We are currently examining different content curation services as to their strengths, weaknesses, ease of use, and usefulness to students. A very good guide to content curation developed by others can be found here:
Paper.li is a content curation service that quickly creates a newspaper-like publication for you. To start you simply create an account through Facebook, Twitter, or email. I would recommend investing in a “Pro account” because it allows you more options, such as advertisement-free newspapers. To begin creating your newspaper you can search keywords and Paper.li will automatically retrieve articles, videos, and photos from Twitter, Google+, and RSS feeds that are related to the topic you have selected. You can also find your own content. To do this you simply go to settings and drag the blue “Paper.li” button to your “favorites bar”. When you find an article you like you click on the Paper.li bookmarklet and select which newspaper to add the article to.
Once Paper.li has completed its retrieval for you, you can edit the layout and the title. You can delete any content you dislike or find irrelevant and you can add pictures and colors to the background to help liven up your newspaper. Upon the completion of your adjustments, you can select whether or not Paper.li should automatically publish each newspaper you create or whether you would like to save them as drafts until you feel the paper is sufficiently developed. You can also choose how often the Paper.li retrieves updates. You could update your paper each day, or less frequently. This allows for your subscribers to be reading the most up to date material on your topic.
Once you have decided your newspaper is complete and ready for publication, you can share it across several social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and you can email it to individuals. These same options are also available for each article within your newspaper. This feature allows you to promote your newspaper further and increases the likelihood of gaining subscribers. Subscribers are those who are allowed access to your newspapers. You also have the ability to control who can and cannot be a subscriber to your newspapers. Therefore, if you have a newspaper that is strictly for the workplace, you can customize that paper so only select individuals can view it.
One limitation of Paper.li is that each newspaper you create must be upgraded to Pro. Another limitation is that Paper.li occasionally does not find any content to publish. Therefore, some days your newspaper will be full of articles, videos, and images, and other days it will be a blank slate. A third problem I found occurred when creating my own newspaper. On Thursday I manually added all of my own content to a newspaper. Monday the paper had updated and but had only had two videos in it— supplying next to no news to subscribers. It seems as though we are not the only ones who struggle to actualize the potential of Paper.li as 2015 is the first time in six years that the site did not make Jane Hart’s Top 100 tools for learning.
Despite the flaws I’ve noted (which may be due to my inexperience with the tool) one very nice feature of Paper.li is that they have a video tutorials for just about every question a person could have. These videos exhibit step-by-step instructions on how to complete a tasks. Another beneficial aspect of Paper.li is the timely manner in which their customer service responds to assist your needs. Paper.li has considerable potential as a curating tool. However, it needs some major improvements.
Contact us if you’d like to see one off our early productions.