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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Content Curation: Multicultural Signage and Software

A few years ago I was asked to not use a software program due, in part, to the avatars. Some felt that the avatars were not sensitive and did not represent our multicultural society well.

The decision was quick and made by a few. There was little discussion or debate.

Recently a colleague expressed dismay with a symbol used for teaching and learning. I noted that perhaps we should have a diverse team of curators who can look at main programs, symbols, and signage with an eye on cultural relevancy and multicultural dimensions since with regard to that symbol I couldn't speak for the culture it may have disregarded--I don't have enough knowledge or experience in that area.

Sometimes the temptation is to choose software, books, and programs that don't have any people represented, and there are no images. Yet when we choose dry programs like this are they engaging enough for learning, and without that engagement do these programs engender enough interest to create a positive learning experience?

I did a tiny bit of research on the topic this morning, and found this list to use when choosing multicultural books. I think it is a good guide and starting place as we curate content for teaching and learning.

What resources does your school system use to curate content so that the tools we use and signage we display are respectful and enriching--inviting all students to "see themselves in the curriculum?" What processes do you use to curate new content and programs? Do you include members of multiple cultures on your curation committees, and do you have checklists or guides that inform and lead your work?

In the days ahead, I'll be more attuned to this topic and on the lookout for good information so that I can learn more. In the past we spent a lot of time on this with regard to book choices, but now with the Internet here and so many tools at our fingertips, we almost have to be more cognizant of this factor when it comes to teaching and learning well.