You may have heard the word “curator” used in the context of a museum or as someone who collects rare artifacts.
Digital curators also collect and organize, but they are interested in digital assets, not physical ones.
Digital curation is something that is very important for me as an ECS student. By being able to gather resources across different platforms on a subject, I have access to more information and teaching tools. An article on digital curation states that “Digital information is all around us. More and more information is either born digital or digitally reformatted. A new generation of digital archivists and digital preservation specialists is needed to manage this information throughout its life cycle.” (Yakel, E., Conway, P., Hedstrom, M., & Wallace, D.., 2011, p. 23).It is up to us to create resources and tools that can aid us in our teaching journey. By curating we can help others as well as ourselves.
I remember using digital curation before I ever heard of the term. While in placement I would have to create learning experiences with certain curriculum focuses. I would always look to the internet as my first source of inspiration. I now have an entire bookmark section on my computer dedicated to ideas I found off websites or videos. I was a digital curator without even realizing it!
So what can we use to begin curating?
The first step is to pick a topic of focus to base your resources on. It could be a theme or curriculum goal.
After a theme is decided, it is time to begin putting your digital knowledge to the test! Facebook, Pintrest, blogs, apps, articles, YouTube and more can all be used to begin the curation process.
Lets do our own curation process as an example. Let’s begin with the theme of “Digital Technology use in the Classroom”
This is just a small example of the many resources you can access and put together. There are many possibilities with digital curation and it is up to you how you want to format it.
Overall, I believe that digital curation is the future for educators and can make planning as well as sharing ideas easier than it ever was before. Although there is still value in gathering physical resources like lesson binders or manipulatives, digital curation is something that can work alongside the physical to create a rich resource to pull from. An article by Yakel finds that, “Digital curation is an active area that has brought diverse the scientific, educational, and professional communities together with governmental and private sector organizations.”(Yakel, E., 2007, p.339).
So lets work together to get connected and build digital communities with other professionals!
Yakel, E. (2007). Digital curation. OCLC Systems & Services: International Digital Library Perspectives, 23(4), 335-340. doi:10.1108/10650750710831466
Yakel, E., Conway, P., Hedstrom, M., & Wallace, D.. (2011). Digital Curation for Digital Natives. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 52(1), 23–31. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25764651
(all photographs used come from Pixabay a non-copyright, free image user)