Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - content curation meets magazines

Expert, curate thyself!

A lot has been said about online content curation, which is the practice of collecting, filtering, and sharing online content in your area of expertise. Long story short: one person's "online content curation" is another person's "lifting online content."

Done well, curation is about great research and investigation, and making sense of a wide body of work. Done badly, curation is a fancy word for plagiarism.

Controversy aside, curation has become critical in business, and for advertisers, journalists, and communicators. Rohit Bhargava does a nice job of breaking down content curation into these models:
  • Aggregation - collecting everything and putting it in one place.
  • Distillation - collecting only the most-important information.
  • Elevation - bringing insight to the information you've collected.
  • Mashups - bringing together two (or more) aggregations of information.
  • Chronology - organizing information based on timeline.
This is why I believe curation should be part of school curriculum: there's a big opportunity here for teachers to pose questions and research problems and give students the curation tools that encourage self-directed research, thinking, and contemplation.  

The issue for me has been finding the right online curation tool, so that my students can conduct research while they construct an online, digital magazine in the course subject matter. As it is, students already write, design, and produce an original magazine, old-school paper style. As I see it, the online curation tool would supplement that existing knowledge. - the website and the app - might be the one.

Like Delicious (social bookmarking) and Instapaper ("read it later") meets Flipboard (social media becomes a magazine on your iPad), lets you publish cool online magazines by curating content on the topic of your choice.

Your topic could be about anything. I, for instance, just started a page on one of the most important issues facing society: Star Wars figures. Or, you could go meta like this gentleman and curate curation. 

You can add as many resources as you like by "scooping" sources with the site's bookmarklet, "rescoop" from other scoopers, or scoop from the site's "suggested content." You can filter and share your topics on social media and build up followers and networks, just as you would on Twitter or Facebook, or by RSS feed.

I'm new to the site, so I don't have any followers and precious few scoops - however, I can see how this could grow into something larger. My only beefs: it doesn't seem possible to scoop tweets (I suppose I could use Storify or Tweetbot for that) or search within a particular topic.

I recommend giving a shot. There's a good chance my students will be using it next year unless, of course, you have a better suggestion or something even better comes along. Do tell!


  1. What's the Scoop?

    Very interesting topic, Kenton, and great information for me both as a learner in EDU653 and as an educator.

    I appreciate the "glossary of terms" and your take on why curation and curriculum shoud be together for "self direction, thinking, reflection, etc."

    Thanks for this!

  2. Kenton, Great job! You sound like a expert! I have never heard of the site until your blog. After checking it out through your handy links, I have to say I am intrigued. I think your on to something with a curation sites usefulness in the classroom.


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