Curation & Validation


(Image from

There was an interesting discussion (here) on Irish national radio between broadcaster, Marian Finucane and Stephen O’ Leary, lecturer in online journalism at Griffith College, Dublin. The theme was the pressure to fill twenty-four hour news channels and how this affects journalism.

The conversation dealt with social-media and the importance of filtering for example Twitter-streams, in order to find out who is a reliable source for journalists.

“Authoritative” was used in the discussion, as in for example, the work of the “traditional court-reporter.”

O’ Leary’s phrase “area of verification” resonated with me, as he spoke of opportunities for student journalists, as they seek to find a valued role in the landscape of reporting amongst the mass of information churned out by social-media.

This conversation tied in nicely with a Tweet from Anne Looney of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment here in Ireland. She has spoken previously about trusted teacher-tweeters who are effectively curators in their specialist areas. This time Looney tweeted a link from DK (see comment below)  Douglas Karr called Curation As An Emerging Skillset | A 5 Step Guide (here).

Karr’s five steps are

1. Find : Track other digital curators to emulate / learn from.
2. Find : Deliberately forage content from many sources.
3. Follow : Click those inspirational digital breadcrumbs.
4. Focus : Sharpen the sights and cull the chaff to find the good stuff.
5. Frame : Context is king so reposition & tell stories with the new found ideas.

I find his fifth point encouraging since it is out of the valued social media content that we rework our ideas. This is not straightforward however and it takes time to give a level of reflection that builds on the already generated ideas. DK puts it well “Follow the plan and basically suck the juicy wisdom out of the web then humanise it for good.

The work humanise is so important – it is as important as the verification and authority mentioned in the radio conversation above. Quality content that has meaning for people will gain respect.

We need to move with this into the educational sphere – I occasionally have a Twitter hashtag of something or other in the foreground of my classes – normalising social-media and using it purposely in teaching and learning is in its very early stages – teachers who approach this though in a spirit of verification, authority and for the benefit of people will have a lot to offer, in the inevitable debate as to best how to embed these ideas across our class and staff-rooms.

Picture credit: By Stefan Krause, Germany (Own work) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Donal O' Mahony

    Thanks DK – so much for my detective work! Glad I made you smile!

    Yes – different discussion points – different disciplines – greater and enriched collaboration – deeper reflection (some of the time at least)!

  2. DK

    Appreciate the link and feature – always interested to see my work used for different discussion points. Don’t now who ‘Douglas Karr’ is though (not my name – it’s just DK) – made me giggle…