Stuff, stuff, everywhere stuff – where to save/share? Do you ever feel like that? Judging from the #byod4l tweet chat last night and the discussions during our drop in session yesterday I think most people working in education and with technology feel a bit overwhelmed at times, with the amount of “good stuff” out there. We all have ways of curating and are often driven by that “just in case it might be useful” urge.
I said a couple of times yesterday that I am “a bit rubbish at curation”. Despite many attempts with just about every curation service I seem to lack an inner librarian that is need to keep on top of the amount of “stuff” I curate. I think my most consistent technique (and it is a bit haphazard) is favouriting tweets. Because I (and twitter) archive my tweets I am fairly confident I can find things again (tho after a couple of weeks if I haven’t referred to something I probably won’t again). I do a semi regular blog post ‘what Sheila’s seen this week” which originally was kind of an attempt to curate interesting things I had spied that week. It kind of does and doesn’t work. So my stuff and stuff I find from others tends to be very loosely curated all over the web in twitter, instagram, flicker, and a number or other places that I have forgotten about.
One of the tools/services that was discussed quite a bit last night was Evernote. I don’t really think of Evernote as a curation tool, to me it’s a writing tool, but of course it is. I love Evernote. It was pivotal in making my iPad a useful device for work (that an a wee keyboard for typing when I was traveling a lot more than I do now). I have the iPad, iPhone and desktop versions and every now and again I log into the web version.The fact that it syncs across many devices is invaluable. I always have my notes with me. It’s sync’d with my calendar so if I’m at a meeting it automagically saves the note with the date and meeting details (very handy). There is a whole host of functionality that I don’t really make use of like tagging (again that missing inner librarian), clipping, adding photos etc. There are also a host of iftt (if this then that) recipes that can really help turn your evernote into a powerful curation tool.
I tend to use it as my notebook so it is very much a personal tool for me but you can easily share notes with others. They have recently introduced a chat function which I’m sure would be really handy for collaborative writing. I tend to use google docs for collaborative writing. For example I draft all my blog posts in evernote then copy them into my blog. Having suffered that horrible feeling of spending hours writing a blog post then inadvertently losing the post as it hadn’t saved or I closed a tab by mistake, I like having a backup. I also like the UI which I think makes a difference when you are writing. But it is really the multiple platform aspect of it that I find most useful.
In our drop in session we all spent quite a bit of time talking about some list services including wunderlist and List.ly – both are pretty useful for curation and can be shared too. Again worth having a look. Playlists are of course very popular now and I came across this blog post yesterday (using my fail-safe twitter favourite curation technique it has been easy to find) about extending the notion of having learning playlists instead of “learning programmes”. An interesting idea and could work in some contexts really well, but there sometimes, like an album learning needs to happen in a set order.
Anyway onto day 4 now – can’t believe the week in nearly at at end and the next “C” which is collaboration.