Digital Curation: Platform Review

A few weeks ago my class discussed the practice of digital curation — the use of a digital platforms to collect and categorize information.

Turns out I’ve been using digital curation in multiple formats for years: collecting recipes and home decorating ideas on Pinterest, creating lists of books I’ve read or want to read on Goodreads, and organizing my bills and household documents in Google Drive.

What I hadn’t really given much thought to, though, was the use of digital curation in the classroom. There are a number of tools available to assist with this practice in the classroom.

Here’s my take on a few:

Platform 1: Flipboard
This site contains a variety of articles about pretty much everything. Articles are curated from a variety of sources, from the New York Times to lifestyle sites. You can set your preferred topics and receive a daily feed of pertinent stories.


What I Like
Aesthetically pleasing. Easy to organize stories into “magazines” which can then be shared. I found some interesting articles on a variety of topics here that I might be able to use in class. My favorite category is William Shakespeare, under which I found “Unknown Facts About Shakespeare” and “Shakespearean Theater Excavation Sheds Light on the Staging of Henry V.”

What I Don’t
Some of the article sources aren’t what I would consider “reputable” sources. Some of the linked websites also have linked advertisements and articles that are questionably school appropriate, so I’d have to proceed with caution if using them for my classes.

How I’d Use It in the Classroom
I might use this site to find articles to read in the classroom, but I don’t think I’d turn my students loose on it. I found some enjoyable personal reading about topics in which I’m interested.

Platform 2: Evernote
This is a notebook in digital format.


What I Like
I love the concept of a digital notebook that you can log into from anywhere. Notebooks are easy to create and organize. You can add pages to each, and share them with other collaborators.

This site is super easy to use. The gadgets and tools are much like Google Docs or another word processing program. It even allows insertion of files from Google Drive, Hyperlinks, and file attachments.

There’s also an app, so you can link to your notebooks to another device (though linking to multiple devices costs extra).

What I Don’t
The Basic plan is free, but the Plus and Premium plans are pricey ($35-$70), so if you wanted to use more of the features (PDF annotation, offline access), you have to pay.

How I’d Use It in the Classroom
I think this would be great for research projects to help students organize their research information. They could each create a notebook with pages for each individual source, link source URLs to each page, and then share the notebook with me. There’s also little room for the “I lost my notes” or “I left it at home” type excuses research projects sometimes inspire.

Platform 3: EduClipper
This Pinterest-esque site allows users to upload lesson ideas and products, “clip” lessons from other users, and pin them to themed boards.


What I Like
You can browse and clip education-related topics from classroom design to Blooms Taxonomy question stems.

You can create classes for your students and share boards with them. So, if I wanted my students to view content related to a particular style of writing or a specific novel, I could clip specific items to a class board.

What I Don’t
There’s a lot of stuff, but some things are better than others. Also, it can be hit-or-miss depending on the topic. For example, while a search on Narrative Writing turned up a number of useful ideas (and a number of not-so-useful ones), a search on To Kill A Mockingbird didn’t provide much.

How I’d Use It
This could be a good resource to curate some ideas about a writing style (Narrative, Informational) to use as an introduction to the genre.

Platform 4: Diigo
This is a digital platform that allows users to upload PDFs, images, and other documents for annotation.


What I Love:
I love that I can upload PDFs of short stories, poetry, or any other documents I might use in class and annotate them with questions and comments for my students to explore. This would be a great way to model annotation for my students that they could then download and use as a model for their own annotation process.

A Diigo web browser extension also allows annotation of webpages.

What I Don’t
Not much, actually. I find this to be a really useful site!

How I’d Use It
I’ve been searching for a digital platform to help model annotation for my kids. My typical method involves projecting a document onto my whiteboard, annotating with dry erase markers and having my kids copy it down. This is cumbersome and difficult. Diigo would make this easy!

What are your favorite digital curation platforms? How do you use digital curation in your classroom?


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