A very interesting and useful blog post on curation and student learning in the context of digital literacy by Ibrar Bhatt. I have stripped out the parts that were relevant to me and commented below in an attempt to come to terms with curation in my composition classroom.
“The term [‘curation’] has usually been employed to describe such work which is carried out in museum settings, and has now evolved to describe what is often done in digital environments and online spaces.”
I think it is interesting that we always come back to the idea of digital spaces. Well, of course we do, but do we ever define what these spaces are? Is it clear that digital spaces and real world spaces are distinct from each other?
“[P]ractices that people tend to do in “information thick worlds”.
“Select, edit, single out, structure, highlight, group, pair, merge, harmonize, synthesize, focus, organize, condense, reduce, boil down, choose, categorize, catalog, classify, list, abstract, scan, look into, idealize, isolate, discriminate, distinguish, screen, pigeonhole, pick over, sort, integrate, blend, inspect, filter, lump, skip, smooth, chunk, average, approximate, cluster, aggregate, outline, summarize, itemize, review, dip into, flip through, browse, glance into, leaf through, skim, refine, enumerate, glean, synopsize, winnow the wheat from the chaff, and separate the sheep from the goats.”(Tufte, 1990, 50)
Great Tufte quote re-defining curation as an ‘umbrella’ term inclusive of all the skills/verbs he exhaustively lists. I wonder how useful it is to make the term carry so much freight.
“Anthologising older content to produce new content and creating a new experience for readers, by giving a new life (or new ‘reality’) to an older text. This is curation as a digital literacy practice.”
Ibrar Bhatt’s take on Tufte and on defining digital curation. According to Bhatt, everyday curation includes retweeting, liking, plussing, faving, storifying, patch writing. He contrasts that kind of curation with the exemplary writing of Maria Popova in her blog, Brain Pickings. What does she do that is such a model for others to follow? She ‘re-contextualizes’ by collecting and interpreting and creating a new experience for the audience with the curated text. Bhatt then redefines curation as the “process of problem solving, re-assembling, re-creating, and stewardship of other people’s writing.”
The image above amounts to a template for curating a digital space:
- Find something timeless to curate.
- Fit it into a pattern that makes sense.
- Find a larger context for why this matters.
- Share widely.
I think this fits into Harold Jarche’s simpler seek-sense-share framework.
Why does this matter? If curation is all that Tufte and Bhatt say it is, then why aren’t scaffolds like these being used more often for training and in learning systems? I am using the curation tool Scoop.it to do curation with my freshman comp students. They use Scoop.it as their introductory platform for beginning to acquire the skills Tufte enumerates above that are part of the academic and business spaces they will eventually live in. I am hoping they will demonstrate why it curation matters as they seek-sense-share their way to long and short form ‘texts’ that they will be writing all semester. That will include essays, tweets, G+ community posts, blog posts, research papers, emails, plusses, favs, instagrams, zeegas, slideshares, pictures, and a massive mobile presence from their own digital spaces. Wish me luck.
Interesting links from article and from comments:
“Digital Media and Learner Identity: The New Curatorship”: http://www.palgraveconnect.com/pc/doifinder/10.1057/9781137004864