THE magazine has an article on 6 technologies that will impact education in very near future. The writer used the term collective intelligence to refer to Wikis and Blogs. I agree that wikis and blogs are collective. Are they intelligent? Ithink that depends on how the teachers have their students use these tools. As a comparision, are all classroom discussions intelligent ones in which students grow academically from the discussion or is it a an exchange of opinions?
Here’s two things we can do to improve the intelligence of the wikis or blogs.
When students do add to a wiki to build a collective body of information, how do they use the information once they have created it? For example, if students find articles on different article on the same topic (immigration), summarize the articles, and post to a wiki, we simply have a collection of articles. What do we have the students do that uses that collection? Do they compare/contrast the articles? Do they search for the bias in each article? Do they create their own article that incorporates an in-depth view of the pros and cons of the issue?
When students post their ideas to a blog or even twitter about the ideas, how do students grow from each other’s comments? Are the students’ comments ones that challenge ideas, ask probing questions about it, give another view(perspective) of it, show connections, provide alternative explanations, or explain how to do it? How do their comments move them along the learning path?