Crowdsourcing ICTs and Education

The World Bank has recently recognized the value in crowdsourcing for development. Last year the World Bank Disaster Management used crowdsourcing in Latin America and the Caribbean, partnering with Yahoo, Google, and NASA, among others. Recently they have applied crowdsourcing to the educational field, in response to systemic problems at the local and regional levels. Crowdsourcing could be used to raise low scores by sending out requests for instructional success stories, or to connect teachers to share educational strategies and solutions. One program that has already been implemented is the Open Innovation Portal, started by the US Department of Education. Open Innovation uses crowdsourcing to bring teachers together to share their knowledge on problems plaguing school systems such as dropout rates and difficult children. The program has seen instant results. Just four months after the start of the program, over 4,000 people signed up and shared many innovative ideas that may receive donor funds in order to be more successfully implemented or merely used as effective methods by other participants in the program. This is just one example of crowdsourcing being used here in the U.S. to promote educational solutions. This demonstrates one of the nearly endless ways that crowdsourcing may be utilized as it becomes a more popular strategy in ICT4D.

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4 responses to “Crowdsourcing ICTs and Education

  • lfairba

    These initiatives seem very innovative and creative. Education is extremely important to the future of ICT4D and this could help link the two in a very beneficial way.

  • margaretvariano

    This is a great example. We are constantly taught how important education is in the development field and how fostering education will allow development in other fields as well. I think this technique could be very successful. My only concern would be the ability to keep educators signing up and posting. As we have learned in the past, some educational programs fail because teachers do not have an incentive to participate in the program. Hopefully this program will be able to have a constant stream of educators signing up and posting their ideas so it can be successful.

  • dtindall8

    I think that Open Innovation Portal could be especially useful to young teachers. Young teachers tend to struggle more and therefore would probably be more open to advice that they could find by using the Portal. They are also more likely to be tech savvy than older teachers.

  • ahamilton92

    The only problem with crowdsourcing is that people tend to lose interest unless something major happened that people can talk about. If there is too much information or that information is not easy to navigate, no one will use it. This is important to keep in mind with education crowdsourcing.

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