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Week 1: Introductions

Welcome to Curating Our Digital Lives!

Please introduce yourself to the group either through a textual response or by recording a video or audio and embedding in the discussion stream below. Please describe where you’re located, your teaching situation (if you're currently teaching) and your motivation for joining this discussion.

Task Discussion

  • Chad Sansing   July 9, 2012, 4:27 p.m.

    I'm excited to join this creative, reflective, and kind community! I would like to take from our discussions a better sense of the curating pedagogies, practices, and resources available to me and my students. I want us to spend next year discovering ourselves as makers and sharing our work with other learners (including other makers, other educators, and parents) inside and outside school. I'm also curious about streamlinging curation into kinds of digital daybooks, like - maybe - Evernote. Does that make sense?

    Chad teaches for the users, but uses too much stuff.

  • Shaz   July 10, 2012, 3:47 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Chad Sansing   July 9, 2012, 4:27 p.m.

    Hi Chad -


    Curious to know about Evernote. I feel out of the loop. However, digital daybooks is an idea worth pursuing.



  • Chad Sansing   July 11, 2012, 4:08 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Shaz   July 10, 2012, 3:47 p.m.

    I have used Evernote a few times in shallow ways, but I think you can essentially throw anything into it and annotate it. I'll mess with it more during this course and share out anything stellar that I find. I really like the idea of a day book and want something digital that is as flexible and easy to use.

  • karen   July 14, 2012, 3 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Chad Sansing   July 11, 2012, 4:08 p.m.

    I love, love, love Evernote. It's such a great way to collect, annotate, and organize a wide variety of content types from a wide variety of sources.

    I primarily use Evernote just for myself, though I have a few folders that I share with some others.

    Over in another P2PU course, we've been talking about the idea of having a large collection of stuff that then has "lenses" through which different views can be had by different audiences for different purposes. I am not quite sure if Evernote is the tool for that, but as a repository/collection place for resources that you want to access again later, it meets my needs very well.

  • Shaz   July 15, 2012, 7:49 a.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   July 14, 2012, 3 p.m.

    I've been exploring Evernote since we last spoke - I think it's a great tool, but it can take over your life, and it's somewhat limited, so I've decided to just use it in one sphere of my life (i.e. academia).

    Thank you for the inspiration! 

  • Paul Oh   July 8, 2012, 10:42 p.m.

    Hi everyone! Thought I'd introduce myself by displaying a few of my online curated spaces that I hope will give you some sense of who I am.

    I'm very much a learner when it comes to curation. In fact, I'm hoping we as a group can come up with an agreed-upon definition of online curation. (Sometimes I wonder if most everything we do online these days is curation - could it be easier to determine what isn't curation?) I'm also hoping I can figure out what it means to curate effectively - in ways that are helpful rather than burdensome. As well, I'm interested in curation as an act of creation and composing - and wondering if anyone is curious about that aspect of curation.

    In any event, I know I'm going to learn a lot from this discussion and from you all! Looking forward to the ride together.

  • Paul Oh   July 9, 2012, 8:49 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Paul Oh   July 8, 2012, 10:42 p.m.

    Just to add, I realize that the spaces I've shown might be described as archives. My niece, for instance, could be thought of as the curator in the case of the photo collection/scrapbook example. A question in fact posed by Terry, one of the organizers of this discussion, under the "What is Curation?" prompt for this week is: What is the difference between curating and archiving?

  • Joe Dillon   July 9, 2012, 9:10 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Paul Oh   July 9, 2012, 8:49 a.m.

    Hi Paul,

    I think your introduction provides more opportunities for us to think through examples, non-examples and near-examples, another task in week 1. In Kevin's response to that task, he writes: 

    Your Twitter list, for example, is a great resource built around a common theme, but is it content? (In my mind, content is part of curation; That may differ for others.)

    So, we can think through that together. 

    Your video also shows a range of strategies that you already employ and we can consider for our own use. You comment that you don't think you are curating effectively. I wonder why? Is this a natural reaction to "information overload" that we experience as readers in environments like Twitter, where we can never read it all? 

  • Paul Oh   July 9, 2012, 10:18 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Joe Dillon   July 9, 2012, 9:10 a.m.

    I think you're exactly right, Joe - my introduction is great fodder for the examples, non-examples and near examples task. I'll jump into that conversation later today.

