Collective Intelligence and E-Learning 2.0

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This was the presentation I gave yesterday at the 2010 Creating Futures  Through Technology Pre-Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Please feel free to provide comments and suggestions here.  Thanks.

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About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
This entry was posted in E-Learning, E-Learning 2.0 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Collective Intelligence and E-Learning 2.0

  1. tech gadgets says:

    This is what I wanted! I was searching on Google since 1 hour and was really depressed as I got nothing but this post really made me happy. I just bookmarked your blog as I will not like to waste my time again on Google.

  2. Kemp says:

    This was a very thought-provoking presentation. One particularly salient point wad made about the differences in generational views of technology was that for today’s young, technology is not a tool, but a way of life. Ever-evolving technology has always been a part of their experience, and they expect it, whereas the middle-aged adult is sometimes bewildered and irritated that they are required to shift to something new just when the old became comfortable.

    I also thought about the notion of the wisdom of crowds as I read the segment about collective intelligence. Like Alden and other authors, I too believe that the group response to a project almost always offers more insights and is of a higher quality than an individual student response.

  3. jwoodwards says:

    This post is very informative; it serves as a concise summary of where e-learning has been in the past few years and feasible future trends. The comparisons that Dr. Yuen provided were packaged in a way that was very understandable. In addition, I gained a better understanding of two terms from this slide show: iGeneration and Connectivism.

    The iGeneration are those individuals born from 1997 to the present. While the Net Generation sees technology as an essential part of their lives, the iGeneration does not have an “off” switch as it relates to technology. Similarly, while the Net Generation relies on technology to find information and carry out social interactions, the iGeneration prefers social networking and texting to phone calls or face-to-face interaction. In other words, for the iGeneration, technology is a part of life rather than just being a tool.

    I’ve never heard the term “connectivism” before, but Dr. Yuen did a good job in explaining the concept. In connectivism, learning is a process of connecting various sources of information. Knowledge no longer exists all in one location, such as a textbook. Instead, learning consists of connecting and synthesizing the knowledge that is distributed in many places and sources.

    Dr. Yuen also discussed the idea that the next generation of e-learning (E-Learning 2.0) is becoming personalized. The term Personal Learning Environment (PLE) was discussed. The next stage of this concept was also introduced, which was to position the PLE in a virtual setting. This new learning environment was abbreviated as the VLE, which I assume is the Virtual Learning Environment.

    I think it is easy to get lost in this ocean of new technology. Educators need to continue and share best practices with one another so that we all might know what technologies work best. Our challenge is evolving into asking not what is good but what is best.

  4. jackjohnston says:

    This was a very interesting presentation and I plan on sharing it with my colleagues. Not only was it interesting , but it was very informative and provided thorough explanations. As a result of having read Dr. Yuen’s Learning Technologies Blog, I have a better understanding of collective intelligence and e-learning 2-0.

    The idea of applying the concept “connectivism” in the classroom excites me. For one reason, what better way to get your students actively involved in constructing their own learning. Students will eagerly engage in learning tasks which allow them to choose, to connect, to collaborate, to create, to contribute, to share, and to participate in a learning community. I think it is what is needed to reach today’s learners. However, schools have to enable them, that is provide the students with an environment conducive to this learning.

    In the presentation, it stated that the iGeneration (I recently read iKids) has no off switch, technology it is not a tool-but a part of life, and technology is a part of their DNA. The iGeneration are children born after 1997. This makes them our current elementary students. Dr. Yuen also discussed the information explosion we are experiencing. How do we meet the needs of the iGenerations? We can start by creating environments that apply connective learning for our students and take advantage of the free Web 2.0 tools available for use which allow students to construct personal learning environments and focus on constructive activities. Change is needed for this to happen. Often teachers do not have access to the technology or as in my case most sites for collaboration are blocked.

  5. Kaylene Armstrong says:

    I’m guessing that this presentation was a big hit at the conference. The slick graphics make it just plain fun to watch though I wish it had audio (you probably listed the 10 in-demand jobs for the audience!). Placing the source for each slide at the bottom was an excellent idea. I often get frustrated by presentations that pile a list at the end, and if you needed to find which source went with which slide, you have to go through the entire list.

    I am intrigued with this idea of the iGeneration having technology in their DNA. Practically from day one they are programmed to incorporate technology into their lives. These iKids are now starting to enter their teens. By the time they are adults, clearly they will be demanding even more from technology and will be getting it because they will be creating it. Hang on, folks, this is going to be an exciting ride!

    One of the secrets of this generation is that because they have always had technology, they are not afraid to try new stuff. Getting them to buy into educational strategies that involve more technology is going to be much easier. For some, e-learning will have been the core of their educational experience anyway so traditional learning would seem clunky. Of course, the fact that they seem to have no OFF switch may mean that although there is no stopping what they can do with technology, there may be no time to be children, which would be a sad loss. For the last 20 years it seems the focus on grades, getting into the “right” schools and planning your entire future by seventh grade have taken away a great deal of childhood.

    I am also concerned that no one seems to address another growing concern: the distance between the haves and have-nots. I imagine that most children attending public schools today have some exposure to technology. And I know a huge number of children have Internet access at home. But what about the children who don’t? It won’t be too long before a mastery of technology may be the greatest social divider. I can see how e-learning tries to address this issue but is it enough?

  6. Jil Wright says:

    Great presentation! I am so glad that you have shared it on slideshare. I find that much of your content and materials really help me to better understand and better explain these concepts to faculty members in my role as a higher education instructional designer.

    E-learning has come a long way. The duty we have placed on our shoulders now is that we have to get teachers to incorporate E-learning 2.0. What I like best about the web 2.0 tools is that the student can create content easily. This allows for better retention.

