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Curators Needed

August 19, 2010
I was checking in on Louis Gray’s blog today and read this paragraph…

“Our panel’s determination could be summarized as saying the ability for the public to launch stories and extend storylines related to realtime has removed the ability for mainstream media to be gatekeepers, furthering the need to accurately determine authenticity and truth. And where mainstream media cannot have exceptional access, be it to geography, sources or timing, part of their new role is to discover and highlight high quality content, regardless of its source, in effect, adopting the role of curator.”

After reading this statement, I was struck that if you switch the first mention of “mainstream media” and insert “textbook publishers” you get the same theme.  Traditionally schools and education have been tied to textbooks for how and what we teach.  Over the years courses have been built around textbooks – not the opposite.  However, now with access to information all the time…. the role of the teacher is becoming that of a curator.

Discovering and highlighting high quality materials and resources regardless of the source is the new role.  Thankfully, I am seeing this here in Saline.  Our staff is adept at identifying quality resources and incorporating them into their lessons. For example, our high school social studies department has thoughtfully delayed purchasing new Government textbooks and instead will spend next summer developing materials that will comprise the “textbook” for the 2011-2012 Government classes.

Access to information is evolving…. and the need for teachers to be curators is growing.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 21, 2010 5:16 pm

    Here is an article about Open Educational Resources –
    http://opensource.com/education/10/1/open-educational-resources-education-ecosystem-comes-life

    Here is start of the piece…

    “…the introduction of open educational resources into the education ecosystem might in fact be one of the most important things that has happened to education in the last 100 years. I guess in centuries before we might have said that it was the Socratic Method, or the advent of public schooling, or teaching to the agrarian calendar. Each of these has certainly contributed to moving some part of learning more visibly into the public sphere. Similarly, open educational resources (broadly defined as educational content that is made free to use or share, with the intention of being able to modify content and reshare it back out to the commons), has in many ways taken education by storm (and surprise in some cases). Why?

    Because it provides a learner-centered platform that authentically marries technology with education, provides access and equity to education resources for all, and last but not least, is in some cases enabling the re-professionalism of teaching.”

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