As part of the work required for a literature review, I have been doing a lot of online research about curation. Curation is a hot topic these days. Rohit Bhargava describes content curation as “the act of finding, grouping,organizing or sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue.” Futurists predict that our children will have to get very good at curation in order to deal with the overload of information that comes our way on a daily basis.
Ironically, in the act of researching content curation, I have begun to feel completely overwhelmed with the amount of information on the topic. This only reinforces the fact that learning how to curate is becoming a critical information literacy skill. Howard Rheingold, in his new book Net Smart How to Thrive Online, calls it “infotention.” He says “Honing the mental ability to employ the form of attention appropriate for each moment is an essential internal skill for people who want to find, direct, and manage streams of relevant information by using online media knowledgeably” (Pp. 97-98).
Yesterday, while wading through hours of online posts, links, videos and presentations (and I had narrowed my topic down to content curation in an educational context), I came across a blog post by Robert Scoble, entitled, The War on Noise. Scoble’s noise is in reference to the thousands of tweets, emails, Facebook posts, and myriad of info lists he receives every day. He says, “The contextual age means we’re going to have to go to war on noise.” Though I am no expert on the topic, what I take from Scoble’s post is that technology will have to help us do some filtering.
In the meantime, educators like myself need to develop our infotention skills. In part, that means shutting out the noise, and finding those quiet treasures that come to us through the established learning networks we create.
“Mentally trained, technologically augmented, socially mediated infotention, is about continuously detecting information that could be valuable specifically to you, whenever and wherever it is useful to you” (Rheingold, p. 98).
Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Bhargava, Rohit. March 31, 2011. (Blog). Retrieved from http://www.rohitbhargava.com/2011/03/the-5-models-of-content-curation.html
Rheingold, H. (2012). Net smart: How to thrive online. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press.
Scoble, Robert. November 9, 2012. (Blog). Retrieved from http://scobleizer.com/2012/11/