    And, yes, my belief that I'm not curating effectively has to do with attempting to keep up with everything coming through the data hose that is my online life. I have strategies, but are they leading to productive use of content? I'm not sure.

  • Shaz   July 9, 2012, 12:56 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Paul Oh   July 9, 2012, 10:18 a.m.

    Just want to say - hear hear!

  • Tellio   July 10, 2012, 9:13 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Paul Oh   July 8, 2012, 10:42 p.m.

    I have a response for you at Vialogues.  I have been playing with Kevin using this amazing tool and I thought you might like to play as well. 

    I haven't been able to embed them into our text blocks like I have the YouTubes.  Any ideas on that?

  • Shaz   July 8, 2012, 3:20 p.m.

    Hi everybody, I'm Shaz. This is my "creative" introduction:

    I live with my better half in Hilversum, the Netherlands, just half an hour outside Amsterdam. Having grown up in various continents, I am aware of the neccessity of communication and that identity is a fluid concept.

    Today, I'm a freelance English as a Foreign Language Teacher to adults and also work as a Communications intern for an NGO  that supports environmental leaders in the developing world. I'll soon be starting an MSc. in International Development Studies despite a background in Psychology. The path I am walking is leading to the combination of my love of education with my hope and interest in development. 

    My interest in this course stems first and foremost that I feel very acutely that I am a product of this digital generation and that I am ill-equipped to deal with the tidal waves of information out there, especially related to my various interests. 

    Then I would echo what Joe Dillon said in his video; I want to be able to organize and "curate" (whatever that means - let's find out!) all the resources that are out there. One - so that I can have access to them, and two - to guide my students to them and their use. I find this especially important as in the Fall I will be teaching on a Teacher Training Program and feel I can bring a lot in terms of digital innovation. 

    I also think it's interesting that the conversation has already moved onto the "curation of digital identity", as well as Karen's comment about curating her different "spaces". Just looking at my diagram: I have the same issue. 

    I am new to P2PU, and look forward to our discussions. 



  • KevinHodgson   July 8, 2012, 5:42 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Shaz   July 8, 2012, 3:20 p.m.

    Hi Shaz

    Your cocentric circle diagram was interesting ... I wondered about overlapping spheres and how bes to represent that in such a model. I find it fascinating the various ways that all of us are turning to various technology tools to share our digital identities. Each one has different strengths and limitations.

    I wonder what it says about us that we chose the tools we chose? (I guess that makes me a comic strip character .. and you, a colorful circle of circles.)



  • Paul Oh   July 9, 2012, 10:25 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Shaz   July 8, 2012, 3:20 p.m.

    Hi Shaz,

    Like Kevin, I was fascinated by your diagram. It's a huge and creative task indeed to connect the circles of one's life! It's interesting to me that communication overlaps with the most circles, which makes sense. I wonder if you'd be willing to say more about the intersection between curation, communication and your other interests? How do they relate, in your mind?

    Also, how did you create this diagram? It must have taken a great deal of planning.



  • Shaz   July 9, 2012, 1:16 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Paul Oh   July 9, 2012, 10:25 a.m.

    Hi all,

    First of all, thank you! I did not expect that kind of feedback :)

    @Kevin - I do think spheres would be much more realistic and interesting, especially as there is much more space to navigate that. In terms of method to achieve such a "diagram", the first thing that comes to mind for me is Google Sketch Up, the free 3D drawing software. However, I've never used it and a) I didn't feel write trying to learn a whole new program to "impress" and b) I was lazy. 

    I do wholeheartedly agree that it's interesting to see how people are presenting themselves, though there is a bit of pressure to make it interesting, which I think is great but perhaps a bit intimidating. 

    I'm going to take the colourful comment as a compliment :)


    @Paul - Communication is an integral process to interrelationships, which is how I perceive the world. Our definition of identity is dependent on others, either directly (e.g. I am a girlfriend and teacher) or indirectly (e.g. I like to cook, therefore somebody had to be there to harvest/ship/sell the food to me and provide recipes). For me, I started the diagram with Communication and went from there.  Coming from a background in psychology, I find communication very central because language = thought = humanity, and I learnt to think from somewhere, right?

