Creating A PLN Curation Checklist

This week’s assignment tasked us (with partners – Jody Beesley-Lazarski, and Alissa Blackburn) to explore curation and then create a curation checklist with members of our assigned PLNs. “Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme” (Kanter, 2011). Kanter suggested a three-tiered approach – Seek, Sense, and Share (2011).
Initially, I experienced resistance to this task. Left to my own devices, the task seemed suited for a librarian more than an educator. However, the Internet is broad and vast. The sheer amount of information can overwhelm. An experience in a Twitter chat created a turning point. I noticed all links shared during the chat were laser-focused on the topic. Reflecting on resources provided by professors, I noticed they-too were specific items necessary for a given lesson. “Leaving digitally based information to languish in personal electronic filing drawers amid a jumble of unrelated information and with no plans for its survival guarantees its disappearance” (Ogburn, 2010). And the a-ha moment became visible and clear.
Working collaboratively with my PLN partners was intriguing and stimulating. We chose to decide how we would use our checklist first. Our common thread was high school; but, we each came from different content areas. Once we decided on Digital Media in the ELA and Theater classrooms as our goal, the rest assembled quickly. We built our checklist using Google Docs enabling the chat and comments to share information. We also used Facebook messages to share and debate use of text, quotes and the way the information would appear on the page. Our rowboat followed a collective azimuth. Three oars were constantly in the water.
Our biggest challenges were working through three different time zones, our different vantage points and varied personal demands beyond this class. The greatest benefit was seeing this assignment through the eyes of my partners. At times, we each were coxswain, providing guidance and direction. We each allowed another to guide and rowed hard to validate their vision. The outcome would be different if any of us were removed and another classmate inserted. Exploring the projects of other groups did not make me feel our product is more or less viable. We arrived at our destination that works for those in this boat.
We learned from one another creating a combined whole. “To prepare the next generation of scholars, the knowledge and skills for managing data should become part of an education process that includes opportunities for students to contribute to the creation and the preservation of research in their fields” (Ogburn, 2010, p. 244). I have no doubt our implementation of this checklist will prove successful in the next phase of this project.

References:

Kanter, B. (2011, Oct 4). Content curation primer. (Web log comment). Retrieved
October 4, 2014, from http://www.bethkanter.org/content-curation-101/

Ogburn, J. L. (2010). The imperative for data curation. Portal : Libraries and the Academy, 10(2), 241-246. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/216178815?accountid=9649

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Learning Log Assignment

Learning by immersion is all well and good. “Sink or swim!” is an expression I grew up hearing quite a bit. However, sometimes, having a life jacket, someone with a shepherd’s crook, or just starting in a shallow pool can give someone the confidence to move ahead. I will admit, I vacillate from feeling strong in my coursework and progress one moment, and then the next I choke on mouthfuls of water. This morning is no different. Setting up this Learning Log has been and continues to be a challenge as I swim harder trying to unlock all the widgets and whatnots that make my blog work.

I fully accept that the journey must be recorded. Successes are not nearly as important as the failures as we chart our courses. It is slow going for me as the tools are quite confusing in my opinion. I feel quite the buffoon as I flail about likening myself to Stan Laurel rather than Johnny Weissmuller making the apparent easy task harder and longer. Riis’s Stonecutter’s Credo is not lost on me. I see the value in making each and every step or misstep, fully realizing that at some point this will come much easier. I know as I continue this path, I will reflect on this lesson. Archiving it, I will remember not only as a source of the detail needed to complete a task in the future. I will remember this as I teach, knowing that another student learning differently, might be struggling.

Exploring the ACET Standards for this lesson, I see validity in both Standard 4: Management, 4.4 Information Management and Standard 2: Development as well. This tool serves to be a wealth of information, charting and categorizing my journey, making reflection and access to experiences easy and beneficial. It will also help me plan and develop computer-based lessons that meet the needs of my learners and guide me to teach not only to their weaknesses but mine as well.