Being a Digital Curator

There is an astonishing amount of information at our fingertips. We now live in a “global information society” (Howell, 2012, p 12) where knowledge is shared freely across the world and is no longer constrained by physical barriers such as time and distance.

Anyone who has ever conducted an internet search will tell you that the sheer amount of information returned can be overwhelming.

Screenshot Google Search
To demonstrate, I ‘Googled’ the word ‘cats’ and in less than 0.52 seconds I was bombarded with approximately 902,000,000 results from Google alone!

This is where digital curation comes in. People have the ability to collate information on a given topic into one convenient location. Digital information can be collected, combined and altered before being transformed into a new display of content (Flintoff, Mellow & Clark, 2014; McLeod, 2013 as cited in Poole, 2016). This presents existing data from a fresh perspective (Minocha & Petre, 2012; Jenkins et al, 2009, as cited in Flintoff et al, 2014).

Digital Curation Process
A flowchart of the digital curation process retrieved from

When conducting a search, it can be difficult to determine which sources are the most reliable.

Hint* it’s probably not the first result on the page.

Digital curators can control the quality of their content, ensuring that their target audience is only presented with reliable and relevant information (Flintoff et al, 2014).

How Can Digital Curation be Used in the Classroom?

As curators, teachers can create an organised pool of information surrounding a specified topic. When it comes time for students to conduct research, they are supplied with a host of reliable content that has been filtered and collated by their teacher (Gadot & Levin, 2012). This guides students’ learning, preventing them from becoming distracted by irrelevant links, websites and advertisements.

curation for digital learning
Clark, T. (2017) Retrieved from

Benefits for The Classroom:

  • Relevant information is accessible without the need for tedious internet searches
  • Teachers ensure content is from trustworthy sources
  • Prevents students encountering inappropriate or explicit content
  • Saves time – more time for students to work on the task, less wasted on unsuccessful research
10 reasons for curation
T. Clark (2017). Retrieved from

Students as Curators:

Children can also be curators by creating their own streams on the topic. Gadot & Levin (2012) suggest that teachers can then oversee their students’ creations and filter the most useful content into one resource for the whole class to use. Combining students’ information allows for the inclusion of lesser-used resources and individual perspectives.

Some Curation Tools To Try:

There are an increasing number of curation tools available, many of which are free in web and app platforms (Flintoff et al., 2014).

For more, check out Educator’s Top 10


Beagrie, N. (2006) Digital Curation for Science, Digital Libraries, and Individuals. The International Journal of Digital Curation. Issue 1, Volume 1, 2006. Retrieved from

Centreline Digital (2015) What is Digital Curation Retrieved from:

Clark, Dr T., (2017) Curation for Digital Learning [image]. Retrieved from

Clark, Dr T., (2017) 10 Reasons for Content Curation [image]. Retrieved from

Digital Curation Flowchart (2014) [image].  Retrieved     from

Digital Media Filter (2012) [image]. Retrieved from 

Flintoff, K., Mellow, P. & Clark, K. P. (2014). Digital curation: Opportunities for learning, teaching, research and professional development. In Transformative, innovative and engaging. Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 30-31 January 2014. Perth: The University of Western Australia.

Gadot, R., & Levin, I. (2012). Digital Curation as Learning Activity. Ilya Levin School of Education, Tel Aviv University (Israel). Proceedings, EDULEARN, 6038-6045. Retrieved from

Poole Alex H. Poole, (2016) “The conceptual landscape of digital curation”, Journal of Documentation, Vol. 72 Issue: 5, pp.961-986. Retrieved from doi: 10.1108/JD-10-2015-0123


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