What is Crowdsourcing?


Crowdsourcing 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. The global expansion of the internet and its permeation into everyday activities has led to an increase in the use of crowdsourcing as a method of gathering information. One of the most well known models 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. Today, news outlets are the most prominent examples of crowdsourcing. Stations are leveraging social media outlets, such as Facebook’s live stream and Twitter’s Periscope, as sources of real-time updates and information via text, images, and video. Additionally, crowdsourcing 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.

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

  • I think that the knowledge created in the digital network will be of a crucial factor for the future of education. It is a very important skill for students to be able to navigate through information and have the ability to engage in knowledge producing digital networks.
    This organization of knowledge could also be described as peer-production and it has in my opinion the potential for a more democratic approve to learning and knowledge production. As a teacher I talk to the children about the potential of peer production. It becomes very physically tangible for the students when they work in a FabLab, where the main part for the machines and items are built from open Hardware and designs for digital fabrication are shared online.
  • - tero.rynka tero.rynka Dec 4, 2016Crowdsourcing can be used also to create digital learning materials, and of course to enhance them. In Finland our customer - has given an opportunity to teachers to tweak published learning material on certain chapters. That could encourage teachers and also students to modify materials in a way they feel it would fit them best. That would also help publishers getting more ideas based on customer feedback -> and thus creating better materials and to ensure high quality, faster updates and so on.

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

  • I think that future educators should have an ethical discussion about the structures of “ownership” when engaging student in activities that will create value for others. This is not at all a problem or something that should prevent us from doing it, but it is an opportunity to reflect. In an educational context we have to guide children to navigate the interest of different digital power structures. For example in the above text Wikipedia is mention. Wikipedia is, besides a way of organizing knowledge online like we are doing now , a project organized by The __WikimediaFoundation__, Inc. It is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. It could be described as "common based peer production" but there are also many other forms of organization of crowd sourcing where the product do not belong to the public. When we facilitate crowd sourcing in education we have the "ethical" responsibility for children. We have to ask ourselves questions about the “common good” and try to avoid crowdsourcing structure that deprives children of their creative work, legally and/or economical.
  • - tero.rynka tero.rynka Dec 4, 2016If crowdsourcing is used as a method in learning, it should always be used limited on specific matter in order to achieve designated goals.

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

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




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