Content curation and mismatching socks

As anybody that knows me would tell you, I am a very disorganized person. I ten to leave all my documents (passports, ID, etc)  in a drawer (ok, but which one?), spare photocopies all piled up in a very old box which looks like about to explode at any time, bank notes and coins all over the place (pockets, on tables, inside books…). And my clothes… well, my partner has been trying for a few years now to help me divide all my garments in different drawers: shirts, underwear, jumpers and son on…

And you don´t want to look into the bag I carry to work. You can find anything, but nothing that you may really need: run-out pens and markers, old cinema tickets, some napkins, wires for a non-existent laptop, a bag of nuts, toothpaste and a brush.

The result of this is that I usually spend long hours searching for my passport and IDs when I need to book a flight; it takes me  far too long to find the right pair of socks every morning and by the second term of the academic year I have already lost or damaged all my Spanish textbook CDs I madly need in my classes…

Do you get the picture? Now, think of me going through Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, Pinterest,, Flipboard, Delicious, Youtube, Google +, Evernote, dropbox… What do you get? Exactly, a complete mess. No categories, no tags… I see something I like (a video for my classes, an online game, an interesting article or a nice picture that I can use it for my classes) and I just take it and put it somewhere (, Evernote. delicious…) where I will never find it again…

So, I learnt there is something called “content curation”. Basically, you have to learn to keep all your things properly organized, clean and ironed and, this is key, easy-to-be -found-when-you-actually-need-them.

Etmoocs guys are trying to do with us what my partner has been trying to do unsuccessfully with me for the last four years: showing us how important it is to keep all relevant information organized and in the right place where we can find it . And teach us some technological tools we can use for that purpose.

I like Pinterest. I have been using it for a little while now and it is my favorite tool to collect interesting pictures. Really easy to use and keep, it is also great for sharing and learning from others.

You can see mine here:

And I am also using Scoop it, but the state of my boards remind me of the drawer where I have all my mismatching socks and I prefer not to show it for the time been.

Actually, after one of the chats online this week, I have the intention of working more with I thought I was a bit of a “childish” site, not as serious as Diigo or Evernote, but it seems that it has many serious professional users… so, for the moment, I will stick with and I´ll try to use it in combination with Pinterest in order to organize and my material.

Now, I leave it here. I still need to do my tax return and I can´t find my P60, National Insurance Number, bank statements…oh, dear!


About Juan Fernández

HE Spanish teacher in love with London I am from Granada, one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, but I have lived in UK for almost twenty years. I have always been interested in languages, travelling and learning about other people's cultures. Maybe that's why I teach Spanish in London, at University College London. Recently I have become more and more interested in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.
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7 Responses to Content curation and mismatching socks

  1. Ben Wilkoff says:

    I would agree with you about I do not undersand the usefulness of a site that requires you to click 2 or 3 times to get to the actual resource once you find it on someone’s board. I encourage you to check out Pearltrees, as I find that organization much more appealing.

    • granainoinuk says:

      Thanks for the suggetion, Ben. I did had a look at it already, but there are so many tools out there that, for the moment, I´d rather stick to one and then I´ll see if I can find something better. I don´t want to dedicate too much time to find “the perfect” tool: I prefer to dedicate that time to work on the content itself. That said, Pearltrees looks pretty awesome too!

  2. Max Alvarez says:

    Hi Juan! I really liked the lines about the toothbrush and toothpaste. I’ve got my own set in my bag. every year, I start the academic year very well organised: ‘clean, ironed and neat’. Yet as time goes by, my bag becomes, little by little, very much like that of yours. So you’re not alone. I’d like to share some tips (I borrowed from other Etmoocers) with you:

    1. I bookmarked Sue Waters’ blogs with different tags (etmooc, tutorial, Twitter, blogging, etc.) and I’m now bookmarking ONLY the stuff that’s relevant for me. I’m trying out Delicious and But I think I’ll follow Ben’s advice and I’ll have a go at Pearltrees. Hope to get well organised and stayed focussed on my aims.

    2. Following Sue Waters’ advice, I created two recipes using IFTTT to automate some actions; eg. “If a new post in my blog is labelled ‘etmooc’, then a tweet is posted on Twitter” and “If a new item in my Google Reader is labelled ‘etmooc’, then a tweet is posted on Twitter”. So these recipes will help me save a lot of time, you see. I shared these recipes last night on Twitter. If you want to try them out, I can send you the link or retweet it.

    Well, I’ve got to go now. Hope my strategies help you out 🙂

    • granainoinuk says:

      Hi Max, thanks for your comments and I’d love to receive that link about IFTTT. To say the truth, the first time I heard of it was a few days ago in a Sue Water’s comment. But I am interested in anything that can organize my own learning, and thus my life 🙂

      • Max Alvarez says:

        Hi Juan, these are my recipes:

        1. “#etmooc If a new item is tagged ‘etmooc’ in your Google Reader, then a tweet is posted to Twitter.”

        2. “#etmooc If a new post is labelled ‘etmooc’ on your blog, then a tweet is posted to Twitter.”

        The second one is for Blogger users, but on IFTTT websites you can find recipes for WordPress and other social networking services as well.

        See you around.

  3. granainoinuk says:

    Hi again, Max, and I am very sorry for the late response. I have been really busy at work these past days with no time for anything else. Thank you very much for your tips; I don´t know exactly how IFTTT works,but it sounds very useful to get yourself organized. I will give it a try.

    I expect to have more time these coming weeks, so, hopefully, I will see you around 🙂

    • Max Alvarez says:

      Hi Juan.
      No need to apologise. I’m a teacher, too. So I understand.
      In March, I’ll be quite busy, I’m afraid…
      But we, teachers, always find a way to cope with everything, don’t we?
      This week and the following one, we’re writing stories. I’ll be sharing my attempts at storytelling soon. 🙂
      See you

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