crowdsourcing in education

Crowdsourcing in Education – How to make it work

Way back in the days, in August 2009 to be precise, I hosted a webinar series called the E-Teachers Conference. Around that time crowdsourcing became quite a popular topic among education startup people, especially in the language learning space. The reasoning behind that trend essentially was: if Wikipedia can do it, so can we.

Most notably Livemocha, which used to be the leader of the pack at that time, crowdsourced nearly all of its freely accessible language courses from its global community. While this enabled Livemocha to add new language options at a rapid pace, it also showed the flaws of such an approach: the localizations were mediocre at best.


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Picture “Leaf Cutter Ants” by Jon Pinder, Some Rights Reserved

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at KirstenWinkler.com.

  • bartoneducation

    Hi Kirsten,

    Great article. Perhaps I can add some context from a zondle point of view.

    zondle is crowd sourced; teachers have added over 2m questions onto the site in 3 years (roughly 10,000 of work given freely). These questions (16 different types) can then be played in zondle games of their choice.

    Some points we notice about our site
    More than 40% of teachers have added questions on zondle.
    10% of teachers have added more than 30 questions each.
    Students too (but in far fewer numbers) add questions to support their revision and test preparation.
    It is worth noting that teachers in over 100 countries have added questions in over 40 languages.

    Like Khan Academy, the interstitial pages have been (or are in the process of being) translated into 24 countries.

    Increasingly we are finding teachers want to offer their best questions for sale to other teachers as they recognise their efforts have value. We will facilitate this.

    Crowd-sourcing of content, especially on a platform that allows teachers to create professional interactive content, allows teachers and students around the world to personalise their learning in incredible ways.

    I hope this is useful to your debate,

    With best wishes

    Ben
    CEO – zondle