Tag: Curation

Curious David

A Student’s Guide to Paper.li: Arianna’s Experience

DSCN9015We 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.

We welcome any feedback or learning from your experiences with Paper.li.


Curious David

Revisiting Curation Software: A Student Guide to the Basics of Scoop.it

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Dog tired as I try to bring the semester to a soft landing, I rely more and more on my student assistants to provide support in my research efforts.

I invited student research assistants Alison and Arianna to investigate the usefulness of Scoop.it.” as a teaching/learning tool. Here are their preliminary thoughts.

Scoop.it is a curating media web tool that allows individuals to find content for any topic imaginable. From these topics, it then creates an organized online magazine format. The components of Scoop.it are users, topics, and scoops. The potential users are anybody that has a Scoop.it account and can share articles about any topic. The topics can consist of anything, your favorite sport, a paper for school, current news events, and multiple endless possibilities. The scoops are the articles that are stored under the topic board/page for that specific topic. The free account for Scoop.it allows users to create two topic boards, connect two social media accounts, and scoop 10 articles a day.

To create a topic, one selects the “create a topic” button that is located on the user’s profile page. Once the button is selected, Scoop.it will then prompt you to fill out information about your topic. One inserts the name of the topic, selects the language, and then inserts a couple of key words about the topic. Inserting these key words allows Scoop.it to search for content that may be germane to your topic.

To find content yourself, a search bar in the top right corner allows one to type in keywords. The search will then produce three tabs related to the keywords; posts, topics, and users. The posts tab finds articles and content that is related to the keywords that were searched. Based on the keywords, topic boards that are created by other users will also be pulled up. If one wishes, one can follow a topic board which is then added automatically to one’s “follow” list. By following a topic board, one will be notified of the new content the user scoops into that topic board.

The topic board is a page that displays all of the curated content on the selected topic. In an organized fashion, the topic board arranges all the content you selected for that specific topic. By default, the content and articles are published in chronological order on the topic board.

When one finds an article that they want to scoop into their particular topic board, there is a scoop.it button on the article. This button allows one to select which curated topic board to add the scoop in, add additional text to the article, share this article with other social media sites, select a schedule of publication for the article, and add tags to the article.

Scoop.it allows individuals to share scoops with other social media sites without publishing the scoop under one of their topic boards. On the bottom right of a scoop is an arrow button that give you options of your other social media platforms to share the article with. Some versions of Scoop.it also provide the embedding code to include in  a blog piece or to a website.

For convenience, Scoop.it has a web based platform and an app for mobile devices which syncs everything automatically across devices and platforms (e.g. desktop, iPad, iPhone, and Android).

There is an education version of Scoop.it that allows for  30 co-curators or groups to collaborate on a project.  One is able to search for topics that may aid in papers, research projects, and class presentations. Teachers can create topic boards for a class and attach additional readings of articles that may enhance understanding of the material for the students. It can be used in conjunction with other learning tools such as SlideShare and PowerPoint.

We welcome any feedback or experience with Scoop.it.