Crowd funding, Crowd sourcing …Crowd learning!

The wisdom garnered collectively is powerful. How can educational settings use such power for learning? Isn’t this encapsulated in the 21st century skills?

Few years back I coordinated a Comenius project with various European schools. As part of the work done. a cohort of around 180 students (whole Form 1 population) worked on a research project focusing on Maltese localities. Groups of students worked on a particular  Maltese locality. This information was then aggregated together via an interactive online map. This was a laborious task as at the time online services such as Google maps where not available and Flash was the obvious solution. What is important here is that our students and those from partner schools, were provided with an easily accessible resource , available on the project site which was conceived through the little effort put in by ‘everyone’.

Nowadays such educational projects could be done much more quickly. The meshing of online resources makes it possible for learners to build their understanding whilst being authors of their own learning experience. learning becomes interactive with students not just interacting with their educator but also with peers and material in an online collaborative dimension.

Today’s society has changed, where through a quick online search you can find an answer to practically any query; online services of which search engines are continuously evolving, becoming more ‘intelligent’ moving towards an internet of things. Nowadays rather than  needing individuals who are carriers of a vast amount of knowledge, its about having individuals who are digitally literate; participating in a connected global society which are capable to aggregate collective knowledge to mesh up into new meanings.

How can the educator effectively facilitate such learning? Are learners elicited to create, collaborate, communicate…?

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