Robin Good: Curation Tools as Learning Tools

04 Education
Robin Good
Robin Good

From the original article by Justin Reich and Beth Holland on MindShift: “What would a math class look like where students learn to compute, prove, derive, and intuit, as well as to discern and appreciate mathematical beauty?

What about a history class where students maintained a portfolio of beautiful artifacts and ideas from multiple periods?

How might efforts to curate benefit from the portability and ubiquity of mobile devices?

What would a “relevance portfolio” look like, where students catalog their daily encounters with ideas or experiences? What other kinds of portfolios could students create over the course of their academic career?

If you are curious to get a glimpse at how tablets and their apps can be utilized to leverage curation for your classroom learning objectives, then this is definitely a good read.

You get a good introduction with some interesting historical facts about curation and about what it could be done with it in the real of education, and then you are provided with a good number of examples and tools that you can start to use right away.

Informative. Resourceful. 8/10

To Get the Most Out of Tablets, Use Smart Curation


When first stepping into an iPad or tablet classroom, organizing physical and digital content emerges as an immediate challenge. Teachers have printed materials and trusted textbooks in conjunction with digital resources. In elementary classrooms, teachers also balance the need for paper, crayons, and blocks with effective uses of mobile devices.

Evernote is one of the best apps to start to bridge this gap between the digital and physical. With a free account, teachers instantly have access to all of their materials from anything with a web browser. Using a familiar metaphor – notes and notebooks – as an organizational structure, teachers can curate lesson plans, student work, curriculum resources, etc. into the app. Scans of printed materials, or pictures of student work, capture the physical world. Audio notes allow teachers and students to verbally reflect on the content. Content curated from around the web can be clipped to notebooks for later use.

Students can also have Evernote accounts for curating their own learning artifacts. At Trinity School Atlanta, students in grades 2-6 use Evernote for note taking, curation, and reflection.

“We started with a big idea and have been continuously refining it to build not just a space, but an experience that helps students learn more about themselves over time, while informing teachers and parents in meaningful and authentic ways,” writes Rhonda Mitchell who leads that portfolio initiative. Within this context, students and teachers are curating not only artifacts but also their experiences.

While Evernote is a good tool for personal connections, other apps and web tools allow teachers and students to create public facing collections. Students can collect, organize and annotate web sites on Diigo, books on GoodReads, photos of Flickr, scholarly references on Zotero, music on SoundCloud, and anything and everything on a Tumblr or WordPress blog. Tools such as Touch App Creator or Tactilize allow teachers and students to collect and reflect on learning artifacts from different media and to publish these collections to broad audiences. Tactilize simplifies publishing magazine like content. Touch App Creator allows users to organize eBooks, text, images, and web-based content together into web apps hosted on Google Drive. Without needing web hosting or even knowledge of programming, teachers can combine a set of learning objects for their students or students can create apps with collections organized for public presentation and distribution.

With these different apps and web services for the collection and display of curated content, the technology for curation is Monday-ready. The harder questions are pedagogical and curricular. What should students curate? In the spirit of Gardner’s beauty journals, we should aim not just to help students get organized, but to closely and intentionally examine what they read, watch, see, hear, and collect.

Read full article with all links.

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