Content Curation

One of the biggest roadblocks for educators in terms of collecting topical information is where to house all the articles and websites that are found.  Internet browsers have bookmarking capabilities, but these only show us the names of the sites and little else about what we bookmarked or why we liked it in the first place.  Thankfully, web-based content curation sites have come online, which allow users to search for content, bookmark, and add personalized summaries of information.

I chose to use Scoop.it for my content curation.  It has an easy to navigate layout and flows in a format that I am familiar with as it is similar to social media sites.  Instead of only showing a link for a site I have “scooped,” content is laid out much like you would see on a news website; using a picture, a link, and a short blurb (lead) about the link.  Additionally, it allows for both internal and external site searches as well as suggests posts that may be of interest based off of tag words I’ve added to my topic page.  Another reason I chose Scoop.it was because of the quality of content I was offered.  Articles that were offered to me came from sources such as Edutopia, Educator’s Technology, MIT, and other highly reputable sources.  I also found it useful that Scoop.it has short (one to two minute) video tutorials on how to maximize the use of the site.

Screenshot 2014-10-28 19.47.41

(http://www.scoop.it/t/coding-by-kate-kranzush)

My final project for EDIM 516 will be about coding and the benefits and drawbacks of teaching coding in schools.  Coding is a hot topic that has recently drawn attention when Google launched it’s Made with Code program, which focuses on teaching coding to girls.  I’ve had conversations with teachers at my school recently about how we can start a coding club at our school. (Our biggest barrier is we can’t teach the club because none of us know how to code!)  The state of Oregon just launched the Code Oregon program, where they offer free coding classes and help with job placement after completion of the program.  My coding Scoop.it page is off to a good start.  I’ve been able to find some great sites explaining the benefits of teaching coding in classrooms as well as resources to start implementing it.  I have yet to find teachers’ private blogs that show actual implementation in a real classroom.  High leverage, reputable sources are excellent, but it’s important for us educators to see things in successful practice, not just in theory.  Additionally, I am looking to find any sites that could show me why we shouldn’t teach coding in school.  I’m looking forward to researching this topic in depth.

What content curation sites do you use?  Do you have a favorite?  Do you have any great information on the benefits or drawbacks of teaching coding in schools?  I’d love to hear from you!

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9 thoughts on “Content Curation

  1. I am excited for your project! We had an teenager lead a scratch class last year as a public service project during his gap year. It only took a couple sessions and two of my children were off and running, the younger weren’t ready. So one of the cons, might be having programs that would appeal to the age you are working on. You might want to look up “tinkering” to find a wider range of ideas. The other potential con is simply that a kid who loves coding may never come up for air, given a chance. At that point I offer coding time as a reward for other work done. Have fun! (By the way, when I was looking up Lego Robotics, I saw training videos online for free, I’m sure you can find that for other products as well!)

    • thanks for the idea to look up “tinkering.” I’ll check it out. Glad to hear that (some) of your kids took to coding easily. Age appropriateness is always an obstacle in kindergarten!

  2. Hi Kate!

    I’m actually really surprised at how much I like Scoop.it! It is a really neat website and very easy to understand. I visited your page and was amazed by how organized it was but again, easy to follow. I think those characteristics are extremely important when deciding what curation content to use. Some websites are better than others but I think Scoop.it could be one that I would use.

    I love your topic! Since I teach Computer, one question I always get asked, whether by parents or students is, are we going to get to learn how to code? I use a few basic websites with them but nothing is currently written in the curriculum that supports spending instructional time teaching it. I perused a few of your ‘scoops’ and I think they are really interesting, specifically the article about whether or not schools should mandate coding classes. As it turns out, the demographic mentioned in the article is partly my level (6-8). I’d be interested to see if coding is brought up in any future curriculum meetings.

    You bring up an interesting point when you talk about finding resources that don’t promote coding. Usually on the Internet, there are always articles supporting both sides so I think it’s really encouraging you haven’t come across one of those yet! I think that’s a good sign!
    Great job on your Scoop.it and thanks for sharing with us! ☺

    Alyssa

    • There are definitely a lot more sites for older kids learning coding, but I’ve been finding some kindergarten stuff as well. Is your level of kids grades 6-8 or ages 6-8? I do find it encouraging that there is little saying that kids shouldn’t be coding. I think the biggest roadblock will be finding time!

  3. It really looks like it is off to a great start. Your page has a nice feel to it. My 11 year old son is interested in coding, but hasn’t gotten far with it when he has played on scratch. I think he is waiting for some external motivation.
    I am curious how early teaching coding can be effective.

    • Hi Chris. I’m also wondering how early coding instruction can play out in the long run. How will it be beneficial for student learning and contributions as adult members of society? Maybe if I look that up I can find some “con” articles to help with my magazine.

  4. Hi Katie,
    I must admit I never heard of Scoop.It before this class. After I did a little bit of research on the tool, I picked it as well. Like you said, it is very eye appealing and nicely organized. The amount of information that Scoop.It finds is just amazing. At first glance it looks like quality information. I am just starting out in my curation journey so I need to dig a little deeper into my information.

    You and I have similar outlooks when it comes to looking for content for our final project. I just don’t want to read positive reviews. I want to read about the pitfalls with my project as well. It only makes sense to find out negative information as well as positive information. It gives you a real view of the topic.

    Just from reviewing your Scoop.It page it looks like you are off to a great start with your final project. I can’t wait to read about coding in the classroom. It is something that I never thought about learning. Since we dig more and more into technology in the classroom, coding seems to be the next logical step to take. Good luck and I can’t wait to see the end result.

    • Thanks, Ruth. I’m interested, as well, to see how it will be beneficial in the long run. I have a few friends who work in blended learning consultation and hopefully they will be able to give me some clarity along with my research.

  5. Hi Kate,

    I mean this as a compliment. I looked at your Scoop.It and realized mine was below par. It wasn’t doing what I needed it to do. I did a little digging after I looked at yours and added my connections to Twitter and Google+. I was a little nervous about doing this but if I didn’t my thoughts would just sit in a vacuum no matter how great they were. I worked embroidery design with a digitizer. He needed a fancier title than that but he created code for our designs. He was a friend and a genius really. I had personal experience with creating code in school and back in the day it was laborious. Yuck. I want to learn with my son. I have looked into coding without technology but didn’t get much further than that. My son is four and smarter than me so I hope to learn from him. I need to get on this. Yours is a welcome topic and I hope to learn where to go next. I want to present the resources available for my students but I need to learn first. I was jealous of your traffic on Scoop.it but I am using what I learned from it. It is baby steps and a better attitude for me. Thank you so much.

    Valerie

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