At our July Modern Learning Monthly Dialogue, we had the pleasure of hosting Lavinia Mehedintu, founder of the L&D magazine Offbeat.Works, to engage us in a discussion on Curation.

Curation is a topic that initially sounds simple – what came to mind for me are the frequent “listicles” we often see – but the more you dig into it, the more you find a complex topic for learning creators. Just like LCD’s idea of designing and delivering multiple learning assets, or learning clusters, what sounds simple isn’t as easy in practice and comes with a lot of nuances.

Lavinia is the queen of modern curation (though there are probably many royalty figures in this space!). Her magazine, Offbeat.Works, has thousands of followers and sends a weekly curation on the following topics:

  • A list of interesting resources
  • A list of five recommendations from someone cool in the learning industry
  • A video
  • L&D Jobs
  • A surprise!

What I wanted was to get inside Lavinia’s personal process and perspective on curation. And wow, she definitely delivered!

Here’s some soundbites of what you can find in the dialogue replay.

at 4:45 – The origin of the concept of curation. 

Who was the first curator and why did they have a need to curate?

Lavinia shares that the origins was in the art space.

I loved this insight because often we wonder in art museums and galleries, who is it exactly that is picks the art?

That question is extremely important in learning: Who picks what people learn?

My view here is that more often than not, WE are the curators and more and more, AI and TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS are joining us.

But the key difference is that when L&D curates, it’s based on that professional’s point of view, community, and choices.
When AI curates, it’s often based on the user’s own preferences.

at 7:47 – Where is the future of curation going? 

Lavinia shares that the future is about curating not just information, but people and opportunities.

This is a significant departure and evolution for learning creators and is a new ask that aligns well with the LCD model. Because we elevate social learning as equally important as formal learning, we are able to guide LCD users how to design the optimal ways of social learning for a given goal. Rather than facilitating and culling information resources, recognizing the wisdom in our communities and helping to facilitate connections is a key evolution for modern learning.

In fact, at 10:24, Lavinia shares a very interesting definition of curation and offers a redefinition: Rather than curation centering on meaningful collections, she calls for curation to center on meaningful connections.

at 10:38 – The problems curation solves for and the side benefits

Lavinia shares the benefits of curation and no surprise, they all reflect the challenges of modern learners in a digital age.

As you listen, what other benefits would you add?

at 14:24 – How can you curate information, people, and opportunities

Lavinia shared some very tactical ways that you can consider to curate resources.

We also had wonderful dialogue and participation from members of our community:

  • Irwin Jankovic shared the challenge that there is such a diversity of what people are interested in learning. It could be related directly to their profession or could just be a personal interest. Where do all the resources to do all the curation? How can L&D curate everything for everyone? In response, Lavinia offered the question, “Can people become curators for themselves and tap into our natural human tendency towards curiosity?”

  • Andrew Tiffany coined a beautiful term: “conscious curation”. This concept is a way to talk about how curation today shows you people like you and what they think, rather than diverse views. How do we make curation more conscious?

  • Gloria Huerta-Burzynski asked a great question around examples for what it looks like to curate connections

  • Dave Sayers & Jen Hurley had great conversation around curation and podcasts

There was also a little bit of controversy around whether a roadmap for curation could exist or not – a repeatable resource to guide learning creators on what and when to curate.

What do you think? What do you imagine might be on this roadmap?

For more resources on curation, check out Lavinia’s book recommendation below and don’t forget to sign up for Offbeat.Works!

This is a dialogue you’ll want to return to – make sure to subscribe to our YouTube and to register for our next dialogue.