I was thinking about the term curation today – the word is being used a lot in the context of streamlining/encouraging/promoting the integration of a mix of learning materials – including open educational resources –   into curriculum. I’ve seen it defined in a variety of ways, most of which involved finding, collecting, organizing and sharing resources. I ran across an interesting definition/discussion of  digital content curation on a social media-focused  blog that places it in the “experience” bucket in a way that I had not seen before (and like!):

“A curator [is*] someone who creates a specific experience using found objects and contextualizes those objects within a limited space. A curator not only collects and interprets, but houses that work to create unique experience.”

Erica Aoyette

The idea that we (educators) create a specific experience really resonates with me.  It underscores the need for us to provide context for learning resources.  If I am going to ask my students to watch a video, for example, in most cases I want to ensure that they understand why I have chosen that video – it may be that it helps them visualize a critical element of a particular process, or possibly provides a different example of something they have already seen…  Regardless, to enhance their learning, knowing why the resource is meaningful  – our pedagogical intention in their using a resource – is important.

So curation is not just about finding and organizing learning resources, it is also about  creating the contextual frame for the learning experience.

Food for thought.

*I added the word is in this sentence.

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