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One of the most enjoyable and inspiring books I have read this year has been Sir Ken Robinson's "Out of our Minds"  and my ref...

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

#BYOD4L: Thoughts on curation

Angus Glasshouse exhibition 2012

To curate 

When I checked the verb I was intrigued by the connections. Curare in Latin to to take care of, from cura (care) is clearly linked. We curate objects we care about, arranging them so that they are perhaps displayed effectively to please you or the others you share them with. Above is a display of my son's work put together (curated, even) by Glasshouse College and showing the skills he acquired during one year of his college life. The above is a digital curation of this curation, displayed by a proud mum on my flickr channel. 

Today I'm thinking about what I curate, why and where and by returning to the origin of the word I have realised some things I do which I had not really thought of as curation before. At one level I digitally curate resources for my research and my areas of interest. This started with bookmarking websites many years ago, but I realise that I rarely do that any longer. Bookmarks soon become unreliable and lost in their folders. Simply no longer practical. I moved on to Diigo where I can co-curate with others publicly and Delicious where again the social aspect helped me find new connections. A further change then arose as my online presence increased, I started using Pearltrees finding the easy interface practical as it is easy to share and to create teams but I am almost at the limit of my free account already. Scoop.it is another tool I rely on for connecting through curation. This shift from the personal to the public has been helpful in my work especially as it enables me to join like-minded collections from around the world. Currently I am putting together a curation linked to my paper for #OER17 because I know that those listening can browse and see a range of perspectives on my topic of the sustainability of teaching. We will thus be able to have a useful conversation and meanwhile I can keep evolving my ideas prior to the session. 

At another level, I realise that my most useful tool for curation is my google account. I've never thought of this as curation, it's more like the central pot from which I can draw material to curate and reflect on. So perhaps it is curation once removed. By default the contents are private, I make my conference notes, slides forms and docs there, my phone photos back up directly to it, instantly available to share and use whenever needed.  My blogs are also forms of curation for a specific purpose, bringing resources together and giving me space to think more deeply about them. The ALTC blog (which I work on as a co-editor) provides a way of curating the many voices of the community, helping to highlight themes which are timely and relevant. There is so much out there and not enough time to trawl through it all so finding trustworthy curators really helps. 

Curation is how I capture the things I care about and how I find others with similar interests and values.