Saturday, September 20, 2014

Getting Started with Curation

This notion of curating student work is, I'm embarrassed to say, a new one for me. I teach at a community college, schlepping myself from one class to another. So I don't have wall or halls that I can use to post students work. But I am experimenting with curating because i see the value of doing so. The primary way I curate work is digitally. Here is a short list of what I'm using. 

Blogger: This is the third or four year of assigning students to create their own blogs. It's been highly evolutionary, meaning each semester has been quite different. I'm learning on the fly, but it has been highly rewarding to see students creating and publishing their work. Currently, I'm working on figuring out how to get students to publicize their blogs, to build an audience for their work. It's amazing how much harder students work when they know someone - other than me! - might read their work. 

Facebook/Twitter: Last semester, I started using private FB page as a vehicle to share questions and resources. This semester, I've started snapping random, unposed photos of students giving presentations, working in collaborative groups, or some other activity. While I'm not curating the actual work, we are documenting them working together, sharing and recording memories. I'm pleasantly surprised at how simply posting pictures of students invigorates the class. Now students are posting photos, too. We do the same on Twitter, too. Each of my sections has its own hashtag, for instance #bayanswc and #SWCENG115. Some students excel at commentary and "back channel" editorials that capture what's going on in the class. Others are developing a skill for joining these type of digtial conversations. As with Blogger, I'm still at the beginning of my learning curve. But I know enough to be excited about leveraging social media for educational purposes. 

Storify/Google Presentations: I discovered Storify last semester And I'm finally feel confident enough in my own Google Presentation skills to ask students to curate and produce materials that we use for assignments and display in class. I'm encouraged by how "making" gets students more invested in the lessons. I'm providing students authentic opportunities to write for real audiences. And the tools themselves, when I use them with intention, enhance the writing process.