This week #CLMOOC challenged its participants to geolocate our spaces for the sixth and final make cycle. The idea was for us to curate our cultural, environmental, and/or historical spaces. I contemplated a curation of the national parks I have known or other spaces I visited either as a child or adult, but in the end decided to focus on “My Kentucky Parks” as that is “my space.”
There were many wonderful pictures shared as as the other “makers” got out to explore their spaces. They did make me jealous — sometimes because their spaces are better, but usually because they are better photographers (Eastern Kentucky is pretty awesome if you have never visited). Some folks shared some really interesting blog posts along the way (I’ll get to those in my next Notable Notes post), but for a while this make didn’t truly capture my interest even after I dutifully created my own make (sometimes that process helps me “see” the purpose behind it, but not this time).
One of the activities many engaged in was the #rangerme challenge (image on image layering). To be honest at first I didn’t really get it and I couldn’t download the recommended app on my phone so I sort of abandoned it, but as the images continued to pop up on my social media feeds I realized that this could be a fun make for a variety of purposes and content areas. For example, in my comic book class we could introduce ourselves as our favorite superheroes, however this could be done for a variety of themes…a twist on photobombing. In the end, I created three of these…one ranger for the challenge and two others that I could use as examples for my students.
However, the curation of our locations still somewhat puzzled me. Not sure how I could apply or use this concept for my students, but reading the official reflection on this make cycle and talking with my son about his mission trip experiences this week helped me see my way — it is all about perspective. I think curation is an important part of education. I hate the regurgitation required of so many assessments. Good curation requires thought and judgement which can often result in something pretty useful and interesting that informs the audience as well as the creator. And curating can offer a new perspective as the curator locates and interacts with the elements of the exhibit.
This idea was brought home to me by my son Noah’s mission experience. This is his third mission trip. In the past, he helped beautify a home in Pittsburgh (with Rebuilding Together) and worked with the needy in St. Louis (Urban Mission Inn), but this year’s experience with Reach Beyond Mission in Austin, Tx, gave him a better perspective on what it is like to live in poverty. You can see Noah above working at the Mobile Loaves and Fishes Community First Village (an amazing program you should check out). RBM designed a number of experiences (as well as work opportunities) for the youth to develop a better understanding of what it is like to grocery shop with an extremely limited budget (I wish all the lawmakers who want to cut food stamps and similar programs had this experience) as well as how to manage your household budget when unexpected expenses occur (chaos rules!).
My students already do a lot of curation (see Paper Trails assignment) but I’m already thinking about more ways that I can use curation in my classroom. I also use curation for my own personal learning (see Notable Notes) and I share a lot through my various social media feeds as well as Scoop.It and Pinterest, but I could use a system so I can better find links when I want them later. Sadly, I am in desperate need of a curator for my personal documents and photos. They are in a terrible muddle.
What is the role of curation in your personal and teaching lives? Do you think curation is an important part of learning?