Crowdsourcing refers to a set of methods that can be used to motivate a community to contribute ideas, information, or content that would otherwise remain undiscovered. Its rapidly growing appeal stems from its effectiveness in filling gaps that cannot be bridged by other means. One of the most well known examples of this is Wikipedia, where volunteers provide information and definitions for subject matter of their expertise. Crowdsourcing generates what is known as the explicit form of collective intelligence. Knowledge is constantly refined through the contributions of thousands of authors.

Within the academy, crowdsourcing is often a way for researchers to draw on public knowledge to provide missing historical or other specific details related to communities or families, complete large-scale tasks, or solve inherently complex issues. For many tasks, institutions are finding that amateur scholars or even people whose lives simply were contemporary to the event, object, images, or other research focus being documented are remarkably effective in providing deep level detail around a topic or in documenting a large body of materials.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • - michael.boll michael.boll Oct 21, 2015 At this point there is way too much information available to students and teachers alike. This new "problem" makes it difficult for students to decipher what sources are credible. In the old days, the library took care of this. Today, however, the creation of locally crowdsourced content can help solve this problem.
  • - liz.cho liz.cho Nov 1, 2015 This is very relevant to the way that students can aggregate information for their own textbooks to be used in class, particularly in IB-specific topics, e.g. Language in the Cultural Context, subtopic "Taboo" or "Gender" or "Individual". As Michael mentions below, Flipboard is a great tool for creating real-time textbooks put together by students who find current, dynamic information rather than static textbooks.

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - michael.boll michael.boll Oct 21, 2015 The idea that crowdsourcing can be done on a local basis and not just a massive group such as Wikipedia.
  • - liz.cho liz.cho Nov 1, 2015 Crowdsourcing is important to be distinguished from Crowdfunding. However, I do find value in addressing both when one is mentioned as the two seem to be interconnected in the way that the public decides how to support a worthy idea (education, cure for cancer, etc.). I think to address the way to fundraise for an idea or a passion to come to life by an individual, empowering him/her to see his/her dream come to life because others also see a value in it, can be an optimistic teaching point. Working around the idea of community, students can find ways to do service learning projects around this idea. Here's one local example within our Shekou community:
  • Historically, teachers totally crowd source ALL of their information. I know not one teacher who is an expert in every field they teach nor do they access only primary sources for information. In this age crowd sourcing is just easier. 'Credibility' is an interesting word. Is Fox news more credible than BBC? How do we know? They both have well respected journalists in the field. Is information from the primary sources, like during the Arab Spring, more reliable- or less- now that advertising companies, religious or political agendas know they can manipulate the source for gain? What is real? One of the best curated content I have found is subreddits. Although relegated to the lowbrow or internetarati geeks, reddit is a crowdsourced feed specific to your research interests. Unlike Wikipedia, users can reach out with comments to other users- calling out misinformation, asking for proof, policing its own users. Equity of information and the responsibility shift to the viewer or reader to check citation and sources empowers users to take understanding into their own hands. - tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • - michael.boll michael.boll Oct 21, 2015 A localized crowdsourcing effort puts the community in charge of its learning. There are lots of platforms for making this happen including Wikis, but more interestingly Flipboard and Gibbon offer fantastic, visual access to crowdsourced information.
  • Agree with Michael, crowdsourcing allows for anyone to be an 'expert' and get information quickly from a wide breadth of folks- like we are doing with this document I guess..this hold alot of power if learners can access this to get information or ideas about a project, or compare and contrast concepts across cultures or communities. - jason.graham jason.graham Oct 27, 2015
  • - liz.cho liz.cho Nov 1, 2015Students can be empowered by seeing that their voice and contribution have value. Textbooks are not just created by people with PhDs or those who work for publishing companies; what they find, in today's world, from their experience and culture, can be highly relevant, too. How empowering is that!
  • As Liz has stated, equity in all aspects of life is important for education. Students have a right to have voice and choice in what and how they learn. They have a right to not be sold a text book with the political ideals of the envogue government. Students already share massive amounts of information digitally between each other each day. The goal is to have them share that information in a forum that can be discussed, and debated. - tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • The International School Bangkok elementary library has a video book review project starting students. After a student reads a book, she is asked to record a short review of the book to be added as an extra in the card catalog system.
  • - liz.cho liz.cho Nov 1, 2015 Jeff Utecht ( has presented on the idea of aggregating textbooks together with students through creating Flipboard magazines at Learning2 couple years ago. I had initially thought when Flipboard came out with their "personal magazine" feature that it was silly, thinking, "Why do I want my own magazine?" But attending Jeff's presentation, I realized the potential and implemented it right away in my IB English classroom, now passing on the love to MS science classrooms as well as IB Econ. Pretty cool stuff. Here is one example: At 624 viewers, 296 followers, 71 articles (and 35 contributors who are all IB students) that allow critical discourse within each article through the comment feature, this shows a new connected way of learning and teaching.
  • - liz.cho liz.cho Nov 1, 2015 In relation to my point in #2, the documentary entitled Capital C is all about crowdfunding and how it's changing the course of innovation and how people engage with creative ideas, inspiring them to come to fruition. Great resource for students and teachers to prompt discussion around what this means in the 21st century.
  • Teachers at NIST are using Flipboard, but I wonder really how students are using crowd sourcing? I would like to do more research and see how they are aggregating data, information, ideas, and questions.- tosca.killoran tosca.killoran Nov 9, 2015

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