Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What do we do with all this (INFORMATION) stuff?

Curation of digital content has been on our minds (hence the Content Curation webinar earlier this week!). In the process of putting together our webinar, we found some really cool stuff. We know information is important, of course. After all, we are in the INFORMATION AGE (not sure why the capitals, it just feels right). We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to find information and thinking about what is good information (Anyone remember when Wikipedia was persona non grata?). There’s been a lot of chat about finding, evaluating and citing information, but what should we be doing with it once the finding, evaluating and citing are done? Well, we came across some great thinkers who have answers to that question.  We thought we’d share some of our research highlights with you, starting with this great quote about what curation is:

The art of curation isn’t about the individual pieces of content, but about how these pieces fit together, what story they tell by being placed next to each other, and what statement the context they create makes about culture and the world at large…

Maria Popova is “an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large.” We ‘met’ her when we came across her website Brain Pickings, “a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why, bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are.”  For a more in detailed description of the site which includes references to LEGO, philosophy and technology click here.

As an FYI, Brain Pickings may be our new favourite website (at least for J + T, the library chicks of the office). With a team, Maria Popova has also created the Curator’s Code, described as a “movement to honor and standardize attribution of discovery across the web.” We encourage you to check out the Curator’s Code website and read Popova’s description about why it is important in this time of information overload, where information flows so easily through ecosystems.
Finally, we thought we’d share Six Simple Steps to Great Curation with you. While this article is directed more to an organization or business, we think the steps resonate as good tips for educators as well.  In particular, the note about adding value might be useful when designing research tasks or PLN sharing. Is retweeting five to ten tweets a day value-added curation or is it just sending information along?  

Anyhow, that’s what we’ve been thinking about this week. Is a focus on content curation the next evolution of the INFORMATION AGE? We think so. We hope so. What do you think?