Over the weekend, I had students in my Newspaper Practice class attend and report on the local Day of the Dead parade. The parade has evolved into a pretty large event, and I spent a good deal of time waiting around to meet up with the students and check in on their reporting progress. As I people watched and took a few photos, I couldn’t help but notice how everyone — including the elaborately dressed grandmas in the crowd — had a smart phone. That meant lots of photos would be posted on social media.

With sure to be powerful images of people dressed in blacks, rich blues and red to honor the dead, I thought the event was just the kind of thing to be curated. As it turns out, about a week ago I had heard about a new tool called Brickflow and I was thinking of trying it out.

As background, I’ve already covered how to use another curation tool, Storify, in this class, and I was pleased when one of my students set out last night to curate the event, which has huge cultural significance here. Now that I have them thinking about and doing curations, it was time to see what other programs I can teach them. I tried Brickflow this morning and I like it. The biggest difference between the two is that Storify seems much more text- and tweet-oriented while Brickflow is all about the photos and videos. Brickflow displays social media content in a playable slideshow while Storify presents the information in a more linear, story like format.

The approach to curation in Brickflow is similar to Storify, though, and is all hashtag-search based. (On that point, I make absolutely sure all beginning social media users understand the hashtag concept before moving on to tools, because it is so crucial for curation and other tools.)

Overall, Brickflow is easy to use and might appeal to student photographers a bit more than writers. After only using it once, I can envision a class assignment where I ask students to use it to curate a local news event, much like I would do with Storify. Of course, a part of the lesson would focus on the ethics of curation and a discussion of how curating a story relates to and differs from traditional reporting of a story.

Overall, I like both programs and intend to experiment more with Brickflow as I show it to students. Here’s a look at my first piece, known as a “flow.”