Getting Started with Curating Content
Curation. Whenever I hear the term I always think of a person working in an art gallery carefully selecting pieces of work for an upcoming exhibition. But I’m also seeing it as a skill needed for modern L&D folks…
“We need curators and community managers, rather than course designers” Charles Jennings
…and certainly it’s an area (along with community management) that I want to explore more and build my own capability in. But how can I do this?
What is curation?
The starting point in wanting to learn more about how to do something is to know what it means. So here’s a couple definitions that I found online:
“Curation isn’t just about collecting or filtering…it’s about adding value through context and analysis” David Kelly
“A Content Curator is someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online” Rohit Bhargava
I thought that I was curating already by selecting some of the articles/videos/blog posts that I come across and sharing them via social media e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn but the comments above suggest that it’s more than this. Ok, I’ll give this a go by adding some curated resources at the end of my blog posts that ties in with the topic of the post.
I feel comfortable in attempting to curate content within the eLearning space as it’s an area that I have experience in and being active in SoMe means that I’m exposed to lots of information in the field plus people who I interact with online.
But if curation is a skill needed by L&D professionals, a big question for me is:
How do I curate content outside of my area of expertise?
As an example, if right now I was working in an L&D department within an organisation, I might need to curate some resources for managers to develop their capability for managing people. How can I do this effectively when 1) I haven’t managed staff myself for a long time and 2) I’m not actively across what’s available out there. How can I tell the ‘wheat from the chaff’ in terms of curating resources for them when (from my point of view) I’m not in a position of credibility?
One of my pet peeves is that in a number of posts/articles etc. that I read about the ‘future of L&D’ is that they often just focus on what L&D should be doing but provide little to no guidance on the how. It’s easy to say “L&D need to be content curators” but it seems like there’s more to it than pulling a few resources together.
Generally speaking, for the L&D people I come into contact with, the field is very much entrenched in the course mindset which are one-off learning events that are expected to bring about change. I see content curation as being more ongoing but will require a huge mindset shift from developing courses.
I’m keen to learn more about the practical, the doing, the how of curation as well as how do we get there. Do you curate? If so, how do you do it? Please let me know your thoughts/ideas/advice in the comments below and if you have any examples of curated content, let me know too.
I did come across this example of curated content about curation by David Kelly which I thought was a good one because there’s lots of articles on the subject: