Essential Question: What are your thoughts about “learning in the collective”?
I really liked the way our book described a collective as compared to a community. "In communities, people learn in order to belong. In a collective, people belong in order to learn. Communities derive their strength from creating a sense of belonging, while collectives derive theirs from participation" (Thomas & Brown, 2011). So in other words in a collective member must contribute. The cool thing is that with technology we "are not bound by physical or geographic constraints" and anyone can join due to this feature. (Thomas & Brown, 2011)
After reading this week I wasn't sure where to start my search, so I just decided to search "collective learning?" I first found and interesting post detailing how we as a species have developed differently from other organisms. We thrive off of each other. "Somehow or other, our ancestors acquired new forms of language that enabled us to communicate so effortlessly that information began to accumulate in the collective memory. The result was that each individual faced the world not just with their own brain power, but also with the accumulated results of the experience and creativity of millions of other humans, many of whom had lived in the distant past" (Christian, 2010). This is what Christian calls "collective learning". He goes on to compare us with chimps. We know that chimps can communicate but they learn as individuals meaning that what they learn is not passed on to the next generation.
So now after reading about how we have adapted to the world around us I read on about social media in the classroom. Social media provide technologies that support interaction and collaboration among users, allowing them to build communities and exchange content" (Kimmerle, Moskaliuk, Oeberst, & Cress, 2015). This is a very powerful tool that can allow us to share ideas with even more people than we ever would have in the past. The problem lies in the fact that students use social media very informal and to make a requirement of it in a class is not the same according to Kimmerle, Moskaliuk, Oeberst, & Cress (2015). We also have to take a look at the grouping. On social media "these groups are not institutionally predetermined like students in a class but form themselves autonomously in terms of networks of people or as communities. In these groups people usually do not interact primarily because they aim to learn something (even though this may sometimes also be the case, of course) but because they perceive the interaction itself to be rewarding" (Kimmerle, Moskaliuk, Oeberst, & Cress, 2015).
All in all we really have to consider the gains that can be made from true collective learning. When people get together to discuss something that they are passionate about. I think this is where real learning occurs and it could be a challenge to replicate in classes that are requirements, classes that aren't of interest to the students in the class. For me I know I learn so much online but the things I learn of interest to me. That would be different if I had to learn about something such as history or writing. My passion does not lie here and I know it would be harder for me to engage in the topic. I think for collective learning to really be effective the student must engage and this has to come from their own will not because it is a requirement.
Christian, D. (2010). David Christian's Techonomy Talk -- How collective learning made us different. Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://techonomy.typepad.com/blog/2010/08/david-christians-techonomy-talk-how-collective-learning-made-us-different.html
Kimmerle, J., Moskaliuk, J., Oeberst, A., & Cress, U. (2015, April 03). Learning and Collective Knowledge Construction With Social Media: A Process-Oriented Perspective. Retrieved February 17, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4487542/
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change [Kindle].