Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Friday, September 16, 2011

Curation Sensation

For many months now I have been coming across articles about curation and education on Twitter and by visiting my favorite bloggers.  Curators have been around for centuries but the idea of people being curators of digital information and designing applications to assist them in this endeavor is not that old.  After reading several articles my composite definition of digital curation is the ability to select content relative to a specific topic, organize, maintain and preserve it for sharing.

Still in beta format one such online application for curation is Scoop.it!  It is an information location tool centered on a subject of your choice.  You pick and choose what appears on your page after Scoop.it! has browsed the web based upon your interests.  You can add and edit topics.  A completed Scoop.it! theme can be shared with others of similar passions enabling them to suggest other possible resources that can become part of your site.

To begin using Scoop.it! click on Get an Invite.  Complete the form filling in your full name and email address.  Optional blanks are listing your Twitter account, the topic you might create, and what your take on blogging and other social media is. In their Terms policy they are firm in that this service is not to be used by minors under 12 years of age.  If minors over 12 years of age use the service they are to do so only with parental permission.

When you have received an invitation by email go to the link sent to you.  At that time you can sign on with a Facebook or Twitter account or create another one by filling in a short name, password and uploading a picture.  By completing the new account information and accepting the Terms of Use, the next page offers hints about topic selection.  Click on CREATE A TOPIC.

From there the work space for designing your Scoop.it! topic is seen.  You are asked to enter in a title, description, select a language, and any keywords associated with your subject.  You can also upload an icon to represent your choice.  Then click GO

After reading a couple of thoughts on curating click NEXT.  The following page offers users the opportunity to add a bookmarklet to their browser.  When surfing the Internet if a good site is found that you want to add to your topic just click on the bookmarklet and it will automatically be added to the topic page. Select the NEXT button.  At the following page select the START CURATING AND HAVE FUN tab.

On the left side of the screen SUGGESTED CONTENT is listed that has been found by Scoop.it!.  On the right side of the screen items added to your topic will appear.  If you want to add one of the content items on the left, click Scoop.it!.  A frame pops up on the screen allowing you to view the posting as it will appear.  You can upload additional images at this time. When you are ready click PUBLISH.

Once published small icons come into view in the lower left and right sides of the latest scoop.  These represent:   force to the top, edit, tag.it!, delete, share and rescoop.  When your cursor is placed over the image on the scoop, a small tool bar allows placement of the image within the text and adjustment of the image size.

As you are working on your topic you have the ability to toggle back and forth between VIEW TOPIC and CURATE.

This a view of what your dashboard would look like.

This online tool is a step toward a new generation of web applications that will benefit users personally and in the education field.  For our 21st century learners this offers them the perfect opportunity to think, create, share and grow.

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