    For curation, that is more of a recent addition, much like your introduction, about the "harvesting" of all the knowledge that is out there. An avid reader, I gobble up information and now need to develop new ways of processing the digital age for it to be useful. (I've only recently come to ponder on curation, which is partly why this course is so interesting.) I see that as a learning process, both in the strategies  I use and in their output => education. 

    So, I weed all the information which is thrown at me. Both for my personal interests and specifically in the work that I do. For the former, it can be explicitly, in my RSS reader, or implicitly, taking the bits and pieces of an article or what somebody says that I find useful and memorable. For the latter, I collect resources for my students and I write articles about international development. 

    Now, the extent to which that is curation is debatable, and naturally there's more to it that just these few lines, but that's for another task!

    Otherwise, I thought of the concept of overlapping circles because htere is always a tiny portion which stands more alone than the rest, but the concept is pretty infinite, I think. 

    Then again, these are just my two cents. 

    As to the creation of the diagram, I really didn't plan that much :P I used Photoshop with various coloured vector masks to make circles and then put some type in the middle. I had a few vague ideas about what I wanted to include and have it in different colours, but I kind of made it up as I went along and then made a few minor adjustments so that it would all fit. I also originally thought of spheres, as did Kevin, but then I figured that was too hard so let's go with a funky Venn!



  • karen   July 14, 2012, 2:19 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Shaz   July 8, 2012, 3:20 p.m.

    Nice to meet you, Shaz. (I somehow missed this post earlier. The volume in this group is consuming me.:) I love your image here.

  • Shaz   July 15, 2012, 7:50 a.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   July 14, 2012, 2:19 p.m.

    Thank you! Nice to meet you too!

    There is a hell of a lot going on here, but I think that that is an interesting exercise in itself, learning to discriminate... useful skill for curation ;)

  • Joe Dillon   July 8, 2012, 2:17 p.m. I'm looking forward to working with this group of folks! Thanks in advance for all of your thoughtful participation. 

  • KevinHodgson   July 8, 2012, 5:39 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Joe Dillon   July 8, 2012, 2:17 p.m.

    First of all: love that clock on the wall, man!

    And your daughter is a cutie.


    One thing that struck me a bit was the responsibility of a curator (pressure!) to find the right resources for the right people in the right moment (sort of like a teacher finding the right book for the right student at the right moment). I'm running into this as I set up two full-day seminars around Common Core for local teachers -- what do I share and what do I leave out? And it makes it more difficult when I don't know the audience yet.

    So, curating for an imaginary audience is a bit of a tightrope.

    That said, glad to see your video.


  • Tellio   July 8, 2012, 8:37 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Joe Dillon   July 8, 2012, 2:17 p.m.

    Here is my response via my new best friend, When I find a tool that enables something I have never done before and does it in a simple way, well...I tend to use it till I have mastered it.  Here is more practice along that continuum of combining video annotation. 

  • Paul Oh   July 10, 2012, 6:30 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   July 8, 2012, 8:37 p.m.

    I should have watched your intro before creating mine, Joe. I could have simply said "Watch his. Except for the daughter and CO part."

    I'm enjoying your experimentation with Vialogues, Terry. I appreciate the wealth of reflection and additioanl resources you're layering onto specific moments of a video.

  • Liz Renshaw   July 7, 2012, 11:47 p.m.

    As someone did comment Kevin H has set the bar pretty high for creative introductions... so this is my effort... I made it on Readwritethink site which is really good for non creative types. Looking forward to sharing the experiences, ideas and perspectives from participants in many different walks of life in our conversations.


  • KevinHodgson   July 8, 2012, 6:20 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Liz Renshaw   July 7, 2012, 11:47 p.m.

    The agony of creativity, eh? (sounds like a rock band).

    I liked the sound effects in the last panel.



  • karen   July 7, 2012, 1:33 p.m.

    What a cool set of introductions here! Mine is a rather boring video.

    I'm excited about this course and especially the synchrous sessions we'll be having on Wednesdays at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern. We're going to try out Google Hangouts on Air for these. I've been playing with this tool this week and am really impressed! Hope to see you Wed. (We'll post the link on the Activity Wall here an hour or so beforehand. You'll get an email as well.)

  • Paul Oh   July 10, 2012, 6:34 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   July 7, 2012, 1:33 p.m.

