Content curation is a smart way of using already existing resources, such as, images, animations, videos, websites, blogs, apps and artifacts, and blending them together in a new and creative way for a specific purpose.
Skill level in content curation will make the difference between completely missing your audience with parts that don’t make sense together or have no purpose, to creating a cohesive story that powerfully connects and makes your audience think beyond the resources that have been curated.
This curated video that gives an overview of the skill involved:
Here Welenia 2013 give a visual overview of different processes to organise and sort the best and most relevant content:
Let’s look at the skills of content curation in a bit more detail:
Knowing where to find stuff
When curating on a topic it is important to know where you can find quality content fast.
You can curate content externally from the world wide web. Here are some excellent websites that have quality content that can be used for learning resources:
Ted Ed lessons worth sharing – this site consists of lessons built around curated videos both from Ted Talks and from Youtube
Ted Talks – hundreds of inspiration talks on a wide range of topics. Many talks given by thought leaders in their field of expertise.
Mindtools – online training materials for management, leadership, and personal effectiveness skills.
Depending on your purpose and topic you may find relevant content in Youtube, blog posts, industry websites, and Twitter feeds. Finding out who the thought leaders are for your subject can be a good strategy, as their digital content may point you to relevant videos, images, infographics, websites or blogs.
Think outside of the box to illustrate a point. For example, a learning objective I recently had in body language resources was about ‘the importance of matching body language to what is being said to build trust and credibility’. A video of a child lying and a forum discussion activity surrounding this demonstrated the objective well and made it interactive. A video of the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal with a link to a web site that analysed his body language also supported this learning objective well.
You can also content curate from staff in your organisation by inviting them to share expertise and resources on a topic. How about having a list of staff expertise so others can find the right person to ask?
Internal curation may include processes, job aids, information on the company intranet such as policies, useful information for use within teams.
What ways could you curate content internally?
Mass content curation
Why not invite others to content curate for their learning or invite staff to share resources and content they’ve found useful on the topic you’re curating.
Everything has a purpose
Make sure everything has a purpose and your learning objectives and performance outcomes are well defined. All the curated resources and content should be linked to the learning objectives and performance outcomes.
Be brutal here, if the content doesn’t link back to your objectives and outcomes leave it out. Don’t get distracted with using a cool animation you found in Youtube that has bling and looks beautiful, but lacks in message.
Be selective, prioritise resources that support your purpose the best. If you have found a large amount of resources on your topic don’t include everything, include the best ones only.
It’s also important to know when to stop when you can’t find a resource to illustrate your point. Once I spent an hour looking for the perfect image to illustrate my point, which unfortunately didn’t seem to exist, only to find that I could create my own in 30 minutes.
Storytelling and flow
Storytelling and flow is really important for curated learning resources.
Museums are a great example of this. Check out some reputable museums in your area. Each exhibition will have a flow of curated resources to tell a story – the flow could be based on a timeline or by type of content (for us it could be grouped under learning objectives). Look at how museums tell stories and see what you could apply to digital content curation.
Here’s some examples from my local museum Te Papa (Wellington, New Zealand). An exhibition about immigration in New Zealand uses creative ways to make the history into stories. In the photos, see the time line on the floor of when different immigrants arrived in New Zealand, and the table where you can view videos of people sharing their immigration stories.
Extremely powerful and it was all from existing information. Believe me I spent a couple of hours in just this one exhibition!
For learning we too can get creative with our presentation of curated content, look for inspiration everywhere.
Make it interactive and continuous
Curated content for learning should be interactive and make people think about their situation and beyond. Design questions, social interaction, and activities to support the curated content. Why not show staff how they can practice these skills in different ways in the workplace. Go beyond event based learning and into continuous and self-directed learning.
In short, curation is a smart way of using already existing resources. To do content curation well though, still requires skill, insight, and creativity.
How have you used content curation for learning? What are your thoughts are content curation – share and let’s curate together 🙂