Introduction to Social Curation." The session opened my eyes to yet another reason why the development of a PLN is important and why it is so important to 'give back' or 'pay it forward.' One of the slides shared during the session stated, "It is based on reciprocity and a level of trust that each party is actively seeking value-added information for the other." As the instructional technology specialist for a K-8 school, I considered it my job to collect (or curate) information for my teachers, parents and students on a variety of topics and subject areas.
I first began the process collecting websites for students and posting them on a static webpage called Mrs. Fucoloro's Favorite Websites (actually my second website). Those sites took a long time to find as search engines weren't what they are today. Then, wikis burst onto the scene. I moved all of the content from my old webpage to the interactive Mrs. Fucoloro's Wiki. I began using the social bookmarking tool, Delicious, instead of saving my bookmarks to my computers at home and at school, a very confusing process. Not to mention the panic that would ensue if a computer crashed and all of my bookmarks were lost! Then, there was a rumor that Delicious was going out of business, and I switched to Diigo. I am a Diigo fan because Diigo allows for highlighting and commenting, my favorite features. The problem with Diigo is that it is a bunch of words. I find that I rarely go back and revisit or browse the content I have saved unless I am specifically looking for something.
Enter, Pinterest! I LOVE Pinterest! It is visual, fun, and easy to browse. I am not a fan of Learnist, though I am giving it a shot. I am also giving EduClipper a try, which is a safe space for younger students and is similar to Pinterest in usability.
So, what's the difference between all of these tools? What's the difference between social bookmarking and content curation? Well, honestly, I think I have been using the social bookmarking tools, Delicious and Diigo, for content curation as well as simple bookmarking. However, content curation according to the session seems to be more deliberate and focused, where as social bookmarking is archiving content over time. During the session, Jeffery Heil said that Pinterest represents a hybrid of the two. I actually save all pins to Diigo, but I don't save all Diigo bookmarks to Pinterest.
I don't know, the lines seem to be blurred to me. Perhaps the difference is the manner in which content is shared. Shared. That is the key word. That reminds me of what Jeffery said at the beginning of the session, 'It's not about the tool--it's the community.' Adam Bellow once said, "Date the tools, marry the abilities." The important ability is that you can connect with a community of people who you trust, collaborate and laugh with, and learn with and from. It doesn't matter which space you choose as long as it has the ability to be easily accessed, explored, and shared.