Digital Literacies in the Age of Curation Ilana Snyder Monash University
Curation is used in 4 fields of inquiry • marketing • online communication • education • literacy studies
Key Questions • What are the discourses and practices associated with ‘curation’ in digital times? • What are the implications of these discourses and practices for critical literacy education?
Practices • In literacy studies, practices have been broadly understood as ‘regular and sustained socio-cultural activities, involving elements of knowledge, identity and being, that vary across social settings, resulting in different kinds of engagements with writing and artefacts of literacy’ (Prinsloo & Baynham 2013, p. xxxi). • Practices are passed on through interaction and activity and within them ‘knowledge is constituted and social life is produced, maintained and changed’ (p. xxxii). ‘Practices’ are habits, dispositions, routines, customs and traditions that provide an account for how the social order is constrained, reproduced and modified.
Three forms of content production • content creation • content aggregation • content curation
Rosenbaum (2010) ‘Who are curators? What can they gather and re-publish? Do they have the right to get paid for curation? If so, who’s adding the real value, the content makers or the curators/publishers? For creators – people who’ve spent their careers making content and trying to sort out an economic model – curation can seem like an end-run around hard work. And so the conflict ultimately comes down to this: Is curation about saving money? Or about adding value? The answer, it appears, is “yes” to both.’
Three periods of online communication • Introduction of computer-mediated communication in education in the mid-1980s • Emergence of the web in the mid-1990s. • The popularisation of the term web 2.0, used in the first decade of the 2000s to describe the transition from static webpages to a more dynamic web
Rheingold on curation ‘an act of self-interest that enriches the commons and benefits everybody. I need to search, scan, and select the best resources I can find for my own personal interests, and by making my choices available to others, I create a resource for many besides myself. Curation is also a signal to others who share my interests, people I probably would not have known or known about otherwise, who, in turn, suggest resources to me. I feed the networks of people who do me the honor of valuing my choices, and they feed me back. It’s about knowing, learning, sharing, and teaching, all in one.’
Rheingold on the responsibility of educators ‘Young people need to learn how to scan, select, decide and deploy information effectively and know how to use information tools such as search, RSS, dashboards, Pipes (a composition tool to aggregate, manipulate and mashup content from around the web) and filters.’
Hugo Liu on curation ‘In real life, a curator is a vanguard of cultural heritage. Curators oversee museums and institutions. By talking about digital life as curation, we imply that it is an aesthetic project. I am the proprietor of the Museum of Me ... Curating your online web presence is just a gateway drug. Trust me, it will spread to real life in a big way. The food we eat, the friends we keep, the habits of our day.’