Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Making the Case for Crowd Sourcing, Part I

What is crowd sourcing? Why would you care? And then possibly how would it work for you?

Here is a personal example of crowd-sourcing: Recently, I shared the following challenge with colleagues: I find the Lesson Plans and Gradebook in Infinite Campus a bit intimidating and clunky. Some teachers took time to discuss its benefits and limitations with me and I was able to better weigh my options when it comes to managing student assessments.

You also have been involved with crowd sourcing for years. Maybe you’ve been in the lounge and asked, “Does anybody know an easy crock-pot recipe?” and suddenly you have a week of slow-cooked meals at the ready. Or maybe you’ve seen those viral videos where people have all “spontaneously” begun singing the Hallelujah Chorus in a food court—even my parents told me they received this one in an email. I guess, that’s more of a flash mob, but the concept is similar.

Crowd sourcing is when you gather the resources of either colleagues or others you know well—and possibly strangers through a personal network on the internet, to collaborate to solve a problem or just have fun. If you are willing to be honest about what you don’t know—and also willing to take time to share your thoughts—anything is possible!!

As we consider not only handling new tech stuff, but more importantly re-envisioning what is possible through various communication devices, your role in crowd-sourcing will become even more vital.

Part 2: Why and How?