Monday, July 8, 2019

Curation You (and I) Can Do

I took a small break last week from my curation theme and I'm operating more on "summer time" right now, hence the delay in posting. I've covered WHY we should curate & shared a few digital tools you can use in "Digital Curation Tools You Can Do". I followed that with 3 activities you can do WITH your students and why this can be time well spent in"Curation Activities You Can Do".

This week, I'd like to share some of the ways I, personally, have curated resources, ideas, tools, tricks, and much more. Honestly, I am a kind of person who likes variety - not too much - but some. This could be a bad thing for some people, but I enjoy it. Each time I find something new, I find things I like, and don't like, about it. It always makes me rethink WHAT I'm curating and forces me to really think through WHY I'm curating, not just for the items, but also the tool I am using to curate with.

I want to share these photos without an explanation. Don't worry, I'll get to it later. I just ask you to take a look at the 3 photos of shells.

For the past few years, I have been reading, absorbing, collecting, seeking, learning, and being amazed at everything that is out there. Not a day goes by that I haven't learned something and I love it! I had a teacher say to me, after showing some ways to manipulate images and text in Drawings, "HOW do you know all this?" He was amazed each little thing I showed him. I smiled and laughed, and being a tad embarrassed, said, "I spend an extreme amount of time learning and playing with this stuff. I love it that much!" 

There's no way I can keep all of this in my brain, and I've been on a journey to find the perfect system to curate all the good stuff I find.

Starting off, I did the best thing I knew how. At the time, I created a Google Doc to collect it all. Initially, it was just a listing of the things I found. Then I learned about Table of Contents, so I began grouping them by category (Google Drawings, Google Admin, Google Sheets, etc) and yes, I did put them alphabetically. That Doc has now grown to 32 pages long!

Want to take a peek? Click HERE.

Next, I tried to find a better method. I began feeling I needed to do more than "just curate". I needed to get it into a place I could share it. So, I created a Google Form to give myself consistent parameters of information collection. I really believed this was going to be the "answer" for me. While it's a great system to collect items, I very rarely referred to it. I would literally collect, and then not do much with it. Definitely NOT a good idea, at least not for the purpose of sharing. I have just over 290 "things" in the resulting spreadsheet. It's not a bad method, it just hasn't worked out for me the way I'd hoped based on my WHY (I wanted to share the info, not just collect).

Here's a LOOK at this one, if you are interested.

My next curation adventure was to create a blog because I REALLY wanted to share all the "stuff" I was finding and learning. I created a blog - called "My Brain Can't Hold It All" so that I could help myself keep track of it. I did refer to both of my previous curation collections to help start me off. This has evolved into my "second" blog ... TYCD: Resources. I now post to it nearly every Tuesday with a tool, a resource, activity, or something I believe will be helpful. I don't go into much detail, just a quick overview and I try to tuck in why I think it is a good one. This is linked at the top of my blog, on the tab "TYCD: Resources". 

You can also click HERE.

And that leads me to where I am today. I don't have ONE perfect system. Instead, I use several different ones - each for their own reason.

📨 I use email to curate items that I feel I need to share with specific people or groups (typically those at my job). 

🐦 I use Twitter to share out quickly & tag people I feel benefit from this item. 

✍ I continue to use my "2nd blog" - TYCD: Resources - to share out to a large audience; but I focus on THIS blog, "Tech You Can Do", to share out details and bigger projects & ideas. I also fell in love with the label structure and the fact that Blogger is a Google product.

🌴 I continue to use Pearltrees on my "Professional Learning" tab on this blog to share people I follow & admire, Twitter-ers I follow, and several professional learning options people can take advantage of. 

🗣 I use a Google Site to house a collection of templates my colleague, Beth Kingsley & I, have created and freely share for teachers to use. (You can find it linked above on the "Templates for Teachers" tab or click HERE.) 

🌊 And finally, I've recently jumped on the Wakelet wagon and have created a decent number of collections that I am proudly sharing out for the first time via this blog. [Check out my new Wakelet Collections tab at the top.]

To wrap this up, let's go back to the photos I shared at the beginning. While walking on the beach, I had a realization about curation. You see, two of my daughters and I had great fun collecting seashells. One daughter collected one particular shell, the other collected pretty much anything she could find. I collected just couple that really spoke to me. As I was thinking about the method and the results of our collections, I realized each of us had our own WHY, our own method, and each of us ended up with our own beautiful collection. And through this realization, I've realized that what I've been searching for is not one single tool, but rather, a collection of tools. Maybe that's what is perfect for me.

I hope that my journey to finding curation tools, ideas, and resources helps you. Maybe I've shared a tool or two that inspires you to curate your own collection. And maybe you will share that collection with me and we can inspire each other.

Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at


  1. This is a great post! Thank you for sharing. After reading this, I have realized a couple of things about myself. I spend too much time overthinking of how to curate resources for my colleagues. Instead, I should try different tools, and see which "speaks" and works best for the teachers.

    1. I had to chuckle when I read "overthinking"!!! I think that's my middle name! Yes ... try different tools, for different reasons and see what works. Good luck in your journey.