Review by Melissa Powers, Common Sense Education | Updated June 2019

Curio Learning

Collaborative curation tool for teachers who like to share

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Pros: Super easy way to share and connect with other teachers in an education-focused environment.

Cons: No privacy controls mean other users can access everything you upload.

Bottom Line: A mix of social bookmarking, resource sharing, and online discussion creates a unique collaborative tool with potential.

Curio Learning advertises itself as a curation tool: a place in the cloud where teachers can save and organize their digital content. You can use it for this, especially if you don't already have a platform for organizing your lesson materials. But Curio Learning is really a space for sharing. You can collaborate with other teachers in your school or around the world by sharing lessons, resources, and ideas. Perhaps your team is planning a new unit -- divide and conquer. Or maybe you don't have any materials on a particular topic. Use the search feature to find resources already curated by other teachers or educational organizations. With the direct message and discussion features, you can contact the original curator to ask questions, provide feedback, or connect for future collaboration.

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Curio Learning is a communal space where teachers curate their digital resources and connect with other educators. Teachers create lesson/project cards with links, uploaded files, and images. Cards can be sorted into stacks, which you can think of as folders or tags. You can search for cards uploaded by other educators and add them to your stacks. Likewise, other users can view your content and add it to their stacks. All cards include a discussion section to facilitate comments and questions. Teachers can also message each other directly.

While Curio Learning is easy to use and a quick way to find and share content, there are definitely some things for teachers to consider before they start uploading their life's work. First, everything uploaded is public and searchable. Teachers will need to be mindful about who owns the copyright for the materials they're uploading: They may have the right to use them in their classroom, but they might not have the right to share them on the internet. Second, only other teachers with Curio Learning accounts can access content on the cards. This means teachers can't share a Curio Learning card with their students. However, unlike a school learning management system (LMS), teachers' Curio Learning accounts are their own, so they won't lose all of their hard work if they change jobs or if their school switches LMS companies.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Until participation grows substantially, limited searchable content and professional connections may frustrate some teachers.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Features like discussion boards on every card encourage continued collaboration beyond the initial resource sharing.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The product is simple and streamlined, but there are no user tutorials or help features.

Common Sense Reviewer
Melissa Powers Media specialist/librarian

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