in Education

Teachers, are you doing content curation the right way?

“”“I don’t have time to develop materials for my students and why re-inventing the wheel if lots of learning materials are already available through different sources.”

You’re right. On the web there are about 127.000.000 results about Solar system, for example. There are videos, images, pdf, etc. So why would you create another resource about Solar system. Well the only reason I create something “new” is because, I want to help my students to get the information quicker, to understand the information, not just giving them a list of links, that they can’t make head nor tail of them. And besides that, I want to give them a feeling that the material is addressing them.

New technologies allows us to create beautiful multimedia lessons by searching and importing existing content from multiple sources  in one single place and share them with just one link. But here comes the most important part – how to put these contents together? Do we just gather links and perhaps content titles in a single place (see picture below) or do we curate the content?

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Content curation comes from bloggers and online publishers when they collect links, share brief extracts from the content, add their own commentary and publish everything in a blog post. I especially like this quote by Stephanie Buck “A curator ingests, analyzes and contextualizes web content and information of a particular nature onto a platform or into a format we can understand.” We could use the same philosophy when creating lessons using existing content. Let’s have a look at a simple example below, showing content curation by using a Learning map. Learning map is a perfect tool for creating interactive lessons with existing digital content.

1. Step

Collect different resources on a certain topic (YouTube videos, weblinks, images, etc. ).

As you will see below, I gathered different resources about Solar system. I found a lot of useful YouTube videos, great images and some interesting web sites like Wikipedia and some others.

2. Step

Read, watch and listen to the content you’ve gathered and make an outline of a Learning map in a way that student could benefit the most from. Use the unique advantage of a Learning map, showing them a learning path by numbering learning steps and arrows to show connections between different parts. Use different colors to stimulate their brain and boost memory.

See on the picture below how I structured the Learning map on the basis of what I read in Wikipedia about the Solar system. I put the link on original source inside of the central node as a reference material.

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3. Step

Make a brief extract/summary or add your own comment for each content.

In my case I put a link on a YouTube video for every single planet. Besides that, I pointed out some most important facts. That’s how students can get a quick overview of what is important about a certain planet and then, they can go deeper to learn more about it, by watching a video. A picture below presents this step.

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4. Step

Design a quiz to engage your students. With quizzes you make them think and strengthen their new knowledge on the content.

In my case I design some multiple choice questions and some “fill in the blank” questions. I put the instructional feedback in case of the wrong answer and include the whole quiz into the Learning map as a final step on the learning journey.

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And here is the final output – a dynamic interactive lesson, not just a bunch of links, that can be used in class or can be shared with your students online.

 

 

Maybe this kind of designing a lesson will take you a little more time than just collecting links, but your students will be definitely more engaged and motivated to learn. With content curation in mind you’ll design lessons that your students would enjoy and benefit from.””