A Few Ways To Get Started Curating Digital Content

This post originally appeared on my Edweek Blog

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In my last post, I asked people to share digital resources that they find useful so that I can pass them along for others to try. However, the one discussion that needs to take place before anyone starts to compile their toolbox of digital resources surrounds the curation of these tools.  Where are the best places for me to find these resources and where will I archive them so that I can access them when I want them?

My two main avenues for finding new digital tools is by reading blogs and following lists and hashtags on Twitter.  I follow blogs by using Feedly,  a free resource where you can subscribe to blogs and also organize them based on content.  For instance, I am able to follow all of the blogs and websites across our district and check daily for updates from the schools and classrooms throughout Burlington Public Schools.  Here is a quick overview on how to use Feedly.
My other key resource for finding useful blogs, websites, and articles online is by following hashtags on Twitter.  Whatever your role may be in education, there is a Twitter hashtag out there where other professionals are conversing and sharing resources.  Some of my favorite hashtags are #cpchat (for connected principals/administrators), #edchatma (for educators in Massachusetts), and #bpschat (our Burlington Public Schools hashtag).  If you have not done so already, you should establish a hashtag for your school or district where you can share important resources with your school community.  Take a moment to check out this list of hashtags from Jerry Blumengarten.

Now that I have discussed a couple of the ways that I find resources, it is time for the most important part of this discussion. Where can you tag and save all of these great resources for easy access when you need them.  For me the number of web-based resources that I have saved is currently over 9,000. Fortunately, I have these all saved on Diigo where I can hunt down saved items based on how I tagged them.  One of the great things about Diigo is that it will recommend tags based on the topic covered. For more on how to use Diigo, check out this post.

There are certainly a number of other ways to deal with the curation of resources. If you have a workflow that you like, I would love to hear about it.  The most important point here is that we need to be having these discussions within our schools and not take for granted that staff and students have a curation plan. With the overwhelming number of resources out there, many people without a curation plan will choose to avoid the search for new information and tools.

Keeping Up With All of the Happenings in Burlington Classrooms – BPS Blog Update (Edition 6)


Resource of the Week – Feedly
One of the greatest parts about the growing number Burlington teachers who have started sharing the happenings from their classrooms online with classroom blogs and websites is that I am able to see all of the neat things happening across the district on a daily basis. While there is no substitute for being in classrooms to see the learning firsthand, there is simply no way to stay on top of all of the wonderful work of staff and students.
This is where Feedly comes in.  Feedly is a FREE resource that allows you to see all of the blogs you follow in one place.  The best part is that you can use it on a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop and scroll through the latest posts from the sites that you follow.  For educators, it is a great way to follow your colleagues or blogging educators from across the globe. It is also a great way to have students follow bloggers who are writing about topics that connect to a unit or entire course.
If you are interested in giving Feedly a spin, here is a link to a tutorial post that explains how to get started. I would just begin with the top three tips if you are a new user.  As always, please let me know if I can help you or your class get started with this great resource!

Week 6 Update
The posts below are the ones that have appeared on the blog over the last five school days. The number of BPS Blogs and Websites is up to 116, increasing by over 40 in the last four weeks!  Please add the link to your site here if you haven’t already done so.
Only 150 more posts to go…