What is social curation? (Hint: It’s really cool!)

For my part of the class wiki, I focused on the social curation tool, Scoop.it.  I had never heard of it until a Facebook friend had to use it in a geography class.  I looked it up and discovered a very neat tool for education.  I also never knew that social curation is a whole new area of Web 2.0 tools!

Social curation involves sorting through the vast amount of content and pulling together resources – images, videos, websites, articles, ebooks, and anything else you can think of – together on to one page.  The idea is that users don’t have to sort through content that isn’t credible, reliable, and accurate to get to the best sources.  As a librarian, this really appeals to me.  I am always looking for ways to make sorting through information easier for my students.  To some extent, I already do this using LibGuides.  At my university, we create Subject Guides for each major.  These subject guides are general guides that connect students with the best research for their major.  We also create Course Guides, which are course-specific guides that are tailored to the assignments and topics in a particular course.  Here is an example of a Course Guide that I created for a history course on the Middle Ages.  Although I never thought of LibGuides as a social curation tool, that is exactly what it is.  Faculty, students, and (unfortunately) spammers can submit content that we can choose to include on the Course Guide.

Scoop.it is similar in that it allows anyone to gather resources on a particular topic and store it on a single page.  You can enrich each “Scoop” with comments and tags that help other users.  Scoop.it also suggests other resources that you can include; however, when I looked through the suggested Scoops, I was really disappointed in the suggestions.  I created a topic page on resources about slavery.  Scoop.it’s suggestions included a lot of irrelevant or racist content.  It would be nice if Scoop.it offered child-safe controls or another way to filter out that content.  To see my topic page, click here.

There are many other social curation tools.  One other one I looked at was Bundlr, a site that is very similar to Scoop.it.  I think Bundlr is much more user friendly than Scoop.it, but the Scoops that you pull onto a topic page includes an image, while Bundlr just includes text.  The images in Scoop.it are more attractive.  Here is an example Bundlr page.  Bundlr doesn’t seem to allow comments on each item, and every Bundlr page is public, which may deter teachers from using it.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s