Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Curation: an interesting perspective on lifelong learning

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The amount of information available in this century is incommensurable. The primary challenge is to make sense of it.

In a museum, the several parts of a period are not exposed randomly but curated thoughtfully. A way in which the visitor feels immersed in a meaningful thread.

The same occurs with lifelong learning. As Jeff Cobb recently wrote

“Curating for learning involves making choices about content and experiences from among a large number of options; infusing those choices with context and meaning; and sharing the results with others.” (Jeff Cobb)

The job of a curator is to make sense of things in the world, and in the case of learning, make sense of the information we have available. Being a curator takes time and effort. Therefore, we don’t need to aspire to be curators ourselves but find, and Jeff suggests, people who do it for some time.

The question is: how do you choose?

People with ideas similar than yours run the risk of leading you to an echo chamber where you don’t learn much, but keep confirming what you already think and know.

People with challenging ideas, even if you don’t agree with them all the time are the best to follow and interact. In my case, I find Cal Newport to be one of such curators. But also Seth Godin, Jeff Cobb, Michael Hyatt, Simon Sinek, Jeff Goins and others.

You may become a curator yourself.

I want to become one.

It takes time, patience, attention, curiosity, resilience, humility and vulnerability. It takes lifelong learning which we can start at any point in our lives because every age is right for learning.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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