Tony Gurr

Curating the #!%@ outta the Internet!

In Teacher Training, Technology on 26/06/2012 at 3:08 pm

As a “younger” teacher – and later as a teacher trainer (or teacher educator – to posh it up a bit) – I always hated the phrase “Content is KING”!

Why? I hear you ask…

Well, as teachers we TEACH “students”…we should not be just TEACHing “stuff” (or worse “subjects”). We should, I always believed, be all about helping to LEARN students how to LEARN “stuff” themselves…so they keep on LEARNing even after they “graduate” (or just move on to another phase of their own lifelong LEARNing “career”)!

I always wanted to hear people say “the LEARNER is KING” (or “QUEEN” – or whatever)! Hardly anyone ever said that (back in the day)…and there was many a “crusty TEACHer” who actively opposed this type of thinking (the kind of educators that Pink Floyd told us all about)!

Simple really!


Problem is…it seems Bill Gates was right (all the way back in 1996) when he “coined the phrase”…hate that guy (and Google…for helping him out)!

It would appear that I have lost the battle…on the internet (NOT, I maintain, in the classroom)…the web, the tweetiverse, the blogosphere…is today the place where CONTENT has been well and truly crowned KING…

And, it would seem that the new KING-MAKERS are all those lovely “curators” out there.


Now, if you are anything like me…a “Gen-X-Dinosaur”…a curator probably looks a little like this to you:


BUT – not so!

Curation is HOT, HOT, HOT these days…some say it is already changing the way the web “does business”…and the way we LEARN!

I guess I need to upgrade my mental image of a typical curator:

Yes, I still had an image (from one of my more recent posts) I wanted to use! 


Now, I could spend hundreds and thousands of words explaining what curation is all about – but we all know:


and a video is even cooler, so CLICK HERE for one of the best vid-planations of what exactly curation is (there’s also some links to some of the “curation superstars” out there).

Now, if you also want to do a bit of “bedtime reading” too, you can also check out these curation sites – on curation itself:


Actually, I first got interested in curation because I noticed that some “buggar” had raided me blog – and, I thought at the time, “nicked” me “stuff” (this does happen a lot BTW…still). In fact, the title of Pascal’s site sort of shocked me when I discovered that he had “grabbed” some of my stuff (but he always gives credit where credit is due). 

He is, shall we say, – a “curation machine” (who sleeps less than I do). But, he has an amazing range of interests and LEARNs me so much. 


The next big “curation find” I had was this one – packed with great stuff that really made me thunk…and LEARN (again, Maria does not seem to sleep much – or has an “army” of clones):


Obviously, you can see that I am talking a great deal about my own LEARNing – with sites like these. And, I have to admit that while I really did not like the idea of content curation (I still place a premium on “creating” – rather than just “collecting”), it dawned on me that many of us have been doing curation for bloody yearswe just didn’t know it!

A good friend of mine (an American) pointed out that curation was a bit like making a “mix-tape” for a girl you really want to “hook up with” (now, you see why his nationality was important – no self-respecting Brit would be seen dead using those words) – by picking all the best songs you can so as to improve your chances of getting to one of those “bases” Americans talk so much about.

In other words, curation is about using a “mash-up” approach (another American phrase – but I do watch “Glee” from time-to-time) to LEARNing – something we EDUcators have been doing for years with our LEARNers and our own CPD.

And, if we play by the rules of the game (no plagiarism or “nicking” stuff, yanı) – it is all cool!


You know the name of the blog…and a lot of the stuff I enjoy discussing and sharing is about EDUcation, LEARNing and TEACHing. So, I thought it might be good for me to share a few of my favourite EDUcuration sites…for those of you that might want to explore a bit more on your own.

So, here we go!


Although widely-known as a “blog”, this site has been one of my favourite curation sites for some time – and not just because of the sexy title Ian Jukes gave the site (there is a really good story behind this storyCLICK HERE to find out more):


Some of my other fave EDUcuration sites are:


There are MORE:

As you might have noticed, I have used a lot of sites from:

…probably because it is such a great resource for curators themselves – and is such an easy platform to get started with. To see a great little video on how Scoop-it works – CLICK HERE!

Then, if you fancy it – sign up HERE! It’s that simple…


So far, I ain’t said much about or recommended anything about “visual curation”, such as:

I also have a couple of favourite sites here, too:

If you are interested in what Pinterest is all about, CLICK HERE for a great interview with Ben Silbermann, the founder of this great visual curation tool.


Oh, yes – almost forgot! There’s also a “new kid” on the block – a form of “Pinterest for EDUcation” (just for us)and yes, I do love the name of the site…

Check it out!


OK – it does seem that I have “lost” the battle:

…but, as I have tried to point out, curation and all these lovely curators have LEARNed me a great deal over the months. We need to remember, however, it is what we “do” with what we LEARN is the “key”…and that’s why I am sticking with me very first image (at the start of the post)!


As ever, we do need to heed a word of warning with allthingscuration – but I think that last word should be left to George Parker:

  1. Hi Tony,

    I liked how you pointed out that many individuals have already been practicing curation for a long time, for instance, sharing sites and links in our blogs and other publications.

    On the other hand, I’d just like to add that for me, public curation (such as my Digital Delights which you kindly mentioned) are also my bookmarks; perhaps because of the high visual feature of Scoop iT!, it works a lot better for me than other bookmarking tools such as Delicious, ,Diigo etc. Another aspect which I like with Scoop iT is the community feel which it can generate – e.g. people leaving comments and suggestions. Through this community I have come to meet other curators who I now trust that their contributions and curations are of excellent quality; thus expanding my own resources as their curation is public.

    I have recently suffered a technical meltdown with my MAC and am very grateful for the time I have put into my blogs and curation – that at least has not been wiped out and lost! 🙂

    Thank you again for a great post and kind mention of Digital Delights!

  2. Curation might be king, but I’m bad at it. I have repeatedly tried to gather and save the great stuff I find on the internet. I’ve tried Delicious and Diigo and Icyte and Scoopit… among others. It never lasts.And II almost ever go back to anything I have saved… there’s so much new stuff every day. The thing that usually works best for me is getting onto Twitter and asking: Who has a great video about X? What’s the best tool for Y? Does anyone have that post about Z? I usually end up with more and better options, including personal recommendations, critiques and experiences. Except for last week when I asked if anyone remembered seeing a post with a simple animated video someone’s kid had made for school. I remember it involved drawings on paper, on the edge of a table and the message was powerful. No luck. No-one has helped me out. I wish I was a curator…

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