Content Curation

The first activity for Extend’s Curator Module is to define Content Curation.

Almost everyone curates on some level.  You may collect something, you may store your files on your computer, you may have a playlist (or playlists!) of music that you listen to.  Curation has always been a huge passion for me from an early age, when I would collect, organize, and share all kinds of items from rocks to Beanie Babies.  I can assure you that I have not outgrown this passion, and now have turned it towards the curation of resources related to disability.

While this list needs a lot of work, and is not up to date, I have worked to organize and make my resources accessible for some time now.

https://mallonrespiteservices.wordpress.com/lending-library/

So that is a little bit about my history with curation, now for my definition of Content Curation.  The largest difference when you are curating content, I think is there has to be an assessment/validation piece, collection is just the first step.  Many of the disability books that I have collected over the years I would not recommend to others.  Some of them provide me with historical context, some are biographical and some offer strategies for different challenges.  Being able to assess these resources and then match them up to different scenarios and concepts is crucial.

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What’s in it for me? – Ontario Extend

As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently in the mOOC for Ontario Extend.  The first module is “Teacher for Learning”, and I’ve been really inspired by our most recent activity.  The activity asks us to think about the question “What’s in it for me?” from a student’s perspective.

Obviously, as an instructor I think that my students should listen to what I’m teaching and there will be all kinds of benefits to them doing so, but it’s important sometimes to take off that lens and look at it from another perspective.  Why are students taking my classes?

I teach in Human Studies, and when students complete their studies in my program, they should be competent and respectful support workers.  Here are some of the things that are “in it for them” when they participate in classes.

  • a credential – on the base level, students want the credential that’s going to get them a job in the field they’ve chosen
  • an understanding – students should walk away from my courses feeling as though they know more about human development at different stages of their lives
  • practical applications – students want to be able to walk away with knowledge that they can use right away and can easily see how it relates to the work that they are doing or want to be doing
  • perspective – students can leave the classroom (virtual or on campus) and feel that they’ve heard about other people’s perspectives and can possibly use some of that perspective in their future employment
  • grades – again on a more base level, students who attend classes or participate in lessons will get the benefits of higher grades

I’m sure that this list is not comprehensive, and it’s something I’m going to continue to think about as I go through this learning experience.