Crowds, Lights and Desire

In a past discussion about social vs. solitary learning, a really great talk by Chris Anderson on TED was brought up. He brings up what he calls, “crowd accelerated innovation” in which he explains three important aspects: crowd, light, and desire. The crowd consists of people sharing a similar interest, light is the open visibility into the subject and, of course, thereĀ is theĀ desire to learn and share about the said interest.

So, in our cyber circles the most popular ways of shedding a “light on [an] interest [is] directly through Facebook, Twitter etc…and indirectly through views and links to similar resources.” Through this group sharing of knowledge and building of ideas, it’s clear that social learning environments really foster growth in education. And although there are many learning styles, it is through the collaboration with others that we really internalize new materials and expand upon what we already know.

Watching videos like this really makes me wonder how people can still even doubt online education or say that we cannot learn via online tutorials. This is a broad statement, as there are certainly different challenges within different models of online ed, but I think (with the amount of people that are being born into our world and the amount of innovation that happens because of that/growing technologies) education is just going to expand. I mean, just this afternoon I was googling ladies’ styling for salsa dancers and boom, right at my fingertips, an instructor, a community of learners and the ability to slow down/watch one more time was right at my fingertips.

After all, as Anderson states, “we’re a social species: we spark off each other,” and this leads to great innovations.

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