The Digital Revolution and The Digital Evolution: Part Three

Digital Schools: Crowdshared Learning

The collective intelligence is usually greater than that of an individual. Sharing ideas and learning opportunities can help strengthen one’s knowledge around any given subject, and providing online paths to that knowledge can ensure more people have the opportunity to obtain that knowledge and connect with people interested in the same subject.  

There has been a push the last couple of years to have more courses offered online, and while we are still at the early stages, there are great examples available: 

Peter Norvig

Taught a class in Artificial Intelligence where 175 were present, and 100,000 students attended via online webinar. He presented his learnings from this ‘experiment’ in a TEDTalk where he states “Everyone is both a learner and a teacher”. How true it is. Norvig discusses the self-organized forums that started, and how they encouraged these forum groups to meetup and have discussions. The course ended up with 20,000 students completing the course by putting in between 50-100 hours of study, and then receiving a certificate of accomplishment. 

The above example is only one of many recent attempts that have succeeded to take education to the next level and spread the knowledge to students who were not able to attend in person. In total, Norvig reached more than 160,000 students with the learnings, and this is only the beginning I’m sure of it.

Gamification is the Name of the Game
The joy of accomplishment is one of our greatest drives as humans. Jane McGonigal, who is one of my personal favorites, speak of games and how they can change our lives in this amazing TEDtalk: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life.

Lucky for me, I have always had the drive to learn and the want to continuously improve my knowledge, but I’m sure my urge to learn more in my younger years would have been increased dramatically if gamification had been part of the education and learning processes. What can teachers and faculty do to improve the reward structure to help incenticize students to put the time and effort in needed ‘to win’?

Let’s Not Assume.
Another interesting TEDtalk is from Gabe Zimmerman, where he shares how games are making kids better problem-solvers, and will make us better at everything from driving to multi-tasking, which I completely agree with, but I wonder – how do we use this knowledge in the long run, and how is it applicated in studies?


What does that mean? Do we simply need to add more gaming elements to improve learning opportunities? Or is MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the web) the answer? Or both options needed?

The possibilities for both young and old to learn has never been this good. The access of online courses, the solutions in how to teach, and share the learning experience through cloudservices like Evernote, Springpad, Dropbox, Googledrive and a load of other one’s is there and free to use if you stay in the freminum levels.

When I started writing this series, the idea was as clear as your mind is early in the morning when filled with energy and the urge to make a difference. And these articles are just that, a piece of my mind and what I see for the future years to come, whether we want it or not. I welcome comments and encourage discussion around how the world is evolving with the help of technology too!

The plan is also to make an ebook of this, that will be availible later on this year from my webpage/blog at Sporring Media, where it will be more indepth and more full than this series.


Previous Articles for Reference: Part One and Part Two