What is Collective Intelligence?

Collective intelligence is a term for the knowledge embedded within societies or large groups of individuals. It can be explicit, in the form of knowledge gathered and recorded by many people (for example, the Wikipedia (http://wikipedia.org) is the result of collective intelligence); but perhaps more interesting, and more powerful, is the tacit intelligence that results from the data generated by the activities of many people over time. Discovering and harnessing the intelligence in such data — revealed through analyses of patterns, correlations, and flows — is enabling ever more accurate predictions about people’s preferences and behaviors, and helping researchers and everyday users understand and map relationships, and gauge the relative significance of ideas and events.

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

  • There is potential for this in STEM education in that the notion of collective intelligence can become part of what learners come to understand are potential data sources for finding the answers to questions. This is a different sort of data source than learners have been taught to consider in the past. - jeanne.century jeanne.century Feb 6, 2010
  • By questioning what it means to be an author, and by threatening traditional ideas of knowledge, it challenges all of formal education to reassess how it considers individual learners' contributions to the learning of the group. - stephen.breslin stephen.breslin Feb 10, 2010

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

  • Ideas of collective intelligence have strong connections with the sort of constructivist and sociocultural learning theories that underpin the thinking of many educational technologists - stephen.breslin stephen.breslin Feb 10, 2010
  • another response here

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

  • This would be great assuming that we get to a stage when the techologies allow for both a 'regression to the mean' sort of analysis and can be used to scaffold a balance of perspectives for the learner. For instance, global warming - provide the body of evidence in a concise way plus different shades of political, social etc perspectives. - horncheah horncheah Feb 4, 2010
  • Related is collective wisdom which Briskin, Erickson, Ott and Callanan write about int heir book "The Power of Collective Wisdom and the trap of collective folly."- jan.morrison jan.morrison Feb 6, 2010
  • This has the potential to change the face of curriculum work and mapping activities. Teachers could really benefit from the use of more open ways of developing and refining student work.- dan.phelan dan.phelan Feb 7, 2010
  • If learners are involved in collectively creating knowledge, as they should and are, then assessment systems need to change. - roger.blamire roger.blamire Feb 9, 2010
  • There's a job to do in helping learners themselves understand what it means to create something as part of a group, rather than as an individual, and what that means for the sort of recognition that validates them - stephen.breslin stephen.breslin Feb 10, 2010

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

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon K-12 Project form.