    One of the few assignments I remember back in the day was a creative writing assignment where our teacher, Ms. Rogers, asked us to make a poster (yes, with real posterboard) to describe how we see ourselves and what we would like others to know is important to us. Basically, it was a self representation poster, and it had to contain a few elements from creative writing, like poems, haikus, etc. I loved that project and put a lot of work into it. Grant it, I am very visually and an artsy kind of person, but those sort of projects stick with students because it represents them.

    These days with web tools like glogster, prezi, and others, this becomes so much easier, more interesting, and students have a digital representation or other sort of content that they can share with whoever they’d like. I am glad this technology is finally emerging in education. There are endless possibilities!

    I agree with Kaylene that the divide in technology access could cause a divide in society eventually. I think that’s where society in general should really focus on getting technology to the deepest corners of the world (by charitable means). By making sure that the technology is available, open learning could be the best thing to ever happen….ever! Global education is important and I see it as a duty for global citizens to help others so that open content is readily available to anyone who wants to learn.

  7. tdedeaux says:

    Dr. Yuen,

    Overall, I think this was a great presentation, and a great summary of a lot of the points that we have visited in several classes, and are currently studying in IT780.


    One thing that bothers me about the “amount of information doubles every two years, thus, by the time a person finishes a four year degree, half of what they’ve learned is obsolete” is that the one does not necessarily follow the other.

    The rate of obsolescence of knowledge and skills is going to be highly variable between disciplines. For example, math and history tend to have very little obsolescence. While advances in research and scholarship can change interpretation and understanding of the field, it tends to happen fairly slowly (and, in history, incrementally, through ongoing historiographical controversies and debates).

    Further, one would assume that much of what is learned in an undergraduate degree would be skill-based, rather than just learning information. Because our current world situation allows the rapid lookup of information, and because there is literally more information out there than any one person’s brain could ever retain, focus on learning as information retention is less prominent than focus on learning as skills based.

    Of course, this feeds directly into the idea that Web 2.0 and E-Learning 2.0 make is much easier for people to personalize their learning and immediately access knowledge and skills that are relevant to them at that point.

    I believe that it was Eric Hoffer who said that “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

  8. Dr. Yuen,

    I very much enjoyed reading your presentation on the topic of collective intelligence, which is a very informative. In general review of this presentation, I found several major points such as the explosion of information, growing user-generated content, open learning and educational resource, net generation and iGeneration, examples of web 2.0 tools such as blog, YouTube, Social networking site, virtual learning environment, possibility of web 2.0 tools such as connection, sharing, collaboration, creating, and contributing. Adding all these points together, a big and important trend have emerged , which is called collective intelligence.

    The keywords about 21st century is information. Business people consider information as benefits just as the saying goes: information is money. I have the experience of constantly getting lost when I browse the internet as I found overwhelming information and many information pieces absorb my attention. When I was looking at and browsing some graphic designer’s blog I accidentally found some of them had delved into the field of software interface design, which is a branch of interactive design. Then the information represented by different keywords and links popped into my eyes such as user –centered design, user-experience design, usability, GUI, design psychology, emotional design, cognitive science, design language…

    Your presentation slide on this post reminded me of the experience mentioned above, which talked about an ironic situation: a college students’ knowledge learned at his sophomore year will become outdated by the end of his college life. This phenomena was caused by the mode of web 2.0, which was featured by collective intelligence, one the other hand, the collective intelligence intensified the situation. Regardless of thinking whether this is a good or bad phenomena, there are reasons for us to stay optimistic. At least, swamping information will be better than the absence of needed information.

  9. Ahu says:

    Excellent presentation with many timely and relevant posts. I believe that your conclusion provides a very practical grounding for educators in the characteristics of our “igeneration” learners which must be understood to adequately formulate educational objectives and deliver educational content in a manner which meets their learning characteristics. Teachers often become distracted by the technology which our learners invest (sometimes we say “waste”) so much of their time in, and attempt to incorporate this technology in the classroom without consideration for a) the underlying learner characteristics which attract them to this technology and b) the educational quality of the activity being designed.

    Another emphasis of the presentation was on collective intelligence as a trend. It brought to mind the first time I visited a wiki page. The pages were covered with spam, misinformation, and political graffiti. Certainly a lot has changed since that time, and my attitude has gradually softened from what I would first have considered an effort at “collective ignorance”. Wikis are providing fast and dirty access to information “on the fly” which is user-friendly and which contains at least a minimum of links to reputable sources. Nevertheless, encouraging positive and qualified participation in this collective form of intelligence seems to have been achieved, despite my initial doubts, and now the wiki serves as an educational model for collaborative writing and constructivism in the classroom. In fact, the collaborative and constructivist nature of wiki writing is very well suited to classrooms which seem to develop writing skills in conjunction with information technology skills, collaboration skills and domain specific knowledge.

  10. 透過阮老師的演講內容,使我更深刻地體悟到數位學習2.0的重要性。
    自從Web2.0 這個名詞在資訊科技界迅速興起後,很多衍生的口號相繼出爐,例如電子學習2.0(E-Learning2.0)這個名詞便由數位學習大師Stephen Downs 於2006年提出。
    簡單來說,電子學習2.0改變了傳統的學習模式,由以往老師單向地給學生教導資訊,轉變為老師與學生之間,以至學生與學生之間互相傳送資訊的互動關係。
    隨網路科技的急速發展,每個人都可以透過博客、維基、社交網、討論區、共享書籍、相片分享網及視頻分享網等與他人彼此分享資訊,資訊接收者也可以同時是資訊發佈者。

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