    I'm curious to hear more about the range of interests outside educational technology that you're curating online, Karen. I noticed that you mentioned farming at one point - perhaps at the participant wall. Is that one? 

  • karen   July 14, 2012, 2:27 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Paul Oh   July 10, 2012, 6:34 p.m.

    Yes, farming, healthy cooking and eating, sustainability, homestead-type living, immigration issues, among others -- most related to my current lifestyle here. :)

  • Fred Haas   July 4, 2012, 10:17 a.m.

    I thought I would try out an introduction that I am planning on using in a class I am currently developing. It is a riff of the Eight Noun Description that I learned of from Indiana professor Dr. Curt Bonk.

    So I made a visual of my eight nouns with Wordle to compliment the introduction.

    Image: Eight Noun Description I am a Teacher of English in a suburban Boston high school, where I teach in face-to-face, blended, and online environments.

    I have been a Seeker my whole life, which is what compelled me to become a Teacher later in life.

    I am an Iconoclast, always questioning, and never satisfied with the notion, "This is the way we have always done it."

    I am a Tinkerer, like my grandfather, dabbling here and there, messing about with various projects and my own wayfinding.

    I am a Creator who has worked prefessionally in all kinds of articitc fields, with the major exception being music.

    I am an Explorer of all kinds of intellectual interests, especially when it comes to teaching and learning. It is how I found the Boston Writing Project and so many great National Writing Project people. 

    I am a Provocatuer who likes to stir things up a bit now and again, which often gets me into trouble.

    I am a Magpie who collects collections and can talk a blue streak, as my mother used to say.

    Since we already have a mixed bag of introductions, I figured I would add another to the mix. I am also curious what anyone thinks of the idea.



  • KevinHodgson   July 8, 2012, 6:21 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Fred Haas   July 4, 2012, 10:17 a.m.

    I like that idea of building your intro around main ideas. And I loved the "magpie" concept.


  • Joe Dillon   July 9, 2012, 8:57 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Fred Haas   July 4, 2012, 10:17 a.m.


    I like this approach to introductions because your 8 nouns and the writing you've done about them describe you as a learner, a good bit of reflection for you and a an appropriate way for the group to meet you to begin learning together. Knowing you a little as a learner before we start is probably good online because we meet folks in discussion boards through writing and it might be good to know someone is a "provocatuer." (I certainly think dynamic courses need a few.) For students in face-to-face environments, I think this introduction will reveal diversity where a group might appear homogenous to the eye and it will also reveal similarities among students that will create bonds. Nice.

  • Tellio   July 4, 2012, 7:57 a.m.

    My introduction at YouTube using Google Search Story tool.

    If that one is too fast, then slow down with the same video using my new best friend, Vialogues.

  • KevinHodgson   July 8, 2012, 6:26 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   July 4, 2012, 7:57 a.m.

    Well, of course, I could not resist the opportunity to add some thoughts. I hope others will join in, since I am curious to see what the vialogues site will look like with multiple (well, more than Terry and I) in a conversation.

  • Shaz   July 8, 2012, 3:21 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   July 4, 2012, 7:57 a.m.

    Awesome tool! Thanks for the tip :)

  • KevinHodgson   July 3, 2012, 6:35 a.m.

    I decided to do my introduction as a webcomic. You can view a larger version of the comic here. - Kevin


  • Tellio   July 3, 2012, 1:41 p.m.
    In Reply To:   KevinHodgson   July 3, 2012, 6:35 a.m.

    Here is my reply to Kevin. I captured Kevin's cartoon on flickr using Jing. I converted it into jpeg and uploaded it into Dropbox. Then I imported the jpeg into my iPad app, Explain Everything. I annotated the cartoon witn text and voice (a form of curation) and exported it to YouTube. I copied the embed code to here and that is the story of how I responded to Kevin. I am working on my intro now realizing that Kevin has set the bar pretty dang high.


  • KevinHodgson   July 3, 2012, 2:40 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tellio   July 3, 2012, 1:41 p.m.

    I am honored to be caught in a screencast (and so is my comic self). I couldn't let it stand there, though, so I pulled your video into Vialogues and added some reactions to your voice. Others can join in, too, if you want.


  • Tellio   July 3, 2012, 5:05 p.m.
    In Reply To:   KevinHodgson   July 3, 2012, 2:40 p.m.

    OK, let the recursion begin!