Increased connectivity both in the information and social domain, suggests Steve Wheeler leads to an online learning landscape where context and community are key. The social web has enabled us to share and gain knowledge with an immediacy and ease that challenges institutional educational models and will continue to present new opportunities for teaching and learning.
We now have streams of information that we have compartmentalised into Twitter lists or Pinterest boards that are designed around our interests. Whilst this helps limit noise in terms of articles and resources that we don’t find useful, it can result in an information bubble where we aren’t being exposed to alternative arguments or opinion.
Many web resources now facilitate forms of social curation, facilitating interaction around these resources. Here’s a few that I’ve found most useful:
Does what it says on the tin. List.ly is a list creator with the added abilty to comment and vote up/down list items. It’s also great for curating web resources as it will pull in images and information about the links you paste in, which you can then edit. It’s a collaborative tool, so you can ask others to add to your list and in a similar way to pinterest or Tumblr, you can relist items on another list and you can embed your lists on other sites, like Learning Space for example. I recently created a list of Open Source Educational Tools and one on free Course Design Tools.
Revue is a relatively new service that allows you to curate a weekly email digest that people can subscribe to or you can subscribe them to and can pull in a range of content from your existing social media tools (favourite Tweets or Facebook likes etc.). It also has a handy chrome extension that let’s you save content to your weekly/monthly digest as you browse the web. When you come to send out your news, Revue presents your curated items in an easily digestible format that you can edit and add to and then send out to readers. It also publishes these to the web under your revue user name. I had a go a few weeks back, just to test the service and I think this might be useful for professional services teams to update each other with current thinking/interesting reading in their fields.
Gibbon facilitates the design of a personalised curriculum around your interests, you can curate your own learning playlists or subscribe to others and you can initiate or contribute to discussions around those resources. Gibbon also takes into account the time it takes to read/view resources so you can specify that you want a half hour digest around your interests so that you can learn in small chunks in a time/place convenient to you. This potentially has beneficial implications for CPD in that you could set aside time each week for staff to engage with their learning playlists. You can also curate playlists as a team around topics that you feel would be of benefit to your audience. I created a public playlist centred around Open and User Experience led Learning Design as these should be important considerations for academic staff and those working in technological disciplines.
Personally, I’ve also started using the blog as a form of curation and where there are reference points, I’ve added links. There is such a huge amount of knowledge available via the web, we need curation tools and curators to funnel the information and we need social interaction to validate this and facilitate critical engagement.
Much of this is borrowed from a previous post written for #BYOD4L