Filtering relevant information through Content Curation

Carla Arena's presentation at IATEFL was all about digital curation. Carla started by looking at art curation, talking about the role of the curator as someone who gives meaning to content by selecting the best of a body of work and presenting it to the public. Libraries, churches and newspapers also all have lots of content and a curator to help them present content.

Asking the question, 'What has changed in content curation?' Graeme Hodgeson answered that it is now bottom-up, with people everywhere on the Web now curating content for others, and filtering information for different specialized audiences.

Carla mentioned 'Too big to know' by David Weinberger ( and the question 'what happens to knowledge and expertise now that we are faced with the fact that there is way way way more to know than can be known by any individual?' The hypothesis of the book is that 'knowledge and expertise are becoming networks, and are taking on the properties of networks' and digital curation, with networks of people finding and filtering through digital curation.

One of the first tools Carla introduced was Flicr galleries, which allow people to curate other people's photos. Another tool, allows for digital storytelling and Carla thinks that the most exciting thing about this tool is the idea of 'sprouting' a story, using your network and writing a story with students that include engaging, authentic  content.

One of the most popular digital curation tools is Pinterest ( and Carla uses this to collect photos that can then be used in class to stimulate discussion (e.g. showing a photo found using a keyword and then asking students to guess; or searching on a keyword and asking students to choose the photo that best represents, for example, a country - it can be, Carla believes a nice way to talk about stereotypes with learners.)

Mentor mob (http://mentor allows a teacher to create learning playlists for students, so it can be a useful tool to use for homework or in class. Learn list (http://learn is a similar tool that allows for learning playlists to be created/curated. The same is true of, which enables you to create a magazine for you or your students that can be read online or downloaded. The book can be shared with others.

Another popular tool that many educators are using at the moment is An alternative to this is htpp:// which allows the content to be pulled to you depending on a series of search terms that you decide on. You can do this with an iPad app or online. Flip Board is another app that can be used (in Mac iOS or Android). Zite is another app that Carla finds interesting. Finally, Carla shared a few links such as Edutecher that allows educators to find out the latest tools and information related tools.

Carla finished by recommending Robin Good as a must for anyone interested in educational curation tools (


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