Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What does your horizon look like?

Have just finished reading the Horizon Report 2008 as part of both my dissertation and group assignment for uni course. What I find interesting is the emphasis that has been placed on each of the chosen technologies.

I found it very interesting that "collective intelligence" is relegated to the mid-distant horizon... 4/5 years away... weird as this is the one that I see most people using and is one of the easiest sells in my role as a LT co-ordinator. So many people are using wiki's and blogs in their classrooms as a way for students to collaborate and construct knowledge, so why the long time frame? The bigger question I suppose is how we value this type of knowledge construction. Is the use of collective intelligence just replacing pens and paper for taking notes? or is it making a real difference in the way we collect and value student work? Is the wiki the process or the end product?

The report looks at collective intelligence as more than just a wiki - it looks at how the open source approach to a problem means that in the business world collective intelligence is used to solve problems in a way that is quicker and more cost effective. It also looks at collective intelligence as having 2 subparts; 1) the wiki or explicit collective intelligence where students can contribute as well as consume (something that I think is already often used in education settings), 2) Implicit collective intelligence where data from a wide variety of sources is combined and analysed to reveal patterns that lead to new learning.

I think that the explicit is easy for us to get our heads around, easy for us to see uses in our everyday learning in the classroom. The implicit by definition I think will be a little harder - at least until the tools to make it accessible to the everyday teacher (read tech-phobic) are as easy as YouTube.

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