Exploring curation as a core competency in digital and media literacy education — from the Journal of Interactive Media in Education (jime.open.ac.uk); with thanks to Robin Good for the Scoop

Paul Mihailidis
Department of Marketing Communication, Emerson College, United States

James N Cohen
School of Communication, Hofstra University, United States


In today’s hypermedia landscape, youth and young adults are increasingly using social media platforms, online aggregators and mobile applications for daily information use. Communication educators, armed with a host of free, easy-to-use online tools, have the ability to create dynamic approaches to teaching and learning about information and communication flow online. In this paper we explore the concept of curation as a student- and creation-driven pedagogical tool to enhance digital and media literacy education. We present a theoretical justification for curation and present six key ways that curation can be used to teach about critical thinking, analysis and expression online. We utilize a case study of the digital curation platform Storify to explore how curation works in the classroom, and present a framework that integrates curation pedagogy into core media literacy education learning outcomes.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) at a glance -- video

My thanks to Mrs. Krista Spahr, Calvin College, for this resource and the quote below:

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is meant to minimize barriers and to maximize learning.


Reflections from DSC:
Though I still have much to learn about Universal Design for Learning (UDL), my initial thought is that I really like this approach, as it moves us away from the one-size-fits-all approach and towards a teaching and learning environment that offers more choice, more selection, and more opportunities for customization and personalization. Plus, as companies such as Apple and Microsoft have seen, functionality that started out trying to address accessibility-related needs ended up helping everyone!

Along these lines, I created this graphic years ago — with the idea that students would have a choice on which media they might prefer to use to absorb the information:


Again, the idea being that we could provide the same content in 3-5 different ways and let the students select what works best for them. Plus, in the example above, we could even see how other students are describing/making meaning of something.

But it goes further than this as I’m understanding UDL. For example, the methods for achieving a learning outcome can be greatly varied, as the assignments for a particular outcome might be reaching via watching a video clip, or reading a book, or doing a project, or writing a story, or creating music, or ___(fill in the blank) ____.

Also see:



Guidelines for UDL

Faculty “buy-in”– to what? — from CampusTechnology.com by Trent Batson


We can continue incrementally to find our generalized theory as a national and international enterprise if we are willing to wait decades and waste enormous energy and time on failed experiments. Or, we can make efforts to bring together the learning theorists and researchers with those who understand the capabilities of the technology.

At conferences of learning theorists and researchers, we hear about useful new ideas, research results, hopeful new ways of framing what we have gleaned from a century of careful thought and work about how humans learn. But, we don’t find that these learning theorists understand the dynamics of the new technologies sufficiently to recommend a path toward implementation of the theories.

At conferences of technologists, we hear of successful work in innumerable contexts across the country. But the technologists are not aware of learning theory in most cases, or they do know about learning theory but are not active in a learning theory research field. The innumerable technology implementation contexts, then, remain just anecdotal as they are not tied to a developing new theoretical construct.

The challenge is to build a cultural theory that guides academia to re-imagine itself in every tiny bit of being. Who is taking up this challenge? Where is our theory? Where are our theorists?

I hope our community will move away from the simplistic notion that somehow information technology can be “bolted on and not built in” to quote a colleague from last November’s ePortfolios Australia Conference in Melbourne.

Academic transformation is under way. Don’t put the technology first; put understanding of the technology implications first–the unifying learning theory. Second, start the changes on campus that will provide the road system for academics to use in our new landscape.


From DSC:
Having just completed a course re: learning theories, I greatly appreciated Trent’s article here. In that class, I was constantly looking for the applications of the learning theories. While learning to give up on the idea of a silver bullet, I was still in search of answers to questions like:

  • What does all this mean?
  • What’s the bottom line for such and such a learning theory?
  • How does this learning theory impact someone’s teaching and learning strategies (pedagogy and/or andragogy)?

Graphically speaking, I came up with these thoughts:
(Depending upon how you are viewing them, you may need to right click on these graphics and save them down to your desktop; them up them up in a new window/application)






And my thanks to Capella University for the underlying graphics/information here:





From DSC:
In my recent class at Capella University, one of the last discussion board questions asked:

  • Do you think learning theory should be more explicit in official discussions of policy?

What a great question! My answer was yes, as it makes sense to me to guide educational reform by what is best for the students…for learning. Hopefully, we can make informed decisions. Though I’ve learned that there is no silver bullet when it comes to learning theories, each learning theory seems to be a piece of the puzzle for how we learn. Graphically speaking:

If viewing the above graphic on the Learning Ecosystems blog (vs. in an RSS feed/reader):
You may need to right-click on the above image and save it, then open it.

Such theories should have a place when policies are drafted, when changes are made. But I don’t often hear reference to the work of Thorndike, Bandura, Vygotsky, Gagne, Kolb, etc. when legislative bodies/school boards/or other forms of educational leadership are exploring future changes, directions, strategies. What is it that these people were trying to relay to us? What value can we gleam from them when we form our visions of the future? How does their work inform our selection of pedagogies, tools, organizational changes?

DevLearn 2010

DevLearn 2010

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Music and learning: do they mix?

Music and learning: do they mix? — Clive Sheperd (UK)

From DSC:
Check out the comments as well…

For me, digital storytelling carries with it some potent power to educate, influence, and persuade. At minimum, music seems like it has a solid place in the digital storytelling world.  However, I also realize that extraneous audio can be distracting, especially for those of us who need it quiet when we are trying to concentrate. Giving  the user the choice of whether to listen/hear the audio — or see a transcript — are useful features that help provide a more customized learning experience.

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30 under 30 — per Learning TRENDS by Elliott Masie – August 24, 2010.
#632 – Updates on Learning, Business & Technology.
55,106 Readers – http://www.masie.com – The MASIE Center

We have completed the assembly of the 30 Under 30 Learning Leadership Team for Learning 2010.  We are proud to announce these high energy learning leaders (all under the age of 30) that will be leading sessions and helping to articulate a view of the future of learning.  They include colleagues from Google, Verizon Wireless, Disney, Volkswagen, Farmers Insurance, General Mills, FM Global, IBM, Westinghouse and many more.  Check out their aspirations about learning.

© 2024 | Daniel Christian