Content curation is the ongoing finding and sharing of relevant digital and non-digital content about a specific topic for a specific audience. Typically, this content will come from a variety of properly credited sources and will be collated in such a way that the collection will be more useful than its individual elements.
In a sense it’s what librarians, teachers, journalists etc have always done; evaluated, selected, collected, presented, promoted and tracked the best information for their users.
Now librarians can use the opportunities created by the excellent tools and infrastructure that are available and support students to make sense of the sometimes overwhelming amount of content available.
While the concept of content curation, or digital curation as it is also known, often refers to using digital tools to provide access to digital content such as websites, electronic articles through EPIC, blogposts and social media, it can be especially useful to also make connections to books, print journals, people and other non-digital resources when they are the most appropriate for the topic.
The emphasis should be on the best resource for the purpose.
A quality filtering and selection process is essential for an effective content curation project and all the normal rules of content evaluation apply.
There is a wide variety of content curation tools available. Before you choose one it is important to think carefully about the purpose of your project, who is involved and exactly what you hope to accomplish. Here’s a checklist to help you decide on the appropriate tool.
Too much content can be as frustrating and time consuming as a lack of content so you will need to make decisions about what to leave out. If content curation is just another broad aggregation and republishing venue, this simply adds more content for your users to trawl through without any value added or insight gained.
When collating a selection of great resources and making this available as a collection, there is also the opportunity to add value from an expert perspective. This may be done in the way the curator presents multiple perspectives alongside each other or in the comments that support students in making sense of the content.
Collaborate closely with the teacher leading the research in this topic to make sure the selected content is presented in a way that the students are most likely to benefit from the complete set of curated content.
Here are two examples of content curation projects, each using a different curation tool:
L2 – Libraries and Learning
We are using Scoop.it to provide links to current content supports futures thinking for school libraries.
Content for reuse
This is an example of curated content for creative reuse, using Prezi.com.
image by Ruukwele
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