Remix, Remake, Curate

Learning with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Tar River Writing Project, & The Poetry Project

Make Cycle 5: Curating Your MOOC

Wow! It seems like just yesterday that we posted the first Remix, Remake, Curate newsletter.  On February 1, we asked you to come along on a wild and wonderful journey to find the intersections of science and literacy, and you’ve been fantastic sci-fi travelers, helping us go where no MOOC had gone before.  Together, we’ve surveyed the terrain of citizen science, visualized the contours of sound, narrated our stories of nature, and tinkered with the building blocks of the micro-world.  We’ve been reminded that the best laid plans are always at the mercy of the nature, and we’ve had serendipitous moments that prompted us to make new memories and forge new learning pathways among each other and among the different make cycles.

Fieldpeaz Mention Map

Mentionmapp shows Twitter connections to people and hashtags

We’re not done yet!  The Making Growth Crystal Clear #imicro Make Cycle is still in full swing, and we hope you’ll continue to play with your pipe cleaners and Borax and join us this Tuesday, March 3 from 1-2pm EST for our Google Hangout on Air during which Christy Flint from the Museum of Natural Sciences will show the us some microscopic views of crystals in her lab while Trey Gass from the Poetry Project will help us see how our words can crystallize our thinking and learning.  Then, we’ll host our #imakesci #imicrosci Twitter chat on Wednesday, March 4 from 1-2pm EST to tweet out our six-word micro poems.

We’ve scheduled our final Google Hangout on Friday, March 6 at 10:30am EST, and we’re looking forward to discussing ways we’re remixing, remaking, and curating the MOOC, reflecting on our science literacy learning and imagining how we might continue to grow our learning ecosystems.  Our final Twitter chat will be held next Friday, March 13 at 10:30am EST, marking the last synchronous event of the MOOC, but we hope you’ll consider to linger, make, share, connect, and reflect on our G+ community and on Twitter.

What is Curation?

Curation is a term that the museum world knows well as they have been in the business of selecting, collecting, grouping, and storying objects for centuries.  As we see it, curation is an act of making as it prompts the curator to make meaning by finding the conversational threads between a set of objects,  between the objects and the self, and between the objects and the larger group or culture.  In the early part of the 21st century, however, we began talking more and more about content curation as a way to filter digital media overload, a person-centered act of making meaning by wading through the bits and bytes that composed our cyberspace.  As we curate physical and digital objects, we put them in a context that matters to us, adding value by creating personal and social webs of meaning around these objects.

Over the coming two weeks, we ask you to try your hand at curating your MOOC.  Our friend Steve Fulton, a teacher consultant with the UNC-C Writing Project, has written a great blog post about teaching young people to curate, and we think you’ll find his instructions and examples helpful.  As you curate, here are some questions to keep in mind:

  • What objects (digital or physical) mattered to you?
  • Why? What story do they tell?
  •  How did your making and makes intersect with others’ making and makes?
  • Where do you find powerful intersections of science and literacy?
  • How will you draw on your MOOC experiences in the future?  What will you carry forward?
  • What will science learning look like for you in the next month or the next year?

Make With Me

As always, the ways you make and the tools you use are up to you. Here are a few ideas that have inspired us to curate our science learning experiences.

Draw a Conceptual Map

Tree of Life Map by Catherine Way

Tree of Life Map by Catherine Way

Show us where you’ve been or show us where you’ll go.  Consider using a natural shape like the DNA helix and show us what connections you’ve made through the base pairs. Or perhaps, the Tree of Life Idea map pictured here could help you chart important science literacy moments in your life, during the MOOC, and into the future.  Document your experiences and add imaginary rings to show us how you’ll continue to grow your science learning.

Create a Memory Palace

A classical device to “place” memories, the memory palace has traditionally been thought of as an indoor space where one could store memories and retrieve them by visualizing the place.  The method of remembering based on spatial location, however, can easily adapted to outdoor spaces. You might visualize your favorite place in nature and work to place important science learning moments from the MOOC in that scene.  Or you might decide to recreate your first citizen science walk, finding “pegs” along the way to anchor your science learning moments.  Here’s an example of how author Helmut Sachs applies this “journey method” of remembering in A Walk in Tropical Battambang.

Write a Poem
Our first archivists were poets, using the spoken word as a vehicle for collective memory.  Sift through the MOOC archives and comb through your memories, find tweets, lines of dialogue in the Google Hangouts, other people’s poems, posts, and pictures that are meaningful to you. Assemble these snippets to create a found poem that captures your experience of Remix, Remake, Curate.  Record and share!

Make a Digital Curation

Curating Make Cycle 1 with Pearltrees

If you’ve been active on Twitter, make a mentionmapp that shows how you’ve connected to others and to particular hashtags.  Create your personal story of Remix, Remake, Curate using Storify.  Make a Pinterest Board that collects and contextualizes artifacts from the MOOC or use Pearltrees, a web curation tool that allows users to drag and drop images, web pages, photos, and files as well as add notes to their curations.

Places to Share

Just a reminder, here are the handy links to places we’ve been using to share and connect.

For More Info


We’ll send out the Making Growth Crystal Clear#imicro wrap-up newsletter later in the week and another mid-cycle Curating Your MOOC #iremixsci newsletter next Sunday.  Since our weeks have been extended due to weather and we’ve overlapped a bit, we want you to have plenty of time to untangle the MOOC, reflect on your experiences, and make plans for your science learning future.   As Gloria Anzuldua wrote, “One always writes and reads from where one’s feet are planted, the ground one stands on, one’s particular position, point of view.” We look forward to the ways you’ll choose to remix, remake, and curate this MOOC, telling our science stories from your own remarkable perspective.


The entire facilitation team at Remix, Remake, Curate

Author: Stephanie

I am an assistant professor of Writing and Rhetoric and director of First Year Writing at the University of Rhode Island. I received my PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Professional Communication from East Carolina University. My dissertation research analyzes the knowledge-making practices of composers in both online and off-line maker spaces, and my digital writing research has appeared in journals like College English and Education Science and in the books The Next Digital Scholar: A Fresh Approach to the Common Core State Standards in Research and Writing and Assessing Students Digital Writing: Protocols for Looking Closely.

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