A. Forkosh Baruch1, R. Gadot2

1Levinsky College of Education (ISRAEL)
2Levinsky College of Education, Open University (ISRAEL)
The origin of the term curation is in the arts. The curator’s role is to create and manage museum exhibitions. Our focus is curation of information, which is a process of collecting information that is relevant to a specific topic and constructing its ontology. In the knowledge era, curation has broadened, including digital curation, i.e., using digital tools for handling digital information sources, and social curation, i.e., usage of digital content for constructing and sharing information. Digital curators express in the process their personality and social activities (Ellingwood et al., 2012).

Social curation in education is a directed process of creation of a personal ontology by the learner, in which the essence is the learning process and not only the product. The curator tells a story and creates a “knowledge exhibition” (Gadot, 2017). By using social media, the curator is able to disseminate his creations, as well as comment on others’ exhibitions (Antonio et al, 2012). By this, a network of technology-supported resources is created (Siemens, 2006). Learners in the knowledge era are active creators of their knowledge in a process that combines personal and collaborative learning (Bobish, 2010; Wheeler, 2009). This era provides new routes for teaching and learning, characterized by openness, sharing, social networking, social presence, content created by users, and crowd wisdom (Dabbagh, & Kitsantas, 2012).

Our research question focused on implications of the issues mentioned above in educational milieus, that is: how do preservice teachers experience the contribution of social curation as facilitating learning and a means for acquiring cognitive and emotional skills needed in the digital era?

Our research focuses on education BA students’ insights regarding digital curation in social media, outcomes and potential in education. The study included 78 students, which produced altogether 46 summaries and insights regarding their experience throughout the BA course “Digital Curation” in the year 2016-17. The data was collected from reflections written by the students at the end of the course.

Findings indicate that students focused on 5 major themes in their writing: cognitive, authentic learning, emotional-motivational, connectivity and ethical aspects. The cognitive aspect, of curation, including viewpoints as students and as future teachers, and the contribution of curation to authentic learning, encompassed the majority of phrases. The conclusions of the study are consistent with the assumption according to which mastery of technological tools is a prerequisite to the activities of the student as a digital curator. However, this is not the only condition. Social curation is an educational activity that promoted 21st century skills, exemplifies authentic learning, and is highly connected to emotional and motivational aspects of the learner.