Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Preparing for Mass Collaboration

Students collaborate willingly on a daily basis. They are on line more outside school hours, than they are in school. They collaborate on Facebook, My Space, mail, HI Five, You Tube, MSN, Skype, Genie, World of Warcraft, and Counterstrike. Their social interactions – hopefully positive in nature set much of the groundwork for collaboration with the easy to and fro with their ‘friends’.

“In the economy of things you are identified by want you own – your
Land, house,car. In the economy of ideas that the web is creating,
you are what you share – who you are linked to, who you network
with, and which ideas, pictures, video, links or comments you share.
The biggest change the web will bring about is allowing us to share
with one another in new ways and particularly to share ideas. That matters because the more ideas are shared the more they breed,
mutate and multiply, and that process is ultimately the source of our creativity, innovation and well-being.”
(We Think Leabeater. Charles P. 6)

Students need to be taught that collaborative communities do have creators and leaders, but the format is not the same as they may have traditionally been aware of. As collaborators they need to be taught to create and answer interesting conversations, and be open to adaptation. Basically good people skills translated into an elearning situation. These develop over time and creations such as Web Quests can be very effective steps in that direction by directing learning with multimedia - combining individual and collaborative efforts and shared ownership. People create for many reasons – grades, recognitions, altruism – but whatever the motivation mass collaboration can bring changes we have yet to imagine.

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