[iDC] Can DIY education be crowdsourced?

Chris Lawrence chrislarry33 at me.com
Wed Sep 7 18:26:45 UTC 2011

Hello all,

This has been a very engaging conversation thus far. Anya, I am a new(ish) father of an almost three year old and your example I think hits on a larger story about areas of intellectual participation that we seek out that are non-diadactic. I too used internet-forums/boards during the first year of my daughters life (mostly around sleep questions, get ready) and they were demonstrably more helpful, intuitive and content rich over the endless books published on the subject (which I also heavily sampled). Ultimately when I reflected about it, I was recoiling from the "right way" and dehumanizing "step 1.." approach that all the books seemed to take. I think partly because they were "books" and how-to books have a style and inherent didacticism in their form that seemed completely not helpful when nurturing life (and sanity).

So yes everything isn't child rearing but I do think as our lives become more socially enriched and we look toward web-enabled peer groups to figure stuff out (and help others to) it becomes more commonplace for learners/teachers to cultivate new instructional models that are motivated to move the exchange beyond a didactic approach. 

So as to a score I think of an Empathy Rating. How well did they listen, were able to see my perspective, react to it and push my own understanding. If I was browsing an expert list and something like an Empathy Score/Badge was listed I would gravitate towards them for an interaction because I know I would be heard and that we would have a learning conversation.

If I am teaching/facilitating and I valued and grew my empathy score/badge then I think I would potentially grow my learner/user base which, fore me at least, would be an intrinsic motivator.

Chris Lawrence
Director, Hive Learning Network NYC
chrislarry33 at me.com

On Sep 7, 2011, at 12:00 PM, Anya Kamenetz wrote:

> Pride of influencing a field I think can apply equally to amateurs and professionals. 
> As a mother-to-be following perhaps the deepest, most high-stakes informal learning path of my life, I've spent countless hours so far sharing knowledge and ideas with other women on online forums and email lists. Why do we spend this time answering each others' questions? What motivates a busy working woman with two children to put in her time advising a n00b? A lot of it is deeply social and intrinsic.
> a 
> On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 11:50 AM, John Bell <john at novomancy.org> wrote:
> But what value would such a score represent to an amateur scholar?  For professional scholars it's mostly valued due to pride of influencing the field and tenure committees.  Is there another carrot that can be offered to people with deep knowledge but no interest in advancing an academic career?
> - John
> On Sep 6, 2011, at 4:20 PM, Anya Kamenetz wrote:
> > So the question would be, to what extent is it feasible to represent a similar type of score, based on references to their previous statements, for amateur scholars? That would be an interesting example of an incentive that's both internal and external.
> > a
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