Tuesday, March 16, 2010

921-Session 7-Collective Intelligence

You may have noticed that I have added a cool feature to the blog. You can now double click on any word on the blog and you will be prompted with more details. The possibilities for a tool like this are astronomical when using edublogs in the classroom. Any word used by the 'blog author' or 'comment poster' can be defined w/o a student leaving the page. Give it a try.

Now, regarding future assignments---Please don't wait until the last minute to contact me if you have any questions, and as with all of these projects, "Practicality Shall Take Precedent over All." That means that if you have an idea to modify a Deliverable or Final Project so that it will be more useful to you in your setting then please feel free to pass your ideas by me. (I approve most of them.)


There is a renewed movement underway from schools, businesses, and universities. They are giving 'Collective Intelligence' a closer look. From MIT's new 'Center for Collective Intelligence,' to businesses using wikis within their internal networks, to schools using Collective Intelligence resources and tools in the K-12 setting---we will look at all of these examples, as well as discuss their long term implications during this session.

Keep in mind while you are viewing this session that your Deliverable 3 will be due, and posted, under the comment section of Session 12, as well as posted to the wiki. Additionally, keep in mind that the deadline for your Final Project is fast approaching.

As always, feel free to contact me if you ever have additional questions or comments.


Past semester comments:
Summer '08 participants' comments as well as participants' comments from previous semesters here.

P.P.S. Backup copies of each week's session can be found on Authorstream.com


M.Searle said...

One of the first things I did while completing this week’s session was bookmark Currikki. While it didn’t necessarily contain information specific to my content area, it was full of a number of useful sources. I do cover topics such as animal cells and DNA in my animal science class. I also found the site very easy to navigate. I like all of the little popup windows (I’m sure there is a more technical name for them) that provided a summary of the lesson. I also like the table of contents feature on the left hand side of the site that lets you quickly bounce from lesson to lesson without having to hit the back arrow a million times.
So far, I’d say that the biggest advantage to this course is not only learning to use the technology but how it’s made me rethink the way I’m doing things in my classroom. There have been a lot of “ah ha” and “that makes so much sense” moments. In the video for example, one of the teachers discussed how he didn’t like that the students turned in work, received it back, and that’s where it ended. He wanted his students to create work that they could share and that others could build off of. I love the idea of students sharing their learning experiences and building off one another. I know there has been a big push, at least in my school, towards the idea of “clear expectations” for students. What better way to help kids understand what they’re being asked to do then to be able to provide them with great examples of student work actually done by other students. I think this also works like a sort of checks and balance system. As a teacher, I could go back and evaluate how a particular lesson has grown over time or whether my students are truly producing the type of work I had expected. I may discover that my expectations aren’t very clear. Terry’s presentation also brought to my attention other things I had not considered. I happen to work in one of those schools where blogging websites are already blocked. One thing I can honestly say that I had not considered was cyber-bullying. I also had not thought about working with administrators to develop a policy for students that use my edublog inappropriately.
I also liked the idea of creating a wiki within your department, school and/or district as Mark’s wife demonstrated in the video. Lack of time and funding for professional development does not allow for a lot of interdisciplinary instruction in our school. I would love to have access to the curriculum and lesson ideas for other departments. I feel that this might allow me to better plan some of the material I cover. For example, I know that there is overlap with my animal science class and the biology courses taught. However, I have no idea when in the year or how they go about teaching these topics. I also know that freshman receive instruction in persuasive essay writing but am not sure when. I might reconsider the timing of my persuasive rBST essay project if I knew when my students were working on this topic in their English class.
I definitely agree with the idea of collective intelligence and that we can learn a great deal from one another, after all, “two heads are better than one”. It seems however that this has taken on a new meaning with the development of all these Web 2.0 technologies. I guess it might be more appropriate to say that “two computers are better than one”!

Just to clarify, deliverable 3 is due by the end of session 9 as it says on the syllabus, correct? It isn't due this week?

Dana Dones said...

I was pretty amazed at The Central Intelligence Agencies use of Wiki’s I had to go to the site in order to believe it. As long as there are no secrets being divulged I guess just about anyone can share and edit important content.

As for the podcast I thought the cooperation of the married couples responses were adorable. More importantly the material they covered and the tips that they gave to us when we want to pitch a new idea for creating blogs was excellent. Being able to anticipate the responses of someone that you have to pitch a new idea to is important. Especially if you think your idea may be shot down.

While learning about peer review one area that I think I could use a wiki would be with the physicians I work with. In the past while working in Yokosuka Japan at the Naval hospital there my Internal Medicine Doc’s were required to conduct peer reviews on their patients charts. This method of using a closed system in the hospital setting could probably be adopted.

Lastly the hour plus video that showed us how to edit Wikis was informative. The only part that was very distracting was when he went over to his friends house that had the birds. It was difficulty to concentrate on the content. Perhaps for future students that can be edited.

Alexandra Phelan said...

