Steps to Becoming and Educator-Curator

When I recently presented a workshop on Digital Tools for Content Curation I spent very little time discussing how to go about actually becoming a curator. Being a hands-on, roll your sleeves up and get stuck in kinda session we went straight for the toys.

However, I would highly recommend this excellent presentation on Educators as Curators from Corinne Weisgerber and Shannan Butler, St Edwards University in the US.  It is worth taking a look at in terms of clarifying the purpose for curation and things to think about before you get into curation boots and all.

These professors of communication clearly describe the “journey of a resource: from birth to bookmark”, the process from finding and selecting material through to sharing and tracking it.  Most importantly from my perspective they share about how to editorialise the content.
It’s all very well saving a whole range of resources but you need to be able to identify why you saved it in the first place, reflect on it’s importance to your own practice or how you might implement it into your library programme.  Document your thoughts on it at the time you discover it to make it meaningful to you and the others you might share it with.

Curating Content with Digital Tools

I’ve just arrived back at school this morning after a fantastic weekend in Wellington.  The highlight of this weekend was getting to hang out with the fantastic group of librarians and educators who came along to support the SLANZA Wellington weekend school.  I got to catch up with some very dear colleagues and I enjoyed meeting so many new people, all of them passionate about school libraries. (My next blog post will be about one particularly amazing primary school librarian I met who is a total inspiration!)

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to present a workshop on using curation tools for professional development as well as teaching and learning and after a quick overview from me on some of the hows and whys and a quick look my top curation tools, it was about rolling our sleeves up, getting our fingers tapping those keyboards and doing it for ourselves.

The buzz in the room was amazing as everyone shared and discussed and asked questions about whatever tool they were interested in using, and thanks to Wellington Girls College IT guy Steve, the computers and the internet played the game and didn’t cause us any hiccups. Also a big thanks to the Wellington SLANZA committee for inviting me to be part of their workshop and to Lynne from Wellington Girls College for hosting us.  It’s an amazing school library and it’s going to be an awesome hub for next year’s SLANZA conference.  Remember people – Wellington, July 2013 is where it’s going to be happening!
As you can see from my presentation, my top two tools currently are Diigo and Livebinders.  I’d love to hear what your top tools are and how you use them.  As an example, here’s a great blog posting by Librarians Are Go blog author and librarian from Sydney.
Before SLANZA conference in Wellington last year I really didn’t know a huge amount about any of these curation tools and and certainly hadn’t thought about how I could use them in my professional practice.  Between Judy O’Connell and Joyce Valenza I was overwhelmed by the possibilities and my brain was racing at a million miles an hour with ideas of how I might just be able to do some of this stuff!  Experience has taught me to do a brain dump of all my thoughts and ideas and then go about organising and prioritising them according to how much time do I need or have, what skills or tools do I need, how big is the project and how sustainable is it.  You should see my To Do list!! 🙂
And finally, just hot off the press, an article in School Library Monthly by Joyce on Curation.  It’s a must-read if you want to know why you can’t ignore it.