In my last post, I asked people to share digital resources that they find useful so that I can pass them along for others to try. However, the one discussion that needs to take place before anyone starts to compile their toolbox of digital resources surrounds the curation of these tools. Where are the best places for me to find these resources and where will I archive them so that I can access them when I want them?
My two main avenues for finding new digital tools is by reading blogs and following lists and hashtags on Twitter. I follow blogs by using Feedly, a free resource where you can subscribe to blogs and also organize them based on content. For instance, I am able to follow all of the blogs and websites across our district and check daily for updates from the schools and classrooms throughout Burlington Public Schools. Here is a quick overview on how to use Feedly.
My other key resource for finding useful blogs, websites, and articles online is by following hashtags on Twitter. Whatever your role may be in education, there is a Twitter hashtag out there where other professionals are conversing and sharing resources. Some of my favorite hashtags are #cpchat (for connected principals/administrators), #edchatma (for educators in Massachusetts), and #bpschat (our Burlington Public Schools hashtag). If you have not done so already, you should establish a hashtag for your school or district where you can share important resources with your school community. Take a moment to check out this list of hashtags from Jerry Blumengarten.
Now that I have discussed a couple of the ways that I find resources, it is time for the most important part of this discussion. Where can you tag and save all of these great resources for easy access when you need them. For me the number of web-based resources that I have saved is currently over 9,000. Fortunately, I have these all saved on Diigo where I can hunt down saved items based on how I tagged them. One of the great things about Diigo is that it will recommend tags based on the topic covered. For more on how to use Diigo, check out this post.
There are certainly a number of other ways to deal with the curation of resources. If you have a workflow that you like, I would love to hear about it. The most important point here is that we need to be having these discussions within our schools and not take for granted that staff and students have a curation plan. With the overwhelming number of resources out there, many people without a curation plan will choose to avoid the search for new information and tools.