Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
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Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning
Collective intelligence is a shared or group intelligence involving knowledge creation and flow. Pooled brainpower emerges from the collaboration and learning actions of a community of connected individuals empowered by social media, participatory tools, and mobile platforms.
Curated by Huey O'Brien
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Desire2Learn’s New Learning Suite Aims To Predict Success, Change How Students Navigate Their Academic Career

Desire2Learn’s New Learning Suite Aims To Predict Success, Change How Students Navigate Their Academic Career | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |

To do this, Desire2Learn wants to bring predictive analytics into play in education. But why? Well, first and foremost because, today, if students want to figure out whether a course is right for them — or how well they might perform in that course — they’re hard pressed to find a good answer. They can ask fellow students, check websites that rank faculty based on nebulous criteria or try to find surveys, but none of these options are ideal.


With its new analytics engine, Desire2Learn aims to change that by giving students the ability to predict their success in a particular course based on what they’ve studied in the past and how they performed in those classes. The new, so-called “Student Success System,” was built (in part) from the technology it acquired from Degree Compass; however, while Degree Compass used predictive analytics to help students optimize their course selection, the new product aims to help both sides of the learning equation: Students and teachers.


On the teacher side, Desire2Learn’s new analytics engine allows them to view predictive data visualizations that compare student performance against their peers so that they can identify at-risk students, for example, and monitor a student’s progress over time.

The idea is to give teachers access to important insight on stuff like class dynamics and learning trends, which they can then combine with assessment data, to improve their instruction or adapt to the way individual students learn. In theory, this leads not only to higher engagement, but also better outcomes

luiy's curator insight, May 10, 2013 5:32 PM

Essentially, the tool allows students to move their academic resume to the cloud so they can take it with them after they graduate, which the company is incentivizing by offering 2GB of free storage.


Basically, what we’ve come to realize, the Desire2Learn CEO tells me, is that the company’s initial approach to business (or academic) intelligence was off track. “Students and teachers don’t necessarily want more data, they want more insight and they want that data broken out in a way that they can understand and helps them more quickly visualize the learning map,” he says.


When I asked if building and adding more and more tools and features would dilute the experience and result in feature overload, Baker said that the company doesn’t want to build a million different tools. Instead, it wants to become a platform that supports a million tools and allows third-parties that specialize in particular areas of education to help develop better products.


Through open-sourcing its APIs, Desire2Learn along with Edmodo and an increasing number of education startups are beginning to tap into the potential inherent to the creation of a real ecosystem. Adding predictive analytics tools gives Desire2Learn another carrot with which they hope to be able to draw both teachers, students and development partners into its ecosystem.

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IBM senses change with its annual “5-in-5” list for 2012

IBM senses change with its annual “5-in-5” list for 2012 | Collective Intelligence & Distance Learning |
IBM's 5-in-5 list for 2012 predicts the five sense-related technologies enabled by cognitive computing systems that will impact our lives in the next five years...

As the year nears its close, IBM, as it has every year since 2006, has pulled out the crystal ball and given us its predictions of five innovations that it believes will impact our lives in the next five years. For this year’s “5-in-5” list, IBM has taken a slightly different approach, with each entry on the list relating to our senses. The company believes cognitive computing whereby computers learn rather than passively relying on programming will be at the core of these innovations, enabling systems that will enhance and augment each of our five senses.


According to pingdom, in 2011 on average there were 4.5 million photos uploaded to Flickr everyday contributing to some 6 billion photos hosted on the site, there were an estimated 100 billion photos on Facebook and 60 photos uploaded every second to Instagram. While it is digital cameras that are responsible for this explosion in online photographic content, digital technology is still pretty “dumb” when it comes to analyzing images. This means sorting through them generally relies on user-defined tags and text descriptions, which are time consuming to set up and not always accurate.

IBM says that in the next five years, cognitive computing technology will allow computers to examine thousands of images and recognize patterns and distinct features to determine their content. For example, in beach scenes the computer might recognize certain color distributions that are common to such images, while for a downtown cityscape it might learn that certain distributions of edges are what sets them apart. Then once it has the general location down, it could be taught about the activities that are likely to be carried out there.

While such technology would make image searches on the Web easier, IBM says cognitive visual computing could be used to recognize tumors, blood clots and other problems at their early stages – something that is already happening for the early detection of potentially deadly melanoma. The technology could also help in the real time monitoring of disaster areas through analyzing images uploaded to social networking sites or keeping an eye out for potential security issues by monitoring security camera images.
Huey O'Brien's insight:

Check out the link to learn more about all the sense-related technologies.

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