Much of the work on the co-construction of learning originates from the theories of Vygotsky (1962; 1978) who emphasised the way in which we learn through social interaction. The co-construction of knowledge occurs across all classroom activities, but the affordances of digital technologies means that this kind of co-construction of learning can take place asynchronously, across time and space. Place, space and time have become ever more fluid as a result of mobile technologies; this means it is much easier to communicate with a wide range of global audiences through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook and readers and writers are able to engage with texts in a diverse range of spaces using screen interfaces. Jenkins et al. (2006: 4) have suggested that a range of new kinds of skills are required in this move to a participatory culture:
Play–the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
Performance–the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
Simulation–the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
Appropriation–the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
Multitasking–the ability to scan one’s environment and focus on salient details
Distributed cognition–the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
Collective intelligence–The ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal
Judgement–the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
Trans-media navigation–the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
Networking–the ability to search for, synthesise and disseminate information
Negotiation–the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.
Of these, we suggest that collective intelligence relates to the concept of co-construction of learning. Through shared blogs or wikis, co-constructions of knowledge in relation to digital literacy in practice could be made through a pooling of the teachers’ or pupils collective intelligence. Pupils using blogs to share as in Case Study 7, or to create a public mural as in Case Study 8 are good examples of co-construction activity in the project schools.
For References see 3.7.5 References/Links to Further Resources