We eased into teaching curation, getting our feet wet by introducing it as a search tool a couple of weeks ago.
This week we decided to jump in completely and we chose Paper.li as a platform for curating senior project research.
(Decision digression: I went back and forth between Scoop.it and Paper.li, finally decided on Paper.li because, although it required learners to do significant work upfront, once a paper is established, it requires little daily care and feeding. I love Scoop.it, but I wasn’t sure the kiddos would be willing to check and curate their incoming Scoops, to make necessary decisions about curating and discarding posts and sources. On the other hand, Scoop.it allows for a wider reach of curated sources and feeds. I hope that someday Paper.li increases the number of feeds and tags it allows users to harness. Next semester we may explore Scoop.it as a choice.)
I am not ready to share them just yet, but we beginning to grow some nifty papers on the such self-chosen topics as skateboarding, Alzheimer’s, Tibet, computer security, smoking and cancer, real estate photography, pollution, issues relating to the foster care system, and fashion.
Our big discovery:
What their teacher and I found truly surprising was that our students had no clue that Twitter could be used for anything other than personal and social purposes.
Though many were devoted Twitter users, these students were totally clueless about hashtags and lists. They were shocked to discover they could search for and follow organizations and publications and experts. And that by following relevant Tweeters, they could be led to truly useful articles, posts, and media. And that, in addition to being social, networking can be academic, professional, and productive.