Image sourced from the public domain

Digital Content Curation: More Important Than Ever!

Feature image sourced from the Public Domain shared by Coltsfan

I’ve been a fan of digital content curation for a long time. I’ve blogged about it on many occasions; first waxing lyrical about Diigo way back in 2011, then celebrating the new year in 2013 by suggesting resolutions to use curation to manage content overload and then reflecting on curation as an art form last year.

So what could I have left to write about, five years after my original post, and is digital content curation even relevant half way through 2016? I have been reflecting on this question for a few days now, and I have come to the conclusion that there is still a lot that may be written about this topic, much to be learned, and that it is more relevant now than ever before.

There has been, however, a slight change in focus for my writing on digital content curation. Whereas my previous posts were always focused upon the value of curation for teachers and teacher librarians, I now recognise curation as a valuable skill that is a vital aspect of digital literacy; and something that we should be explicitly teaching students.

Teaching students how to curate digital resources is a meta-skill, that actually requires them to be digitally literate in a number of different ways. Digital content curation  is not simply collecting links – aggregation is not curation. It is a carefully considered process, which includes a series of steps, each one requiring specific skills.  See the infographic I have created below for a summary of all of the concepts and strategies content curation encompasses. Click the image for a printable PDF.

The process of digital content curation is a rich teaching opportunity, and involves enough focused teaching for at least one term, but ideally could be spread out, so that it may be taught in context. These are skills and strategies that can be introduced even in the early years of primary school, and built on over time. However, if you find that you have students who do not currently have these skills, it is entirely possible for the process to be built into a research project. Spread over a term or semester, the students could curate resources according to their topics, publish these curated collections (this in itself could be an assessment task) and then use this curated collection (or even better, share the collections and draw upon a range from within the class) as the basis for their research project.

All of the skills and strategies that are listed in the infographic are essential for students, and in fact are key skills underpinning many aspects of digital literacy. If you are unsure of any, your Teacher Librarian will be a valuable resource. These are areas TLs excel in!

If you are interested in learning more about digital content curation, there are quite a few resources available online. Aside from my previous posts which I linked to in the introduction, I have also curated a board using a new curation tool, – on this board you will find links to my curated collections on Pinterest, and also some teaching resources for some of the skills and strategies mentioned in this post. Access it on elink here or check it out below:

So if you have dabbled in the area before and let your interest drift, or have never looked into the potential of digital content curation, I would encourage you to give it a go. You have nothing to lose, and so many skills and literacies to gain!

7 thoughts on “Digital Content Curation: More Important Than Ever!”

  1. Hello Kay
    This post is very timely. Thank you for sharing. I am considering following this idea for my first assignment for Knowledge Networking for Educators (CSU).
    Thanks again 🙂

    1. Fantastic, Karen, so glad that the post may help you in your studies! Would love to hear how you go :). Best of luck.

  2. Thank you Kay for having shared these valuable thoughts on curation within the context of education and learning. I could not agree more with your points.

    Your basic diagram on what students will learn by using curation is also very relevant.
    I have added it here:
    and I am thinking of finding ways to integrate it in one of the chapters on learning I am writing here: Do you see a fit?

    I also appreciated your embedded elink board at the end. It seems to have some interesting resources and links you have curated but I can’t get a link top the original board itself. Could you kindly share it?

    1. Thanks Robin, I have updated the post with a link to the elink board, and here it is again: . I’m so glad you liked the post. I definitely see a place for inclusion of this information in your chapter on content curation also – I think that this is an under appreciated skill that all students should be taught; the challenge is to make sure that teachers know about it and teach it effectively. So the further the message travels, the happier I am :). I really appreciate you sharing my work, thank you!

    2. Hello Robin
      Your chapter on curation in education and learning would be valuable. I have just started researching this and so far I have not found much literature discussing this skill for secondary/high school students.

      1. That’s great Marlon. I keep refining those chapters and I am writing new ones to turn it all into a good guide book.

        Your feedback, suggestions and ideas will be all very useful.

        1. Robin and Karen,
          I’m so pleased that this post has inspired conversation, connection and discovery of new sources of information. Until now I was not aware, Robin, of your upcoming book (although I was very familiar with your work), and now Karen has been able to make a connection not only to your work but also potentially a subject for research. This is the true strength of the PLN and of sharing learning publicly through blogging, and I appreciate you both for taking the time to add so much value to this post and to my blog in general :).

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