Why Should You Take the Time to Curate Your Content?
All well designed courses (face to face and online) should have a collection of useful resources the learner can consult during class. More and more instruction is being delivered to students through digital means- using mainly websites and videos, even in traditional/face to face classroom settings.
Teachers’ roles have shifted. Or they should be shifting……as technology is engrained in our day to day lives.
Once the “keepers of all knowledge,” teachers today must adapt and become expert “content curators.”
The saturation of information on the Internet is oftentimes daunting, particularly for novice learners. Teaching and modeling effective research practices are some of the most important transferrable skills teachers can provide to students. All of this takes time, something all educators and students alike find lacking.
Does it take time to curate your online resources for students? Yes. But it is absolutely worth it!
5 Best Practices for Curating Content
Part of being an effect teacher today includes modeling digital and media literacy. An easy way to promote these skills is to simply model them by providing students with a curated digital library of resources to use during and after class.
When choosing what content to curate for your course/instruction, keep the following points in mind:
Content should be relevant to your course.
I know, I know- no brainer! Sometimes there is so much out there that you want to collect anything and everything students may find interesting that may one day be related to the course topic. I am so guilty of this as a former history teacher. I would find a connection to everything (especially current events).
Course content should be organized in a logical manner.
If it’s frustrating for the end user, it won’t be used. Period. How do you teach your class? By topics, time periods, “big ideas,” by state standard? That is how your course’s content should be organized.
Only supply the BEST resources that you have personally vetted.
I must admit- I have to tell myself to remember that less is more. Constantly. It takes time to truly evaluation websites for authenticity and academic purposes so don’t make the mistake of “judging a book by it’s cover.” Websites can be deceivingly legit.
Resources should be concise.
Besides being relevant, timely, and organized- your resources should be concise. This goes for video clips (keep them under three minutes), news articles (they should take less than 5 minutes to read), and
If possible, allow students to comment on the resources.
This serves several purposes. First, having social interactions with course content make learning “sticky.” Second, it will give you feedback on the resource. If students are finding it difficult to navigate or question its authenticity- give it a second look!
3 Digital Tools for Content Curation that are Appropriate for a Wide Audience
Keeping the I am certainly not suggesting that you use all three, however, it is always nice to have options. Find one that works for you and start curating that content!
I must admit that Pinterest is my go-to curation tool. I simply hide the boards that are not relevant to education, technology, and teacher “stuff.” This also helps to find ideas for my own practice.
Using Pinterest you have the ability to add students to a class board or just provide them the link to your boards. You can create one per unit/topic. They don’t even need an account to view/use the resources you “pin” to your boards.
Symbaloo may be more suited for older high school students and adult learners. The benefit to Symbaloo is that you can have all of your favorite websites in one visually appealing place. You also have the ability to make it your homepage and import all your bookmarks. Here is an excellent example of Symbaloo at work.
Educlipper was specifically created for educators and students to share their best work and relevant finds all around the Internet. Additionally, teachers can create assignments and provide feedback. It’s a great tool for K-12 students.
What do you think?
I certainly hope you will consider curating content for your students. It is mutually beneficial for yourself and your students to have course materials organized in a cohesive, relevant, and easy-to-use fashion. There is no reason to shut down your curated content even after the class is over. Why stop a student from continuing to learn beyond the set duration of the class?
As always, thanks for reading! I’d love to see examples of content you have created! Leave me the link in the comments below!