Curation Favors the Connected Mind

Update:  I am ramping up for the fall semester and I find that this post from August 2014 is an apt one for me to review.  Maybe you, too?

Photo by SparkCBC (https://www.flickr.com/photos/25031050@N06/3292307605/) (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Photo by SparkCBC (https://www.flickr.com/photos/25031050@N06/3292307605/)
(CC BY-SA 2.0)

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.”

Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/3018236/most-creative-people-2012/51-maria-popova
Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/3018236/most-creative-people-2012/51-maria-popova

The image above amounts to a template for curating a digital space:

  1. Find something timeless to curate.
  2. Fit it into a pattern that makes sense.
  3. Find a larger context for why this matters.
  4. Share widely.

I think this fits into Harold Jarche’s simpler seek-sense-share framework.

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.

Interesting links from article and from comments:

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Update:  I am ramping up for the fall semester and I find that this is an apt post for me to review.  Maybe you, too?

Improvisational Translation on a Wet May Day in Derby Week

I was inspired by this video:

黒谷和紙 ー Making of Japanese handmade paper of Kyoto Kurotani

Japanese handmade paper of Kyoto Kurotani kurotaniwashi.jp Film by Kuroyanagi Takashi http://www.polar-design.jp/ Music by Kurachi Martha kurachino.tumblr.com/ ・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・ (撮影・編集) 畔柳尭史 http://www.polar-design.jp/ (音楽) 倉知真麻 kurachino.tumblr.com (協力) 黒谷和紙共同組合 京都工芸繊維大学 中野デザイン研究室

Found a neat little hack. Put “gif” in front of any youtube vid and it will take you to gifs.com where you can extract gifs. I liked the five below. You can turn on the sound for each gif by click on the sound icon inside the image. It is fun to turn them all on and watch the passing show.

I was inspired by Simon, Tania, Kevin:

All of the gifs above merged into a single mega-gif on ezgif with text of adopted/adapted poem and uploaded to Giphy:

via GIPHY

Eventually to Zeega with the poem printed on the gif with ezgif with mad frog recitative.

So what?

This is the same kind of connectedness that hides in plain sight in nature and is simply recast here as digital hedgerow full of crows and mockingbirds and whippoorwills and barn swallows, ff.