A critical aspect of Web 2.0 is the concept that when people are connected, they create a collective intelligence. I would like to offer another view. Science shows us that water will move to the lowest point , it seeks the lowest point in a river stream to flow. If there is a break in the bank that is lower than the stream, than the stream flows in that direction. Likewise, a chain breaks at its weakest link. In a class room, one student can destroy a small group or even a class discussion.
In addition, a extreme amount of water becomes a flood which destroys the river bank and other objects. Too many tall trees kill the smaller trees in a forest. A mob operates at a very basic level, not at the highest level of thinking.
The act of merely being connected does not provide “collective intelligence”. We educators have to create the structure for changing from possible “collective stupidity” to “collective intelligence”.
My book, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.