Understanding Content Curation

Digital objects

There are many buzzwords and phrases prevalent in education today.  “21st Century Learning”, “Blended Learning”, “Personalized Learning”, “Flipped Classroom” – just to name a few. The one that has recently caught my attention and curiosity is “content curation.”

I manage a grant project in my district designed to assure students acquire “21st century skills” A current strategy for this is using backwards design, formative assessments of 21st century skills, and “blended-learning.” New for next school year: teachers are being asked to “curate resources” to accompany the backwards-planned, inquiry-based units of instruction.  I had my own ideas on what curating meant at the time I was asked to design professional development for teachers in the project – but realized very quickly that this term has taken on a life of its own, in uses by not just educators, but marketers.  A quick Google search on “content curation” turns up 1,240,000 results. Remove terms like “marketing”, “business”, “influence”, “customer”, and “startup” and the results are pared down to about 45,400 hits. Within this subset of information about curating content, definitions of curating seem to have no boundaries – collecting – aggregating – curating –what exactly is the difference?  Or is there a difference?

This curiosity led to further questions:  Why curate?  What is the value of curating for teachers? Really –what is the benefit of curating in terms of the learning goals – enduring understandings and 21st century skills for our students?

Full Text: Innovations in Education – Understanding Content Curation.