I am a bit late this week. It took me a while to figure out intelligent thoughts. My ideas are still jumping into each new concept without fully developing each and having nothing concrete to show for it. I will get there. I am happy that some of the information in the video was repetitive, does that mean we are becoming more knowledgeable?
There were a few concepts that were most meaningful to me this week. In the video Mark Wagner presented I love the phrase “we can’t control but we can educate”. That is so important, kids are bound to encounter situations that are not appropriate on the internet but it is so much better that we can educate them about how to properly handle that. The idea that wiki can be motivating is huge. I struggle daily trying to motivate students. I went to the seminar in Newport all day Saturday about how to engage children and Jed Baker mentioned motivation many times. I am not sure if I have ever heard of the phrase “two way teaching” and yet it is so empowering for some of the struggling learners to have that added confidence and if that can get that without the center of attention it is an added benefit.
I have spent some time trying to engage the special educators in my building to add to the wiki I created as a resource. I imagine that it will be a place to attach links to the Google docs we share (hopefully confidentially). Again, I am excited to see the potential of this. I am amazed that Mark Wagner and his wife were undertaking all of this and it looks like that video was four years ago…I only imagine where I will be even a year from now.

Cheryl said...

I, too, need to apologize for responding so late to this session. I was so focused on what I was learning and preparing to use this great information for my proposal and the lessons that I want to create now that I forgot to write.

This week and last week have been so helpful for me. They seem to have brought all the information together.

The podcast with Terry Freeman really helped me to formulate the ideas I need for my proposal.

The video on New Literacies from session 6 is fantastic. I am now really able to think about literacy in a new way for myself and for my learners. I realize that I've been trying to find ways to help my learners gain Web 1.0 literacies (Read and Research) and will also need to find additional ways to incorporate Web 2.0 literacies (Communicate, connect, and create. I'm pretty excited about the possibilities.

I hope everyone enjoyed "Spring Break". I look forward to learning more.

Mrs. McAllister said...

Collective intelligence is an old concept with a new twist. More people can accomplish a task together more efficiently than an individual. I will be using my classroom wiki for group work and am excited about seeing this concept in action.
I really liked the quote by Henrik Ibsen:
A community is like a ship: everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.

Collective Intelligence makes all the students accountable for their learning and task completion. Wikis are quick because the processes of reading and editing are combined. Any student can change anything they like.

As "Wide Open Spaces: Wikis, Ready or Not" states,
"Wikis are already making their mark in higher education and are being applied to just about any task imaginable. They are popping up like mushrooms, as wikis will, at colleges and universities around the world, sometimes in impromptu ways and more often with thoughtful intent."

I really like the idea of the Curriki site and was able to access some science lesson plans with attachments. Unfortunately, when I tried to access the weblinks of some lesson plans, the screen would freeze and I had to click out which was time consuming.

I went to the Stanford wiki and clicked on the link Ways to eat for free. It was a schedule with “steal” written next to each day of the week. I would think that such a reputable wiki would have hired a number of students to continually edit for content. I do have some reservations about the “Soft Security” of wikis in general. I want to continue using a wiki for my classes, however, like one of my classmates noted, I don’t want to have to continually be an editor for content. With a blog, it goes directly to my email for approval before I post it. Does anyone have ideas of how to limit the need for a teacher to monitor their classroom wiki during a class project over the course of a month?

The Naz Family said...

Staci Nazareth

For the first several years of being a librarian (and former tech teacher), I had a skill that the other teachers didn't have. I could use Dreamweaver (a web design suite) and could post links online. What I did with that skill was to organize collective resources by department and until. So, for example, under the Science Link on my library website, teachers and students could get to resources for each until, like Cells, or Endangered Species. I liked this system, except it put the pressure only on me to gather and post resources (and with some teachers that was always at the very last minute).

Then, along came Moodle, and free, open source classroom delivery tool. Now, with my training, all the teachers in my building can have their very own website basically that can host files, embed video, post links and more. I thought Moodle was the best thing ever (and I do still love it in many ways) but what I just noticed this year, after using Moodle for 2 years, is that we have gone backwards again. It is like teaching with your door closed- you might have just the right link, best web resource, or cool download on your Moodle- but no one ever sees it but you and your students! I am trying to develop "course" Moodle classes to integrate the information that each teacher has posted. So, if Science Teacher A has a unit titled Cells with worksheets and links, and Science Teacher B has the same unit, with different worksheets and links, that all this information gets posted in a centralized location. It only makes sense! Then, any new teacher entering the district can search by unit and get access to the same resources that the other teachers have. Believe me, this is no small feat- teachers (even though anything they create for school is the legal property of the school district) are territorial. Convincing them is going to take some doing, but I may use some of these resources to help push my way through. In the end, I think they may like it, to have another resources to use to teach or refresh a unit.

We could use a wiki, but a wiki doesn't give you all the organization tools or control that Moodle does. However, the benefit to the wiki is the ease of use. I remember reading that the entire country of South Africa was rewriting their textbook on a wiki, and I thought that was genius! Why leave the important stuff to a select few?

I LOVED what Alexandra P. was writing about when she said she was talking with her special ed teachers about the use of a wiki. Holy COW! I have tried to get my spec ed teachers to contribute their information to a wiki/Moodle without hardly any success- but wouldn't it be great if they would post the adapted lessons/worksheets for each unit? Wouldn't that help them?

Collective intelligence is SO crucial when there is a preponderance of information. Trying to get people to take the time to contribute, I think is a matter of making it painless and worthwhile. Good lesson!