Curation Tools for Teachers

What is Curation?

I read in an article here and it mentioned curation vs. just dumping. That really struck me. Curation implies careful thought. What tools are good for curating, not just dumping? It is not just thought, but connections (Valenza, 2017). When you curate information you analyze the information, synthesize and categorize it. “When students curate, they make decisions about authority and bias.” (Valenza, 2017).

Last year I had my students (6th grade) curate some grammar resources for me because subconsciously I realized how much thought goes into curation. Now that I have consciously thought about the Blooms levels of thinking, I can explain it to my peers and we can plan to use it more in our lessons.

Files, Paper, Office, Paperwork, Stack

Last year I had my students (6th grade) curate some grammar resources for me because subconsciously I realized how much thought goes into curation. Now that I have consciously thought about the Blooms levels of thinking, I can explain it to my peers and we can plan to use it more in our lessons.

This study of curation has also broadened my definition of curation. Previously I would not have considered Google Sites and Google Drive a curation tool. Perhaps this year I will have my students create their own website to curate the resources which help them understand each concept they learn and use it as a review tool right before a unit test.

What do I look for in a curation tool?

  • Ease of use, which to me, means it is in the cloud. I can use it on my phone, on my laptop, or on my work desktop computer.
  • It doesn’t take a million steps to save something.
  • Tag organization is helpful for sub-categorizing.

What are some of the tools I use?

Evernote

I like Evernote. It has the ability to save a webpage and I can tag what I’m saving. However it doesn’t let me make up a new tag on my phone. But it is a good program otherwise and it’s on the cloud.

Google Keep

Medal, Trophy, Achievement, Award, Champion, Victory
Favorite note taking tool and place for articles

I just recently discovered this one while I was studying for the Google Level 1 Educator Certification test. This one does it all! It is easy to use on any platform. It’s on the cloud. It even works with Google Docs. It allows me to add a tag as I need them on any device. You can search in the search bar or search by tag. You can even color code your notes like pink notes for home stuff and yellow notes for work stuff. You can make a checklist, do a voice to text or a voice memo, set an alarm, and more. I’m still discovering new things about it.

Google Drive

I’m a sucker for anything Google it seems. My district uses Google Dive instead of giving us hardware storage. I love that I can work on something at home and never have to worry about forgetting the thumb-drive at home. (Now I’m showing how long I’ve been teaching!)

Padlet

Medal, Trophy, Achievement, Award, Champion, Victory
Padlet is my favorite feedback tool

This is my favorite tool for getting a quick student response. I can easily check comprehension and adjust accordingly. One day I did this right before lunch. Their exit ticket right before lunch was to give me 1 example of each literary device we had just gone over. They did fine on 3 of them but not so great on the 4th. So after lunch, I explained the 4th one a bit differently and I saw a bunch of light bulbs go off. I’ve also used it for having students share a resource, like a YouTube they found on that day’s topic. (tricking them into watching a few videos on the topic to gain some basic knowledge from different people.)

Pinterest

I’ve been on this platform for a very long time! I joined this when you had to request to join, not just sign up. I LOVE this! It is a rabbit hole for sure though! I use this for both my personal life and work. For work I have a few boards that are labeled: PBIS, Grammar, Writing, AVID, Book Club, ESL, and more. I use it to gather ideas. I don’t use this one with my students because it requires an email to sign up. My 11 year old students don’t usually have an email address.

Google Sites

WHAT? I actually used Google Sites as a curation tool of sorts this past year. I created a tab for each unit and a page for each lesson. I gathered all the instructional videos, documents, and etc. that I needed for the lesson and put it on the page. Now if the kids forgot anything about the assignment, the instructions are typed, and the videos, screen-casts, etc. are all there for students to re-watch as needed. (Sorry, I’m a walking advertisement for Google Products!)

NEW Tool! Wakelet

This is one that certainly has a buzz about it! I’ve never used it before tonight. I started hearing about it on social media this summer. I think friends went to conferences…as we tend to do each summer…and they came back raving about what a great tool this is.

I like that you can sign up through google. That means my students can sign on to it. I could see them using it for some projects this school year. When we do historical fiction, I give them a day or so to research informally to gain background knowledge. They could curate the best of what they find onto one of these and share it with me, so I could see what they found.

I could also see them using this in the research process. They could save all their sources to a Wake so if they forgot to write down any portion of the citation, they can easily go back and find what they need.

Here is the Wakelet I created that contains many of the curation tools I’ve used in recent years.

https://wke.lt/w/s/_lgYu9

  • Google Drive
  • Google Keep
  • Diigo
  • Evernote
  • Livebinder
  • Padlet
  • Blendspace
  • Pinterest

The program seems easy to use. Perhaps too easy or rather simplistic. I don’t know how much I’ll use it because it lacks advanced features for customization. We shall see though.

Reference

Valenza, J.K. (2017). Curation situations: Let us count the ways. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2017/07/05/curation-situations-let-us-count-the-ways/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.