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Curating has a traditional meaning and context of collection, preservation and presentation. The word curate is derived from the Latin verb curare, to care or to cure. A curator is tasked to organize, filter, preserve, store and occasionally present art and artifacts in a gallery, museum or library. Historically, curators were not seen as creators of content, but simply as keepers of important objects.

In the remix culture of creative commons, fair use and copyleft, the concept of a creator has expanded to include those who reasonably transform and present existing content as something educational, interesting, new or satirical (Cariou v. Prince, Universal City Studios v. Sony Corp., Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music). Curating is the greatest example of remixing content. While designing the presentation of objects by making strategic choices considering audience and understanding goals, a curator gathers pieces that already exist in order to provide an interesting or new perspective on a subject. A curator is creating a sensory learning experience to aid in understanding and conversation.

A curator is not simply a collector and preservationist, but rather a contributor to the story and plays an important role in learning and understanding. Albert Einstein recognized the traditional concept of the collection and cultivation of established theories in science by practicing recombination of knowledge to enlighten new ideas. In a letter to colleague Jacques S. Hadamard in 1945, Einstein wrote:

The desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of this rather vague play… taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought¬¬— before there is...

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...logy supports the notion that understanding involves creating links in the mind and that making sense of something depends on these links. Isolated pieces of information do not have links to existing mental frameworks and so are not easily retained. The identification and creation of links to existing frameworks depends on the active participation of the learner and on the familiarity of the context of the material to be learned. (James)

Rearranging the objects through significance and meaning and creating tags, that can be arranged themselves to tell a story, which begins to emerge almost naturally from the new interaction. These core concepts emerge fluidly and motivations come out of assessing one's body of learning objects in a way for the student to find their interests and understand their entire learning experience through their intrinsic motivation (Pink).
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