In a recent post to the blog Radar, Tim O'Reilly asks, "What good is collective intelligence if it doesn't make us smarter?" It's a valid question that will help kick off the class, I think. First, O'Reilly is often credited with developing the concept of Web 2.0, so he's at the heart of the discussion. Then, the question gives us a practical approach to looking at Web 2.0 and the wisdom of crowds, as if O'Reilly is saying, "Okay, this new Web 2.0 technology is cool, but will it help us solve real-world problems such as poverty and global warming, and if it can't, then what good is it?"
So here are the starting questions for the class:
- What does it take to make a crowd wise or smart?
- What does crowd wisdom have to do with Web 2.0?
- If crowds really can be smarter, then can that intelligence be applied to real-world problems? For instance, can collective intelligence help each of you make better grades in your classes?
- What kinds of collective intelligence can you implement in your classes that will help you learn more, learn quicker, and make better grades?
- What kinds of collective intelligence can you implement to help you find a job after graduation? or now?