Found this video on Education Innovation and it prompted reflection. How quickly things have changed in the world of technology in the last few years. Well, ‘last few’ to a person of my generation could mean anything from 5-20. The theme of the video is crowdsourcing. The basic message – we used to have to be physically together to create a crowd, but suddenly, with the internet, we’re able to create a virtual crowd. That is, virtual communities can just form themselves on the basis of shared interests. Fascinating, also, to acknowledge how technology has changed possibilties with photography. Three things have changed what photography can do forever: the development of affordable digital cameras; photo-editing software; and the internet. People are sharing photos, and more and more applications are popping up for creative use of images. Stock photos which used to be expensive are now abundant and therefore cheap because of amateurs’ communities. Think Flickr, think Picasa. Think about photo sharing on Facebook and MySpace. Think about the combination of photos and Google Earth.
Interesting, too, is the blurring of lines between amateur and professional, company and customers. Crowds, or groups, can change a business dramatically, or so the video says. And the most interesting thing, in my opinion, is that online communities organise themselves – what used to take corporate managers to achieve. Could the same be said for schools? How could we free up the system to allow for self-organising groups to form on the basis of shared interest and passion?