What is Crowd Sourcing?


Crowd sourcing refers to a set of methods that can be used to motivate a community to contribute ideas, information, or content that would otherwise remain undiscovered. Its rapidly growing appeal stems from its effectiveness in filling gaps that cannot be bridged by other means. One of the most well known examples of this is Wikipedia, where volunteers provide information and definitions for subject matter of their expertise. Crowdsourcing generates what is known as the explicit form of collective intelligence. Knowledge is constantly refined through the contributions of thousands of authors. Within the academy, crowd sourcing is often a way for researchers to draw on public knowledge to provide missing historical or other specific details related to communities or families, complete large-scale tasks, or solve inherently complex issues. For many tasks, institutions are finding that amateur scholars or even people whose lives simply were contemporary to the event, object, images, or other research focus being documented are remarkably effective in providing deep level detail around a topic or in documenting a large body of materials. Related to crowdsourcing in many ways is crowdfunding, an effort to raise money through a network of people -- usually through resources on the Internet. Many organizations, especially start-ups, turn to online tools such as Kickstarter to finance new projects and products. Crowd funding has been known to support many different activities, from helping communities recover from disasters to free software development.


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Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Mar 2, 2013 Cool idea. I've managed to do it with dozens...certainly not thousands...of teachers and students. Not convinced this is gonna be a big thing for K-12, though.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 5, 2013 I agree with David. It is a great idea, we might have some projects and uses, but I don't see it as massively entering K-12 any time soon.
  • I can see how crowd funding could happen, but local attemps have not generated the income they desired. However, I am not sure the structure of education as we know it could utilitize, or be interested in utilizing, crowd sourcing in the context of "motivate a community to contribute ideas, information, or content that would otherwise remain undiscovered".- jmorrison jmorrison Mar 4, 2013
  • Crowdsourcing can be a really great way to promote informal learning, esp. in science. Getting kids to upload plant photos and/or engage in specimen identification can give scientists and other researchers "boots on the ground" in places they can't be. - marcia.mardis marcia.mardis Mar 5, 2013
  • It seems to me that a state process could be created to crowd source digital instructional assets similar to Wikipedia. I also think there would be a great benefit if resources like the Khan Academy were opened up for crowd sourcing.

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I would like to see the informal learning piece come out a bit more strongly because that's a major pathway K-12s have into crowdsourcing. - marcia.mardis marcia.mardis Mar 5, 2013
  • The idea that communities, which crowd sourcing is a variety of, die without implicit or explicit stewardship, and that whatever the community is doing has to bring value to the contributors in some way. - Derrel.Fincher Derrel.Fincher Mar 5, 2013

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • The site features a curated list of climate news articles from around the web and players can add comments to these articles with facts about climate change, and share the science to their social networks. An interesting concept that could lead to other educational possibilities. http://www.psfk.com/2013/03/al-gore-climate-change.html - michael.lambert michael.lambert Mar 5, 2013
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • - jackwest jackwest Mar 4, 2013 For crowd sourcing technology choices for educators, Edshelf is a great tool - a Yelp for edtech tools. EdSurge has a similar tool.
  • - marcia.mardis marcia.mardis Mar 5, 2013 Tate Museum's Itch of the Golden Nit--film made from crowdsourced images and ideas from children:


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