When you think about the word “curation“, what comes to mind? Well for me, I think about museums right away. I think about the museum curators that work in museums going through collections of resources and making decision about which artifacts to collect together and how to organize them to tell a story, to emphasize a concept, or to serve a learning outcome. And it’s just not about placing the chosen artifacts together in the museum and then walking away. These museum curators describe the salient features of the artifacts and organize them in such a way that new visitors can glean the required information and discover for themselves the intended (or novel) themes and the stories. It’s an important job to be a museum curator because their bias about the artifacts invariably will make its way into the finish product on display. I don’t really think that’s a bad thing, because museum curators are experts in their field and they can identify the most compelling themes and stories, and expertly organize artifacts in museums for people to interact with so they can learn.
So what does this have to do with online learning? Well, re-read the entire paragraph above, but substitute the words “museum curator” for “teacher”, and where you see “museums” put “online courses”. Go ahead re-read it.
Wonderful isn’t it? So if you are thinking of becoming an expert online teacher, take a moment to improve your skills in curation, especially social media curation.
This great video produced by Vanessa Dennen (Florida State University) for the Social Media for Active Learning MOOC (#SMOOC2014), will give you a quick overview of social media curation. It’s a great topic that all online instructors will love exploring.