Posts Tagged ‘Collective Intelligence’

Collective Intelligence……


Each week my knowledge of the virtual world is being challenged with a new term or terms. This week it was Collective Intelligence and Wikis.

I would think anyone looking at the term Collective Intelligence, without checking a dictionary, would understand it to be a “collection of knowledge from varying sources”.

Wikis are an excellent example of a Web 2.0 platform, as well as being a basic social constructivist pedagogy, named from the Hawaiian word quick.

How do the terms Wiki and Collective Intelligence fit together?

We could say that because a Wiki is Web 2.0 and Collective Intelligence is a combination of knowledge sourced from multiple intelligences, then a Wiki would be a website that allows the posting and editing of content by multiple users. They can be two-fold, for personal use only or as a collaborative effort such as the best known wiki, Wikipedia, with the ‘pedia’ derived from encyclopaedia making it an online encyclopaedia with contributions by many authors.

I had never heard of Wikipedia until this year (yes, I must be a dinosaur in the cyber world!) and was quite surprised to learn from Mark that anyone can contribute to it and it can change constantly with editing by anyone.

As I haven’t used Wikipedia I was also not aware you can check the history of the edits, which could be quite interesting. However, one of its main disadvantages is the trustworthiness of the source of the information, therefore making it a source not accepted as a reliable reference in assignments.

I have included a video that outlines why students shouldn’t use Wikipedia as a reference in their assignments.

Mark also informed us that Wikipedia is more popular than traditional encyclopaedia’s such as Britannica. This must be very concerning for such an organisation that has been a trusted educational resource for many years.

Wikis can play an important role in Web 2.0 education. The advantages I see for this tool are;

  • Students can begin their research with Wikipedia and use the references cited as further points of research.
  • Wikis can be accessed from anywhere there is an internet connection.
  • The teacher could post work on the Wiki for those students who miss class, therefore making sure they don’t miss information and fall behind.
  • Wikis would be a real benefit for students in remote locations as a Wiki is a collaborative tool it allows children unable to attend a physical classroom to still feel part of the class.
  • Students can use Wikis for journaling and personal portfolios giving them ownership of their Wiki.

Some challenges I could see for the teacher in using class Wikis would be keeping up with the postings, organising the Wiki and monitoring.

An excellent Wiki for teachers is cooltoolsforschools. It lists a large number of websites teachers can access for Web 2.0 resources and teaching resources such as lesson plans, games, professional development and behaviour management.