“That looks so cool, I’ve got to save that, or remember that, or put it somewhere I can find it later, or . . . , or . . .”
How many times have you said this, or something like it to yourself? I know that was a weekly, if not daily, occurrence for me as a teacher of technology and technology integration specialist. Technology moves at the speed of light and it’s important we have ways to curate content that is promising, and a workflow to review it, discard the less promising, and put the still promising content into buckets we can retrieve and use later. Whew, but how?
I’ve used so many tools in the past: Evernote, Delicious, regular browser bookmarks, Diigo, Listly, Google Drive, Google Keep, Pinterest, Twitter favorites, email to myself, and on and on and on. I’m sure you’ve done the same.
I’ve found that I actually need to stop looking for new tools. The tools are out there. I just have to commit to a tool, develop a method, try out the workflow, make adjustments along the way, BUT keep at it for a sustained period of time. My biggest downfall in this process is not sticking with something long enough, to really see if it will work. Once I come up against friction, it usually reveals the weaknesses of the method, and I often change tools instead of adjust the workflow. That is going to stop today.
Some important considerations for my content curation strategy are:
1. Easy to save to from a variety of devices
2. As visual as possible (lists of text for websites does not work for me)
3. It must be social, ie shareable, connectable, searchable and public
4. It must be used by many educators already so I can find and connect with them
5. Free yet in no danger of closing down and going away
6. I’m sure there are others that I’m forgetting
For the school year, 2016-2017, I’m going to commit to using Pinterest, again. This time I’m mapping my workflow in advance and trying to plan for a variety of contingencies. It helps that some non work, non school, non education related projects are requiring me to use Pinterest, so killing 3 birds with 1 stone should keep me on track.
Content Curation Workflow
1. Pin anything online that seems promising
2. Pin it to one of a few set boards: Coding, STEM/STEAM ideas, Classroom Management, Hyperdocs examples, Seesaw ideas, etc
3. Pin it to a general board called Review Later if it doesn’t fit neatly into one of the above categories
4. Review my boards on a regular basis (once a month or once a week) , with a Calendar notification, to weed out and organize existing pins/boards
5. During review, pin content to shared boards like the Elementary Technology Educators group. I discovered you cannot pin a link to more than one board at a time, so I wanted this step to be a later step. First pinning gets it into my system, additional pinning and sharing is done during the review step
6. Share or create new boards for new projects as we begin working on them
7. If project participants do not want to use Pinterest, I’ll still use it for curation for that project, but bring the links into the project tool
8. Revise and adjust as necessary
9. Use this process for the whole school year before deciding if it works well, unless it crashes and burns early on
What do you do for content curation, sharing, and sorting? Feel free to describe your strategies in the comments below.