Digital Curation Tools Review

In the Digital Curation project for my Tech course, I looked at two recommended tools: the Smithsonian Learning Lab, and elinks.

The Learning Lab shows great promise but is still early in the stages of development and would require quite a lot more teacher prep time.  It is, however, an excellent tool for allowing students to explore primary sources that address many topics discussed in elementary social studies lessons.

On the other hand, elink was a great grab and go technology that would not take much to get students online using and sharing.  One way in which it is weak is its organizational ability.  You can decide the order in which links appear, but if you have an odd number and you wish to create something more like a T-chart, it is not possible.  That said, it does lend itself well to the ability to browse and gives your students options in what they wish to look at and in what order.

It will take some time and usage to get the hang of the best way to implement these tools, but they have great potential to bring subjects to life and challenge students to look at their sources more critically.

About Jennifer Cox

A life time Oregonian, I've traveled and taught ESL courses in China the past five years and have recently returned to teach at Myrtle Creek Elementary this past Fall and begin the road towards earning my master's here at Pacific. Currently, I'm teaching in the Kindergarten classroom but will be taking on a new role as a 5th-grade teacher this coming Fall. I'm excited to get kids working on building their collaboration and leadership skills, growth mindset, and working on projects that they can publish (hopefully both electronically and physically within the school). It will be a fun challenge, as my teaching partner and I will be the beginning of a new team at MCE for 5th. The possibilities have me enthused for the new year. As an educator, my greatest goal is to inspire a desire to learn and try to understand, not just academics, but each other and themselves. A part of that is my hope that students take away more than just content knowledge but an understanding of how to learn, how to use the tools they have been given, and what some of the possibilities might be. I desire to see students leave my classroom with the tools and mindset needed to be successful in whatever their personal goals might be. In the process, I hope to connect students to the micro and macro environments of which they are apart. Helping them see where they might fit in the broader environs and communities of their city, state, nation, and world. Prior to teaching, I've had a background in linguistics, with a bit of a history with cake decorating, computer science, and a touch of archaeology. Each topic has its own story and several more behind it. I expect that as a teacher, and a student, my hunger for knowledge will not be quenched any time soon. As we start this journey in the world where tech and education meet, I hope those of you following along will find useful tips, resources, and stories that will help both students and teachers alike.
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