I am worried about this quote. If true, where does that leave us? A world where, as teachers, we might just be coming to a gunfight with a knife? How are we, as teachers, building a consensus for action instead of just a holding action of skepticism and resistance? I suspect we ain’t.
I have been seeing more and more in my media flow a call for massive, non-violent, passive resistance as the only consensus for action from people like Chris Hedges. Is that the consensus we need to be calling for in our learners? If we don’t, will there be anybody left to teach? I suspect not.
A very interesting and useful blog post on curation and student learning in the context of digital literacy by Ibrar Bhatt. I have stripped out the parts that were relevant to me and commented below in an attempt to come to terms with curation in my composition classroom.
“The term [‘curation’] has usually been employed to describe such work which is carried out in museum settings, and has now evolved to describe what is often done in digital environments and online spaces.”
I think it is interesting that we always come back to the idea of digital spaces. Well, of course we do, but do we ever define what these spaces are? Is it clear that digital spaces and real world spaces are distinct from each other?
“[P]ractices that people tend to do in “information thick worlds”.
I love this embodied description of information as being thick. It is also textured and noisy and redolent with smells and awash in movement and colorful and…tasty. Three and four dimensional, too. Like a drama on stage. Tufte is trying to bridge the gap between digital and real worlds. It is all one thick informational reality.
“Select, edit, single out, structure, highlight, group, pair, merge, harmonize, synthesize, focus, organize, condense, reduce, boil down, choose, categorize, catalog, classify, list, abstract, scan, look into, idealize, isolate, discriminate, distinguish, screen, pigeonhole, pick over, sort, integrate, blend, inspect, filter, lump, skip, smooth, chunk, average, approximate, cluster, aggregate, outline, summarize, itemize, review, dip into, flip through, browse, glance into, leaf through, skim, refine, enumerate, glean, synopsize, winnow the wheat from the chaff, and separate the sheep from the goats.”(Tufte, 1990, 50)
Great Tufte quote re-defining curation as an ‘umbrella’ term inclusive of all the skills/verbs he exhaustively lists. I wonder how useful it is to make the term carry so much freight.
“Anthologising older content to produce new content and creating a new experience for readers, by giving a new life (or new ‘reality’) to an older text. This is curation as a digital literacy practice.”
Ibrar Bhatt’s take on Tufte and on defining digital curation. According to Bhatt, everyday curation includes retweeting, liking, plussing, faving, storifying, patch writing. He contrasts that kind of curation with the exemplary writing of Maria Popova in her blog, Brain Pickings. What does she do that is such a model for others to follow? She ‘re-contextualizes’ by collecting and interpreting and creating a new experience for the audience with the curated text. Bhatt then redefines curation as the “process of problem solving, re-assembling, re-creating, and stewardship of other people’s writing.”
The image above amounts to a template for curating a digital space:
Why does this matter? If curation is all that Tufte and Bhatt say it is, then why aren’t scaffolds like these being used more often for training and in learning systems? I am using the curation tool Scoop.it to do curation with my freshman comp students. They use Scoop.it as their introductory platform for beginning to acquire the skills Tufte enumerates above that are part of the academic and business spaces they will eventually live in. I am hoping they will demonstrate why it curation matters as they seek-sense-share their way to long and short form ‘texts’ that they will be writing all semester. That will include essays, tweets, G+ community posts, blog posts, research papers, emails, plusses, favs, instagrams, zeegas, slideshares, pictures, and a massive mobile presence from their own digital spaces. Wish me luck.
Jess Wade is a scientist on a mission. She wants every woman who has achieved something impressive in science to get the prominence and recognition they deserve – starting with a Wikipedia entry. “I’ve done about 270 in the past year,” says Wade, a postdoctoral researcher in the field of plastic electronics at Imperial College London’s Blackett Laboratory.
Yowsah. 270. I have tried four separate times to submit a new article in Wikipedia and have failed. What’s her secret?
– choose topics from your own personal experience – let your passions be your guide – find analogous spaces someone else is doing and model that. – Champion a book. – Get local then go global.
Here are some additional suggestions I found in other articles:
The Twitter account @blackphysicists has helped me find heaps of African-American scientists who are wiki-worthy. Then I spend a couple of hours searching for impartial sources—citations written when they’ve won an award, news reports about their research, announcements when they receive promotion. There are heaps of newspapers archived online for free, which helps, especially when trying to work out women’s maiden names. I love when I can find where they went to school, what their parents did and who inspires them—that sounds weird I know—I think it helps readers understand that scientists are just normal people who found something they love.
Lastly, here is a gathering of links that I filched from the net using Zotero and Dropbox. If you don’t like all the text just follow the hyperlinks out and about.