Should I be a "Curator"?

“to select and “preserve” or share resources, often within a particular topic area. The term is drawn from the work done by curators at museums, who use their knowledge and expertise to select particular works to bring to the museum, purchase, or organize for public display.” – Curation article, eXtension.org

Should you be a curator? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you should be curating.

  • Do you have an area of interest where others look to you for advice?
  • Is there a topic in which you would like to be perceived as an ‘expert’?
  • Is there a topic for which you would like to share information with others?

Tools to use to curate:

All of the tools mentioned here are free (or have free levels) and are incredibly easy to learn and use.

Pinterest Board screen capturePinterest

The new kid on the block and has been generating a lot of interest recently.  Pinterest lets you categorize web pages and write a little about each one.  You can also upload pictures and write about them as well.  One requirement is that the web page you “pin” has a picture larger than thumbnail size.  Followers can repin or post comments to what you’ve pinned.

WARNING: This site can be addictive.

Learning Guide: Pinterest from University of Wyoming Extension

Professional development opportunities:

Scoop.it

Create your own ‘gorgeous magazine’ with Scoop.it. Articles you scoop can have images or not.  They don’t have the ‘social’ aspect and are more formal than Pinterest. Followers can subscribe to your Scoop.it page and can get an email each day you post a new article.  You can post articles you find and get article suggestions that are relevant to your topic to add to your magazine for others to see.

Scoop.it sites that are relevant to Extension and education

Delicious & Diigo

Also known as social bookmarking, these sites have been around for years and have many of the same advantages as Pinterest and Scoop.it. They just don’t have the pictures and pretty layouts. You use these sites to bookmark particular webpages, and add tags and descriptions. You can chose to make the bookmark public, which enables others to see the pages you have bookmarked and tagged.

One advantage of Delicious and Diigo is that they use RSS to allow followers to use other tools (Google’s personal home page, feed readers, or many others) to get the content delivered to them without having to return to their website.

Learning Guide: Diigo from University of Wyoming Extension

Blogs

These have been used for years and are easy to create, maintain and post.  Some examples of popular free blog hosting sites are: Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress. Many blogs have evolved to include static pages, content management and many more features so you can use a ‘blog’ as your own website.

Blogs also generate RSS feeds for followers to subscribe.

Learning Guide: Blogging from University of Wyoming Extension

General Curation Resources:

10 Reasons to be Passionate about Working with Military Families

Military Family

As someone who comes from a long line of military families I can attest to some of the difficulties faced when choosing the military lifestyle. Now that I am part of the Military Families Learning Network, I would like to share some of the reasons why I am so passionate about working with these amazing families.

  • Military families are strong! Military families face enormous amounts of stress yet their strength shines through, all the time, every time!
  • Military families are passionate! They give everything they can to their country and responsibilities with a service oriented mind, body and soul.
  • Military families have a great sense of humor. Even in the face of deployments, stress, war, and injuries they never forget to laugh.
  • Military families always give! No matter how bad things get, military families are always there to lend a hand. From caring for another’s children, to helping those who are sick or injured, the support military families offer to others is ingrained in the culture.
  • Military families are amazingly resilient! Our service members deal with multiple deployments, have lived through a decade of war, relocate regularly and often co-parent at a distance. Yet, they consistently display an intense level of resiliency.
  • The children of military families are amazing too! They adapt through multiple school transfers, sometimes adapting to multiple cultures, deal with being separated from their deployed parent(s), and sometimes deal with serious injuries when a wounded warrior comes home. They struggle with missing their loved ones, family and friends yet they are brave and resilient through it all.
  • Military families take their service seriously. When a service member enlists, it is not a small decision, it is a family decision. At an event to honor Military children, First Lady Michelle Obama expressed her gratitude for military families by stating, “When we talk about service to our country, when we talk about all that sacrifice for a cause, when we talk about patriotism and courage and resilience, we’re not just talking about our troops and our veterans, we’re talking about our military families, as well.” We couldn’t have said it better.
  • The extended family of a military family serves our country too! Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and more consistently open their homes to children during deployments. They send care packages to their soldier, and offer unwavering support to the service family. These family members never fail to serve right alongside their soldiers.
  • The love of a military spouse is like a rock! From maintaining a positive attitude during the stress of deployment, to playing the role of single parent, to their unconditional love, support and devotion to their service member, military spouses serve their country just as much as their soldier.
  • Military families stand behind their service member! While loved ones may wipe away the tears when a soldier is deployed, they support that soldier with all their heart. They remain steadfast through the difficult times and the happy times because they know how much it means to their soldier to serve his or her country. And for military families, that is reason enough.

Check out the videos below to learn other reasons why member of the Military Families Learning Network are so passionate about serving military families!

Dr. Francesca Adler Baeder: What makes you so passionate about military families?

Dr. Gary Bowen: What makes you so passionate about military families?

Dr. Angela Huebner: What makes you so passionate about military families?

Now it’s your turn, why are you passionate about serving military families?

Share your story in the comments section below.