This week’s blog is on content curation. I was assigned to teach this topic online for a course I am taking at UMass Boston on the Design and Instruction of Online Courses (INSDSG 684). To be honest, I only had a vague idea of what content curation was before this assignment. I thought it was something librarians do to categorize and store the vast amount of physical information in their collection. After some initial research I found that content curation is a thriving industry for corporate marketing, education, museums/art galleries, and hobbyist. For those of you that are a little unclear on the subject, here is a loose definition.
Content curation is the process of sorting through vast amounts of content and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around specific themes or topics. The work involves sifting, sorting, evaluating, arranging, and sharing/publishing information. The content can either be physical (e.g. books, periodicals, research papers etc.) or digital (e.g. blogs, post, e-journals, etc.).
Now there are some very powerful free/low cost tools for the collaborative creation, storage, and sharing of electronic content (e.g. Google Docs and Dropbox). However, when I tried to identify tools for finding high quality content for education and instructional design I was bewildered by the share number of services available. After searching countless websites and watching several Youtube videos, I discovered that almost all of these services (e.g. Scoop.it, Feedly, Swayy ect.) are marketing tools designed to search social media for what’s trending in a particular markets segment. The best site I could identify for educational material was OER Commons (https://www.oercommons.org/) which is one of the few services to find and share open educational resources (OER) and free instructional material. With a single point of access OER Commons helps educators, students, and life-long learners find high quality open source educational content. If you are aware of other content search and management tools for education please tells us about them in the comments section of this blog (please provide a URL to the site).