At the MACUL conference a few weeks ago, I heard a couple of presenters namedrop "scoopit."  Since I'm giving a little presentation on Friday to share what I learned from MACUL with the rest of our staff, I thought I'd look further into it to see if it might be worth presenting.  The verdict: it is.

So, what is it?

Scoop.it is a website where you can curate your own content and make a digital magazine page.  You can search for a topic, and the results will be a list of related (and sometimes not-so-related) content.  You can pick from the list which content you want to upload to your own post.  Then, like with Pinterest, you can install a "Scoop.it" button to your toolbar and as you come across related content surfing the web, you can sync it back to your post.  Pretty sweet...
 
So I started experiment, thinking forward to my upcoming unit in English 11 on logic, suspicion, and hysteria in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.  Only one story recommended by Scoop.it was relevant, but it was a start.  Then I started surfing the web for info on Arthur Miller, the Salem Witch trials, and McCarthyism, as well as sample unit plans for The Crucible.  Whenever I came across a site I liked, I "scooped.it" via my new toolbar button.  I think Scoop.it has great potential as a unit planning tool.  Whenever I'm designing a new unit or looking for fresh resources for an old one, I look to the web for related current events and texts that touch on similar themes.  Scoop.it would be an awesome place to compile all of these sources.  What's really nice about it is that you can write an accompanying caption with each story that you link back to your scoop.it page.  So many times in the past, I've bookmarked a link to go back to later without recording why I saw it as relevant.  With scoop.it, problem solved.

Another idea: I've also been playing around with the thought of using scoop.it as an anchor activity.  You could compile a set of resources for students to peruse when they finish early, want to do further investigation, or want to synthesize the central class texts with other texts to engage in some higher-level learning.  With the caption feature, the teacher could write instructions for different activities the students could do for each link.  

I'll be posting an RSS feed of scoop.it in my blog....and will surely be playing around on it again sometime soon.  :-)

Here's a screenshot of my in-process scoop.it post on "hysteria" to give you an idea of the layout of the program:
 


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    About Me

    A lover of literature and the arts and an advocate for global awareness and active citizenship, I spend my days with high school English and Social Studies students exploring why it all matters and how they can have a voice in the world.  This is my space to document and reflect on my practice, note happenings in education, and share my appreciation for the arts.

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