Spring Cleaning & Digital Curation Tools to Help Consolidate

Spring is in the air, the daffodils and magnolia trees are in full bloom. The weather is getting nicer and it is time to put away the winter clothes. Spring cleaning has begun and it is not only time to clean at home, but in our classrooms as well.

There is a fashion rule when it comes to cleaning out one’s closet:  “If you haven’t worn it in six months then it is time to donate it.”  That same rule can apply in our classrooms, if you haven’t used it in the last six months then it is time to recycle it.

As our desks, file cabinets, and closets become overgrown with handouts, worksheets, outdated tests and quizzes, it is time to face the truth . . .

It’s time to start cleaning out, downsizing, and assessing the relevant materials that you use in your classroom.  What you no longer use, what is now outdated or obsolete, you can let go of.

It’s hard, I know.

But it is time to make new space in your classroom.  Get rid of the papers.  Keep your materials in the clouds.

Here are some digital curation tools to help you keep track of your favorite and most used materials:

LiveBinders are virtual three-ring binders to consolidate your webpages, images, word and .pdf files. You can collaborate with others and even import your Delicious Bookmarks into a binder. Check out the variety of teacher created binders that others have created.  There is even a LiveBinders4teachers wiki for teachers to share and collaborate.

Delicious and Diigo are two web tools to help you catalogue and share your favorite web resources.  Diigo allows you to add annotations and in-page highlights where Delicious does not.  These two bookmarking tools specifically allow you to curate web pages.

Where Delicious and Diigo are for you to catalogue web information you select, Scoop.it is like a Google Alert and content curation web tool rolled into one.  Based on a topic you choose, Scoop.it will look all over the web to find information regarding your topic and email you daily with the “scoop.”  You do need to get an invite in order to start Scoop.it so, the first thing you need to do is to get an invitation to begin curating your favorite topics.

One of my favorite curation tools at the moment, as mentioned in a previous post, is Symbaloo.  Symbaloo offers a web curation with a visually engaging layout that is unique to other digital curation tools.  What looks more like Scrabble game board, each tile is a link to the “personal learning environment” or webmix you create.  For a link to a Symbaloo I created of top Web 2.0 tools for teachers click here.

The most popular curation tool at the moment is Pinterest, an online “pin board.”  You also need an invite to join pinterest but that is easy.  Pinterest is visually driven so you are pinning images, instead of  links like with Symbaloo, Delicious and Diigo.  Teachers can use Pinterest to find ideas for classroom arrangement, organization, and classroom decorating. It’s also a great way to find new ideas for teaching literacy, math, science, classroom management ideas, and lots more.

There are so many digital curation tools out there and it is a matter of finding the ones that work best for you and meet your classroom needs.

Happy Spring Cleaning, Consolidating and Curating:-)

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