Teacher or Curator


The amount of information flooding us today through social media, the internet of things and our email systems creates for us a dilemma. Is the information true, can we rely on it and how do we know?

I read an online article based on the work of Joe Pulizzi and Steve Rosenburg's book "Curator Nation" about the filtering and transforming of information. It suggested that the job of Curator (known traditionally as the wise and knowledgeable custodian of museums and art galleries) was now a term to be used for the filtering and communication of information from the Internet of things.

The article suggests that the term "Content Curator" is the act of finding, organising or sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific topic and that there are a number of types of curators.

It further suggests that almost all of us are curators of some sort, be that finding articles, managing BLOGS or send our Facebook friends interesting and/or humorous video clips of cats beating up dogs or some other equally useless information. In this way we filter the information and send it on to those who we know will appreciate it.

I suppose the questions is, Is this process not what teachers and librarians do and have been doing for generations? Gathering information, filtering it and putting it in a form that learners will understand. Then transmitting it using a reliable communication tool.

The difference is that before the Internet and smart phones, we knew that there was a degree of rigour in the information we received, it came from a book that was generally peer reviewed and the content was generally accepted as the truth. Today, information comes to use from all sorts of sources were we have limited knowledge about the person who created it, what their background was and if the information is accurate.

What we do know is that the speed and volume of information will increase exponentially as our technology increases and the role of curator will become more pronounced and important. Maybe teachers will become specialist curators, building followers and providing credibility to the information they distribute.

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