When I moved to my current home 3 years ago I had absolutely no possessions; no clothes; no furniture. Thankfully a lovely local lady put a callout over Facebook for donations of such things for my daughter and I and the community very generously provided us with a vast collection of pre-loved household goods, including one sturdy old wooden filing cabinet. While not devoid of gratitude I marveled at how something that was once a staple in the home of most white-collar workers or anyone who desired to store large quantities of records in an orderly manner is now, thanks to computers and various online storage capabilities, is now effectively redundant. Most formerly paper-bound correspondence and records are now received and stored digitally. For this reason pretty much anyone who maintains an online presence for collating or sharing materials could be considered a digital curator.
The benefits of collating resources and records, such as media, photographs, online is undeniable. Having an entire collections of works available instantly for the purpose of research, education, social connect, entertainment, news media, etc. without concern for storage capacity is one of the great perks of living in our digital world, but this convenience should not be without caution. Nothing online is invulnerable to access and use by some it perhaps was not intended for. Lessons learned from the infamous and crudely named (here unnamed) iCloud hack of 2014 aside, being a digital curator can still be a positive, enriching experience. Leanne Johnson (2013) sings praise for capable digital curators and Flintoff, Mellow and Pickett Clark put it quite succinctly when they state “Curators can be thought leaders and change agents with their insightful selection of artifacts” (Flintoff, Mellow, & Pickett Clark, 2014). These sentiments are in the context of online resource collation and as my studies in education progress I find myself exposed to an array of tools for the digital curator for the purpose of presentation of coursework that I had no idea existed. I am excited to use these tools in my teaching career as teaching resources as well as presentation tools for my students.
Here is a fantastically helpful video for teachers who want to learn about, use and enjoy digital curation as a professional practice.
Flintoff, K., Mellow, P., & Pickett Clark, K. (2014). Digital Curation: Opportunities for Learning, Teaching, Research and Professional Development. Retrieved from http://ctl.curtin.edu.au/events/conferences/tlf/tlf2014/refereed/flintoff.html
Johnson, L. (2013). Why Scoopit Is Becoming An Indespensible Learning Tool. Retrieved from http://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/trends-shifts/why-scoopit-is-becoming-an-indispensable-learning-tool/