Tag Archives: digital curation

Infographics for Research Curation

Student using Piktochart to design an Infographic

Writing is a process. Ask most published writers and they will tell your about their methods to writing and revising. I have yet to meet a writer who sits down at their computer and is able to write an entire book, poem, article, screenplay – whatever, in one shot. Writing requires planning, research, writing, revising, rereading, and then writing some more. Staring at a blank page for many can be daunting, especially students. The challenge to take one’s notes and turn them into a written piece that expresses their ideas. Some might go immediately into generating their story and thinking. Outlines are useful writing tools in the prewriting stage.  

Infographics are another tool that can help students brainstorm or represent the information they have gathered. An infographic is a visual image that is used to represent data or information. When students create an infographic they have to synthesize the information they curated and make meaning for others in a visually appealing way. Using tech tools like Canva, Piktochart, or even Google Drawing, students design an infographic that visually communicates the main idea their research. Whereas Google Drawing, students are starting with a blank page, Canva and Piktochart have templates students can choose from to add data and graphs to personalize with their research and information.  Having students visually represent their data in an infographic requires students to choose words and images purposefully in order to communicate an idea, prove their thinking, and possibly persuade their viewers.

Like an outline, an infographic strips down content to the main idea and supporting details. Creating infographics, students are required to evaluate, analyze and synthesize their research and present their information is a way that stands out and is easy to read. Looking at different examples of infographics and the ways that information is presented, color, format, structure, and  the balance between image and text are elements for students to keep in mind when creating their own infographic.

Students are tapping into the Common Core Standards when creating their own infographic because they are “Translating quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.7). Additionally, students are “Making strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations” (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 ).

Before students create their own infographic, it is helpful to look at examples of data visualization to determine the best way to present their own data and research. Similar to different writing formats, students might be consider whether they will present and write about a compare and contrast, cause and effect, to inform or persuade. In addition to Knowledge Constructors, students are also Empowered Learners (ISTE Standards for Students 1C), when creating infographics because they are  using technology to demonstrate their learning.


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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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