sticky notes.  Annotations will then be saved during the bookmarking phased.  These pages can also be sharing with members of your network or PLN.

Searching

One of the most exciting features of Diigo is it’s ability to search the Diigo network for tag’s of your choice.  For example, if I need to find resources on ‘digital-storytelling’ I would visit my Diigo homepage and type ‘digital-storytelling’ into the search box.  Diigo then gives me options on my search criteria.  I am able to either search my existing saved sites, search the whole Diigo network for ‘digital-storytelling’ sites, or search my friends (PLN’s) sites.

For additional information on Diigo please visit the following link to view Diigo screencasts and tutorials:

http://help.diigo.com/home