Note: In this and future posts having specifically to do with my participation in etmooc (a massively open online course in educational technology), I will preface the posts with “etmooc,” so those readers not interested in educational technology stuff can ignore if they want!
I recently watched the archived presentation for etmooc by Jeffrey Heil and Michelle Franz on Introduction to Social Curation. One of the things that really stuck with me from that presentation was the idea that we should share our research, not simply be “re-tweeters.” I have feared being little more than a re-tweeter on Twitter, as much of my access to information comes from Twitter itself, so I just re-tweet interesting things out. That’s important, of course, but not all that one should do.
I really appreciated that we should be engaging in and following people on social bookmarking and social curation sites, for numerous reasons, including connecting with others and finding new sources of information. This could be a way to find things beyond what I locate on my own, and tweet out to others in my network.
Obviously, though, one needs to be a contributor as well to social bookmarking and curation sites, to add to one’s PLN (personal learning network) rather than just being a “lurker.” But my problem is that a good deal of my time is spent on sites that are behind a paywall–specifically, journal articles. My research is focused on journal articles and books, largely in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. It’s not that I never visit more “open” sites for other things; I do, it’s just that most of my own time and research are about things that one has to pay for to receive access (unless one’s school or university subscribes). So if I were to share my own research, then I’d be sharing things that many people in the world can’t access. As a result, so far I haven’t done much in the way of sharing my own research.
But I got to thinking about this and wondered: well, there are people out there who can access these sites…many other scholars at colleges and universities and other schools who have similar interests to me. Why not at least share these articles, collating them into lists according to topic, for those who can access them and are interested? It would be a much smaller audience, of course, but personally, I’d love it if others were doing this for my field of interest!
To add to the articles behind a paywall, I’d also link to my blog where relevant, because one of the things I’ve been doing while on sabbatical this year is to take notes on articles and comment on them in my blog. Partly that’s for my own research, but also partly for people who are interested in the same topics. And I do a pretty thorough job of summarizing, so those w/o access to the articles could at least get the main arguments, if they’re interested. So in the comments to the links to paid articles on Diigo, for example, I could post a link to my blog summary of those articles. (Diigo is a social bookmarking site that is really great for highlighting and taking notes on webpages.)
Of course, I’d keep my other Diigo lists for free and open sites, and make sure much of any other content curation sites I have (such as my Learnist boards) is open to anyone.
Does this seem like a good idea? Let me know in the comments!
(I’m also unhappy with the way I did the attribution for the photo–Flickr doesn’t have that cool attribution HTML text that Compfight does, and I can’t do links in the caption for the photo on WordPress, I think! Ideas?)