Personalize learning by curating content?

To stay informed of latest trends and developments. Who doesn’t want that? To make the right innovation choices or improve your operations, you need to know what is happening in your organization and outside our organization as well.
Every second, a huge waterfall of information, articles and content reaches us. How can we find the time to read all this information and filter out what we need? We are aware of this information-overload and sometimes wish to keep the information outside. Only a good choice if you wish to stay operating in your business as usual context.

How would it be if someone or someone provided you with the right and tailored information at the right time? This would make not only your own learning, but also your team more effective. This curated content could for example be published on you Intranet or Academy. It would enable entrepreneurship and innovation.
This content curator, who knows you, should be well informed about your specific interests and professional goals. In the role of content curator you find, select and share content with someone. This can be content from your own organization, but also from third parties. The content is usually extended or elaborated with own 'coloring', additions or personal comments. You can do this in many ways and it is up to you to determine the ideal mix between the content of another and your own contribution.
Below are some tips on how to make your learning more personal and effective using curated content.

1. Focus on your target audience

Ask yourself: who is my audience? What type of information is needed during work? From which source could it originate and how often does the target group wants to receive it? For example, you can provide daily overviews of recent developments within a specific domain (e.g. Sales or Management). For example, Sales continuously wants to know what main competitors and most important customers are doing. Content about specific professional fields in itself (e.g. Effective sales or Management) is also part of content. Every organization has its own culture and source preferences.
This curated information can also be used within more structured and formal learning journeys. For example by applying Blended Learning. You could use the content as support for specific assignments or activities. The learning impact becomes even greater when participants are asked questions about this content and are participating. Asking the right questions and exchanging good feedback are very powerful learning enablers. They create a common goal and sense of purpose. By combining both perspectives, online ‘on the job performance learning’ arises.

2. Train your algorithms and rules knowledge and skills

If you know what content the target group needs, it is time for the next step! You are going to personalize learning experiences. The content must be tailored in such a way that it will be perceived as meaningful. Learning impact will be created. If you know the audience and their main influencers, topics, keywords (tags), you can set up a twitter account or LinkedIn group. Or make a Google alert, monitor RSS feeds or check favorite websites.
It is important to use filters in applying rules. For example: Show me only content about ‘Learning’, ‘Curate’ at company X, Y or Z. etc. You can also use IFTTT. This is more advanced. By using this service you can execute all kinds of recipes and rules. It goes too far to discuss this in more detail here.
Finally you choose the most relevant content. Publish this in a way the target group prefers. You will experience that it will take time. Gradually you become more and more efficient and you will master making use of algorithms and rules. The software will also improve in supporting you because it learns from you by machine learning.
Anyhow, filtering content in this way is a crucial step in delivering a more personal learning experience. By filtering out all the noise, you and your teams can focus on relevant and valuable information.

3. Add value with your own comments and insights

Adding value yourself to the learning process yourself is the next level. You will do more than just pass on content. You edit the content by adding comments, context and providing insights.
Some examples:
- Commenting – ‘This article is a good analysis of the challenges our industry is facing in the fields of pricing specific functionalities’
Provide context - ‘Yesterday you asked some practical examples: see this article, with actual pricing pages’.
Provide comparisons - ‘I notice that this company has just published these case studies on financial services and that this article is getting a lot of attention and traffic, shouldn’t we do more with this?’
- Start a conversation with the right questions - ‘This long article indicates that the best managers are information-seekers, what do you think of this? Shouldn’t we do this ourselves more often?’
- Save articles or content – ‘I have added this article to our favorites section about the very best pricing strategies. You can find it here‘.
By practicing this, you will develop into a reliable, familiar and trusted guide. Someone who constantly discovers new content and shows a critical mindset. You really add value! You will be able to stimulate and moderate conversations and discussions in online communities or learning environments.

4. Publish your curated content in the right place

Make sure you publish the curated content in the right location or environment. Your target group want as few barriers as possible to get information. And wants to be alerted in the right way. Nobody wants to log in again, for example. Always look for a platform or an environment that you all are familiar with and visit regularly.
Therefore show your curated content on the Intranet (for example within a certain Section or Community), within your learning environment (LCMS). To support formal learning paths for example. Also in social platforms (e.g. Twitter, Slack, LinkedIn, Yammer etc.). Some like newsletters or e-mails with relevant summaries. Use your network to find the right channels for each target group!

5. Persevere and be resilient

Good curating takes a while. Start by making a daily habit of searching, filtering and managing the content. Keep aligning with your target group. Ask which frequency of information is wanted. This can be on a daily, weekly basis for example.

Finally: Start practicing for yourself! Which topics do you find interesting as a professional? Which tools do you like to use? If you experience yourself the added value you can easily become an ambassador of learning experiences of others!

(Inspiration: Content Curation for Learning - The complete Guide from Anders Pink)