Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, wikis, and the list goes on and on. In a previous post, I talked about how easy it is in our digital world to get totally overloaded and overwhelmed with the constant barrage of information coming at us from all directions. Especially those I just mentioned, which seem to be favorites of connected educators everywhere. Being able to locate information that is pertinent to you and access it when it is convenient is a very important skill for both you and your students. The process of locating and organizing information is called “content curation“.
If it were up to me, I’d classify content curation as the fifth C. I feel that with easy access to more information than has ever been available before, finding and organizing all of it is just as important as creating, thinking critically, collaborating, and communicating. In fact, reflecting on the original 4 Cs, being able to curate content is a skill necessary for each of them.
I love HootSuite because I can have access to all of the Twitter hashtags I follow, all of the blogs I follow, and my Google+ connections all in one place. Plus it’s FREE! HootSuite looks a lot like a browser within a browser because, like Chrome, you create tabs. Each tab can be labeled with a different topic you’re interested in, a different social media platform, etc. On the tabs, you add columns with hashtags, lists, blogs, etc. You can organize your tabs and columns in a way that makes sense to you, and everything is in one place! You can tweet or post directly to your Google+ page or profile from HootSuite, as well as use the favoriting option in Twitter (this will come in handy in a moment). Here is a screen shot of my HootSuite dashboard.
Evernote is probably my favorite tool of all time! I love it because I can have it on all of my devices, no matter what the operating system (Apple vs. Android), and when I update on one device, my account updates on all of them. In Evernote, you set up notebooks, and then add notes into those notebooks. Notes can be text, images, and if you upgrade, voice memos. All notes are searchable, even images of handwritten notes! How cool! Within my Chrome browser, I’ve added the Evernote Web Clipper extension, so when I find a website or blog article that I want to save for later, I just clip it from the web straight into whatever notebook I designate. I have set up an IfThisThenThat recipe so that when I favorite a tweet from Twitter that I want to read later, it sends it straight into my Evernote. I can then read those articles off-line on my phone or iPad at my convenience.
Please give these two tool a try, and let me know what you think. If you need help getting things set up, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Twitter: @BoucherLauren. Let me know what you think of these tools below in the comments section!