Wow! This has been an interesting three days searching for the curation tools that I would like to use to collect educational teaching ideas and strategies that I can use, along with current research or news in the field of special education or any shareable information for colleagues.
I already collect much useful online information through Pinterest, Diigo, Facebook, and Twitter as mentioned in an earlier post. Now I’m going to curate: collect more content digitally, sort it, and share it in an organized manner.
Too many decisions! Which one attracts me? Which will be my forever friend? Too many choices!
Trying to find the right match that was visually appealing and easy for me to use has been trying. I’m a hands-on-learner. So, just reading about the tools that are available was not good enough. Neither was watching videos. I actually signed up for several and tried to use them so that I could decide if they were good fits.
If you need to find tools for education curation, I would try the following:
Top 10 Free Content Curation Tools for Teachers by eLearning Industry
Top 10 Tool for Digital Curation by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
Curation Tools are Cool! by Kathy Shrock’s Discovery Education’s DEN blog
Curation Tools by WebTools 4u2Use
I created a list of curation tools to explore. Following are a few of the tools I examined, along with my personal perspective, which might not be yours. Choosing what you like is “personal”:
Scoop.It: Nice block format. Didn’t care for the pool of information pulled for scoops. My drawback was that the free version only has two categories allowed.
Storify: Set up was like a slide show.
Pearltrees: Looks like many mindmaps on a page. Too confusing for me.
Dipity: Set up like a timeline with a real horizontal timeline at the bottom of the page.
Bag the Web: Nice format. Too confusing for me to set up, even with a blog and video to view, but you might be more tech savvy than me! I did like the articles it aggregated. They seemed current for any viewer.
eduClipper: I liked the set up and the visuals/images/posters were appropriate. I didn’t like the type of articles available.
Pocket: I love pocket. If I’m reading an article on Facebook, and I want to share it to one of my sharing tools, but don’t want to take the time to categorize and sort, I just put it in my Pocket until later. I just started to use this, and it might get dangerous. I hope that I don’t let too much accumulate! I think anyone would find this tool handy!
Zite seemed similar to feedly in that it aggregates according to the interest types of articles that you read. However, Zite has “flipped out” and is now used on Flipboard. Sue Waters, the Edublogger, has The flip-a-holic’s ultimate guide to subscribing, curating and sharing using Flipboard . For me, flipping the pages of Flipboard disturbs my eyes, but the blocks are visually appealing and somewhat easy to use.
Symbaloo: This looks like a tool that I would like to use it. Visually it looks like apps on a cell phone. Teachers have added lessons and resources. I might come back to this one sometime.
I have just started to use feedly to collect articles of interest. Feedly tries to read your mind and brings your topics of interest, or what is read the most, to you.
Finally, my decision: I decided to use an app that I already have on my phone that I regard as my best friend, Evernote. I currently use it to write notes so that I don’t forget”things of interest” or “thoughts” when I don’t have paper, like when shopping or visiting places. It was recommended as a useful curation tool, and has been around for a while. Now I would like to use it to categorize information for education. Some of my categories might be: disabilities, project-based learning, passion-based learning, research, great ideas for grade levels or subjects, important meeting information and so on.
This is how Evernote works. Notes can be written. The notes can include text, images or photos that can be dragged into them, highlighted sections of websites can be added to notes, articles from websites or front pages of huge websites can be added. Notes from classes can be photographed and added to notes for future use. A toolbar pin (the elephant app above) allows you to read from any of your friendly sites and pin notes. A really cool feature is that notes can be recorded. Evernote allows you to “explore” more topics of interest and add them to notes. Then notes can be organized into notebooks. I have not created notebooks previously, but am looking forward to doing this. Oh! And syncing is one more love : ) I have of Evernote. It syncs with my phone, tablet, and computer as soon as notes are added.
This tool has a blog. I could use the blog to discuss my experiences and new ways to use this curation tool for education, as others have done. Teachers can use Evernote to record, write, or use it with lessons. Nice! Evernote has many videos to explain how it can be used. Youtube has many tutorials for use and some created for and by teachers, like the following one:
So, anyone that hasn’t signed up for Evernote and would like information to begin, start here, Getting Started with Evernote. If you discover any other interesting ways to use Evernote educationally, please share.
When choosing additions to my notebooks, I would like to include sources from teachers who have implemented new strategies, and researchers whom I feel present reliable information or similar information that has been posted previously. Since I’ve been teaching and using educational information for quite a while and am an avid reader on educational topics, I know many familiar names of people that are invested in advancing education along with the use of technology and will rely on that knowledge to curate.