The EFL classroom through digital curation

01-May-2013

I wrote a few weeks ago about the great talk I went to during the last IATEFL conference in Liverpool; MLearning: is it a portable circus or just an illusion. I also had a chance to attend one more interesting talk: Filtering relevant information for the EFL classroom through digital curation.

It seems that the internet has the biggest influence on how we curate content nowadays. However Google is now seen as an old way of searching for content and social networks have become our content filters. We see knowledge as the property of a network rather than something that is in each of us. We find our social channel on the basis of what interests us and as a result our networks provide us with the most relevant and best content available.

Tools for curation

Flickr Gallery

Everyone is probably familiar with flickr.com, an online photo management and sharing application. The difference between Flickr Gallery and Flickr is that by using Flickr Gallery you can access the albums full of images that follow a theme or key word. You simply curate other people’s photos and have a chance to use amazing images with students to inspire them to write an essay, start a very engaging discussion or simply revise vocabulary. It’s a very interesting way to include images in your classes. You may have a student who would like to share their gallery during a lesson.

Cowbird.com

Cowbird is a community of storytellers, which provides storytelling tools for free. It’s a platform where people come to tell stories and thus build a network of storytelling. You can search by key words as stories are based on topics e.g. jobs. You can connect to the story and continue it. It could be a great writing assignment and a place for students to use their creative side. How much more exciting it would be to complete a writing assignment about the home using this platform?

Click on the image above to read the story.

Pinterest

The content on Pinterest is focused on images and once again can be a great resource to use during class. When you use search by some key words you will get a selection of amazing photos, which you could use as a warm-up activity or to start off a discussion about stereotypes and countries.

Learning Playlists

Mentormob.com

It’s an online learning platform which allows anyone with a passion for what they do to curate websites, videos, and blogs. You simply create a Learning Playlist and fill it in with all kinds of digital content. Instead of searching alone and spending hours filtering down relevant content, people around the world can share what is the best out there and take what’s best from the experts.

Learnist.com

You can create a Learn Board on a subject you’re studying and add ‘learnings’ by pointing to existing web videos, blogs, images and documents. You can find relevant content quickly too, as you can collaborate with your students. Set up a topic and ask students to find suitable content for the topic.

Themeefy.com

You start with an idea then grab content and create your own magazine, which flips like a book. You can read it online, share via social media channels or simply download.

Worth exploring

Scoop.it

It is an online magazine where you gather articles from the websites you visit and organize them in your very own magazine. You no longer have to jump from website to website; now you have everything organized in one place. You can find details on how you could use it with your students in one of our previous postings here.

Trap.it

At the moment it’s only available to download for iPads. It uses AI technology and uses your feedback to know exactly what you like about a given topic and sends over the most relevant online content for you. The content simply gets to you!

Edutecher.net

The website helps educators and schools to effectively integrate technology and web tools into the classroom. It’s a great site and I highly recommend trying and using it with your students.

Zite

Zite evaluates millions of new stories every day, looking at the type of article, its key attributes and how it is shared across the web. Zite uses this information to match stories to your personal interests and then delivers them automatically to your iPad or iPhone.

Edsurge

It provides you with an overview of education technology world in a newsletter format.  It helps you to discover the best products and how to use them.

Joanna

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