Are you an expert curator and don't know it?

What is curation?

It's funny how often others have told me, "You should be a librarian!" Yes, I love reading, and I can recall a lot of information. My parents seem to be in awe of my research skills, but that just means I can do good internet searches! According to my StrengthsFinder results, two of my top themes are Arranger and Input, and both of those ideas lend themselves to my librarian-like-tendencies.

But I actually think all of these concepts center around the notion of curation, something I couldn't truly articulate until my deep obsession study of The New Pillars of Modern Teaching.

When I first started sharing the concept of curation in professional development sessions, participants intuitively understood the process because of the comparisons to museum curators: curators select works of art or artifacts, decide how to organize them into a museum space or room, and then add descriptive cards to share information about each piece.

In The New Pillars, Dr. Allen shares the three Ss of great curation, and then she suggests that educators help their students master the art of curation. I later found this post from Dr. Allen that called curation your learning workflow, and all of the pieces fell into place.

I created this graphic for an assignment in #ClassyGraphics!
During the past few years, I worked to improve my own workflow for each of three Ss, but I know there is always room for improvement! Fortunately, as technology develops, I continue to find more tools that assist with my learning workflows.

Curation Renovation

In one of my favorite professional development sessions, I ask participants to reflect on their own learning workflows and preferences, and then we try a curation renovation. We use the 3 Ss of curation to find any "gaps" and spend time exploring tech tools to help make personal curation more efficient. I still occasionally email links to myself, but that process definitely slowed! If you ask me for a blog post or article that I recently mentioned or shared, I can quickly find it. The goal from The New Pillars is that if you understand the process of curation, you can help others, either students or colleagues, understand and improve their learning workflows.

Last year, my teammate Ashley and I recorded this podcast episode about curation. We revisited all three Pillars, so we refer to the book and our other episodes. The episode show notes include all of the blog posts mentioned, and there are many ways educators can include curation in their classrooms. The word curate is now included in the ISTE Standards for Educators, too.

We also discussed these curation tools: Toby for Tabs, OneTab, Google Keep, Diigo (educators get an upgrade!) and Wakelet.

So are you actually an expert curator? Have you considered your own learning workflow? Is the process working for you, or can you make some tweaks about how you scan, study, and share?

Always learning (and it's so fun to be learning about learning!)

P.S. For fun, Faith Salie shares her opinion about curation in this video. She claims curate is overused, but I think we're just beginning to understand the power of curation!