This post is in response to the Ontario Extend Curator module Extend Activity “What’s your definition of content curation?”
The best definition I found for the word ‘curate’ comes from MacMillan Dictionary:
to select items from among a large number of possibilities for other people to consume and enjoy; applied to many areas including music, design, fashion, and especially digital media
I had no idea I have been a curator for many years. When I taught high school, I didn’t have access to textbooks, so I found open resources to use in order to teach my units. I collected all of these resources over time and put them into a Diigo account, so I would always have access to them and could share them with my colleagues. I used Diigo for work-related curation, but I also use Pinterest for curating content for personal use — recipes, parenting, books to read, watercolor painting tutorials, dog training resources, home renovation ideas, and so on. These boards are searchable by any member so they can curate content that they want to have.
I think the key to curation in the field of education is the sharing of the items collected — what is the point of collecting items that help enhance your teaching or your students’ experience in the classroom if you don’t share your curated material? In addition to that, I think it is important to share your experience with that curated material — what was useful, what wasn’t, what worked, what didn’t, etc.
I knew what ‘open’ meant before last year, but since learning more about open pedagogy, open textbooks and open educational resources, I am on this bandwagon more than ever. I don’t think teachers should hoard their content, their curated materials, their slides, their activities, or anything else — what is the point of keeping everything to yourself? I have always shared my unit plans and lessons with other teachers I worked with (and those from other schools). The benefit of having extra eyes on my material is that they can give me constructive feedback to make it better.
As my four-year old daughter always says, “Sharing is caring!”