One thing that I pride myself on, is the ability to curate and share the work of others. I have been blessed with a huge network on social media and I want to use that to not only share my voice, but hopefully the voice of others as well. There are certain blogs that I like reading all of the time, but I also want to find the “best” stuff that is being shared right now, so if I limit it to what I already know, then it is much harder to find that. That is why I have a few different spaces to find and share content. Many people ask me how I “find my stuff”, so I wanted to show and share how I curate information.
- Inoreader – After Google Reader dissolved (sigh), I wanted to find a great RSS reader that looked similar. After much research, I settled with Inoreader (inoreader.com), which was a great way for me to add and share blog posts. With this service, I could easily make my own “bundles” of blogs by any category that I would want to create. This way I was getting some of my favourite content coming to me, instead of going to it. Here is how my home page looks:
What I also loved about this site, was how easy it was to share to social media sites. On the bottom right of each article is a “share” button, so you can do it directly from Inoreader. If I know someone blogs consistently I add it to my reader, but if they don’t post for awhile, I don’t have to worry about constantly checking for updates. It is a minimalist site and that is why I prefer using it. Less is better sometimes when trying to find information.
2. Zite – Zite is a mobile app that finds articles for you based on things that are popular in your “network”, or based on topics of your own personal interest. What I like about this site is that it often helps me find stuff that wouldn’t necessarily be in my blog bundles and it becomes a personalized magazine. If I don’t like the content being shared, I can give it the “thumbs down” and it will note that for the future. Here is how the interface looks on my main page.
Again, nice and clean.
The other awesome aspect is the ease of sharing from your device for the content. You can share to a plethora of social networks (again, on the bottom right corner). Zite gives me unique content, but it is important to be aware that if you share or read a blog from any author, it will note that and eventually always share that post. This is both good and bad, as I try to use that space to find unique information.
3. Tweetdeck – I love Twitter, but it is very hard to information on any topic unless you utilize hashtags or lists to help you out. Tweetdeck (tweetdeck.com) allows me to search by hashtags, and even if I am not following someone, if they share to the hashtag that I am following, it is really helpful. Here is a snapshot below:
My very good friend and AMAZING leader, Dwight Carter, shared an amazing analogy on hashtags, likening them to “TV channels”. As shown by the image above, the “channels” I am watching for content (in this example), are #psd70 (my school district), and #cpchat (Connected Principals Chat). This way I can see what is being shared in my school district, while also seeing what other educators are sharing that they feel is relevant to school administrators. What is important to note here is that #cpchat is not exclusive to only school administrators sharing to the hashtag, but anyone that feels the information they have found is relevant to school administrators. I try to help people find content by filtering it for them. For example, if I find something that is great for kindergarten teachers, I would use #kinderchat. For science teachers, I would use #scichat in my tweets. This helps others find great stuff in an area of interest. (Here is a list of educational twitter hashtags from Jerry Blumengarten to help if this is new to you.)
Many people ask “who should I follow?” I always try to encourage them to find a hashtag that is relevant to them first. If you are a math teacher, following other math teachers does not mean that they will share stuff related to the topic. But if you follow #mathchat, the opportunity to find stuff that you are interested in on that topic, is more likely to happen.
This list is not meant to be the only way that you can curate and find content, it is simply part of the way that I do it. I encourage you to write in the comments any other ways you find content and share it with others. This is something that I think is important for educators to do, because it is also something students should understand and make part of their learning as well.
Hopefully this helps some people find and share their own content as well.