We’ve been asking people to post their thoughts on this Google Doc around curation in learning ahead of our next event Curate? Create Debate! Craig Taylor left a comment and he got me thinking (he has a habit of doing that)…

Most people I work with will not independently use the Internet to solve their learning and development issues even though most of them could be solved in this way. It’s like asking them to go off piste skiing when they’ve only ever been sledging in the park.Curation is the piste basher of the Internet. It makes areas of the mountain accessible to all. You start on the nursery slopes and progress up the mountain until you too are ready to go off piste, or you may prefer to stay on the green slopes cruising around in your comfort zone, that’s your choice.

Turning everyone into a power user is an admirable goal, but it’s also unrealistic. Most people just don’t care enough. If we focus too much on this we could be missing more productive and pragmatic opportunities for people to find great content that will help meet their needs.

It is generally acceptable to watch the news on telly or to read a newspaper. We don’t expect everyone to go out and interview people themselves or to start their own news channel, so why should we criticise them for letting passionate, knowledgeable, people curate other content?

Is it fair to label curation as “spoon feeding”? Curation can help to remove barriers and reduce frustration. It improves the user experience of the Internet for the mildly interested majority. Curated content is a starting point for people. “You want to learn something, you don’t know where to start – have a look at this”.  They can explore it at their own pace. They can follow the links within the curated content and go as far down the rabbit hole as they like. Hopefully it will inspire them to go further or help them to frame their own needs with fresh insight. That’s up to them.

What do you think? Is curation making it less likely that people will become digitally literate? Or is it simply making the internet more user friendly by adding a human touch to searching and sharing?

Image by Today is a good day

Post by: Sam Burrough (39 Posts)