A Strategy For Promoting The Use Of Collective Intelligence Within A Technology Education Context: A Case Study

Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Exploring Technology Education: Solutions to Issues in a Globalised World, 2008, pp. 248 - 259
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Abstract: This paper examines and provides a critical analysis of the results of a recent research project/study. This study will show how Australian students in remote and rural locations collaborated on a set of negotiated design projects with partner schools in city locations. We argue the activity of pooling/sharing divergent perspectives and heuristics [collective intelligence] is a powerful educational tool. This study will posit that a central way teachers/academics may help students to identify design issues/problems and formulate ways to address them is by taking advantage of and using collective intelligence in a classroom context. Cooperative learning and collaborative problem solving are effective in improving academic and social skills. Often it is difficult for students, operating in the context of technology education, to experience collaborative design in the same manner as globalised corporations which develop products for distribution around the world. As aspects of the design process become more and more globally distributed, it is increasingly important for technology education students to have the ability to engage with meaningful problems and achieve desirable solutions that parallel and mimic the real world. Further, this paper investigated the strengths, weaknesses, and merits of providing school students with an understanding of the real world experience of collaborative on-line designing 24 hour rapid prototyping and remote realisation and manufacture. The research to be discussed led us to develop a strategy for moving technology education forward towards providing rich learning experiences that develop in students, the abilities to more fully engage in a truly collaborative design process. It is argued this study potentially has wider implications beyond technology education.
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