Key Questions 1.What are the discourses and practices associated with ‘curation’ in digital times? 2.What are the implications of these discourses and practices for critical literacy education?
Practices In literacy studies, practices have been broadly understood as ‘regular and sustained socio-cultural activities, involving elements of knowledge, identity and being, that vary across social settings, resulting in different kinds of engagements with writing and artefacts of literacy’ (Prinsloo & Baynham 2013, p. xxxi). Practices are passed on through interaction and activity and within them ‘knowledge is constituted and social life is produced, maintained and changed’ (p. xxxii). ‘Practices’ are habits, dispositions, routines, customs and traditions that provide an account for how the social order is constrained, reproduced and modified.
Rosenbaum (2010) ‘Who are curators? What can they gather and re- publish? Do they have the right to get paid for curation? If so, who’s adding the real value, the content makers or the curators/publishers? For creators – people who’ve spent their careers making content and trying to sort out an economic model – curation can seem like an end-run around hard work. And so the conflict ultimately comes down to this: Is curation about saving money? Or about adding value? The answer, it appears, is “yes” to both.’
Three periods of online communication 1.Introduction of computer-mediated communication in education in the mid- 1980s 2.Emergence of the web in the mid-1990s. 3.The popularisation of the term web 2.0, used in the first decade of the 2000s to describe the transition from static webpages to a more dynamic web
Rheingold on curation ‘an act of self-interest that enriches the commons and benefits everybody. I need to search, scan, and select the best resources I can find for my own personal interests, and by making my choices available to others, I create a resource for many besides myself. Curation is also a signal to others who share my interests, people I probably would not have known or known about otherwise, who, in turn, suggest resources to me. I feed the networks of people who do me the honor of valuing my choices, and they feed me back. It’s about knowing, learning, sharing, and teaching, all in one.’
Rheingold on the responsibility of educators ‘Young people need to learn how to scan, select, decide and deploy information effectively and know how to use information tools such as search, RSS, dashboards, Pipes (a composition tool to aggregate, manipulate and mashup content from around the web) and filters.’
Hugo Liu on curation ‘In real life, a curator is a vanguard of cultural heritage. Curators oversee museums and institutions. By talking about digital life as curation, we imply that it is an aesthetic project. I am the proprietor of the Museum of Me... Curating your online web presence is just a gateway drug. Trust me, it will spread to real life in a big way. The food we eat, the friends we keep, the habits of our day.’
Social Curation Summit ‘In the era of tweeting, liking and +1ing, how you share content is often just as important as the content itself … The conference is the must-attend event for anyone focused on the proliferation of visual social networks and the diverse array of content curation services that have drawn the attention of users, investors, and brands alike … Harnessing the power of social curation for marketing campaigns, product launches, promotions, events, and every-day projects is what Social Curation Summit is all about. Join us as we explore how the social graph is transforming from a network of who-knows-who into a dynamic interest graph of who-knows-what discovered through social curation.’
Partnership for 21 st Century Skills ‘Today’s graduates need to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators who are proficient in both core subjects and new, 21st century content and skills. These 21st century skills include learning and thinking skills, information and communications technology literacy skills, and life skills. Twenty-first century skills are in demand for all students, no matter what their future plans – and they will have an enormous impact on students’ prospects.’
Barbara Bray on curation ‘A curator pulls together and oversees collections of materials. The Internet, Web 2.0 tools and social media have expanded the traditional role of publisher to almost anyone. The role of curator is changing too. Anyone can “curate” online material, pulling together their own collections.’ ‘I started a new Scoop-it “Curate your Learning” and now I see why curating is important. When you create a Scoop-it, you put in the tags. Some of my tags are: curation, curating, curate, curation skills, curating learning, 21st century skills...’
According to Siemens, a curatorial teacher ‘acknowledges the autonomy of learners, yet understands the frustration of exploring unknown territories without a map. A curator is an expert learner. Instead of dispensing knowledge, he creates spaces in which knowledge can be created, explored, and connected. While curators understand their field very well, they don't adhere to traditional in-class teacher-centric power structures. A curator balances the freedom of individual learners with the thoughtful interpretation of the subject being explored. While learners are free to explore, they encounter displays, concepts, and artifacts representative of the discipline. Their freedom to explore is unbounded. But when they engage with subject matter, the key concepts of a discipline are transparently reflected through the curatorial actions of the teacher.’
Rosenbaum His notion of ‘the curated me’ as a metaphor for millennials who have grown up with a 24/7 news cycle and reality TV and who know the power of branding and publicity: ‘Every day they act as their own digital publicists, curating and monitoring the “me” brand’.
John Potter ‘It is quite natural for those who choose and have the means to do so, to share a mediated and “curated” version of their experience when they make, edit, and present media texts of various kinds from the online CV to the photo gallery, from the blog to the YouTube clip. Whereas in earlier times, apposite words to describe activities around publication may have been “written,” “edited,” and/or “produced,” it is quite clear that they are inadequate to capture all the self-representational activities or practices in networked, digital culture. The word “curated” does so by subsuming all of those practices and adding others that are possible in social media.’
Potter on curatorship ‘an active cultural and literacy practice in new media with its own ways of reading and writing the self, its own lexis and grammar … [It’s about] ‘knowing how the different forms you are working with work together to make meaning intertextually and for which purposes and audiences they are successful’.
What people do on the internet content creators content aggregators content curators
The challenge for teachers How do we build these new understandings of the discourses of curation in our literacy classrooms? How do we encourage our students to engage actively, creatively and critically with new media – and with legacy media – in these changing times? How do we encourage our students to engage actively, creatively and critically with all media in the age of curation?