2,526 crowdsourcing and crowdfunding sites
Although Crowdsourcing has been around for some time now, the growth of the World Wide Web has quickly boosted it's use to epic proportions. Whether it's being used to help M&Ms decide the next color they will create their candies in, or as a phone app to make users aware of traffic conditions and license checks, crowdsourcing has become a major part of our everyday lives. This tool for bringing the public together on ideas and opinions has even made it's way into college classrooms, expanding into more and more fields everyday.
GrouperEye: Crowdsource Competitions Matching Students & Companies
One very interesting and paid crowdsourcing project which was created by college students is known as GrouperEye. Founder Ted Williams states, “We don't charge any fees or up-sell any products to students. Everything is free. A student's time is the only associated cost. But, we take a student's time very seriously. We understand that the only way we can grow this business is to provide a great value to students. Period. That value means giving cash prizes to the winner of each case and job opportunities. We know the ultimate for any student is to land a job that excites them – and this is exactly what we are going to do, match remarkable students with remarkable companies.”
Basically, GrouperEye works like this; a business will post a case on the site, and leave it open for students to input their ideas on how to solve it. The student who comes up with the best idea, or the one which is implemented by the company, will win a cash prize of one hundred dollars. Students can build powerful portfolios and therefore be noticed by companies which can lead to great job offers. Often the traits such as originality, drive, and imagination which students can show off in this type of project cannot be shown by grade point averages or test scores alone.
This Is Your Brain on the Internet: Students Teaching Students
Another great example of the implementation of crowdsourcing into the classroom was created by Cathy Davidson, a professor at Duke University. The “This is Your Brain on the Internet” course allows college students to crowdsource their ideas and opinions into teaching as well as grading one another's assignments. Through the use of crowdsourcing, students can collaborate different learning methods and review tests. This could very well make vast changes in the way professors, students, and even parents view learning.
Using Davidson's methods, students will have what is called a “contract grading system”. This simply means that there will be specific guidelines which are expected from each assignment a student receives in order for them to earn certain grades. Students would then be able to read one another's blogs and assignments and decide together what other work may be needed and whether the job was satisfactory. Davidson insists that this idea leads to more conscientious work on the part of the student. She explains, "every study of peer review among students shows that students perform at a higher level, and with more care, when they know they are being evaluated by their peers than when they know only the teacher and the TA will be grading."
S.O.S. Classroom Crowdsourcing for K-8th Graders
In addition to the widespread sweep of crowdsourcing which has moved through the college classroom, the phenomenon has crossed into grade schools as well. When the Los Angeles Unified School District closed their summer school classes, “SOS Classroom” (Save Our Summer-school) was created to fill in the gaps. The website consists of "a directory of free online educational resources for K-8 Language Arts and Math" which has been gathered and submitted by students, parents, and educators.
The material is organized and placed on the site by college students in an University of Southern California Advanced Writing Course. Web 2.0 tools are used to collect, organize and post the “free online educational courses” which combine to create a new form of crowdsourced education. Hundreds of volunteers and others have joined together to create this site in order to offer those K-8 students who were left without summer school a quality alternative.
As crowdsourcing grows even larger in popularity, use, and success, we are likely to see it implemented into more and more of our lives. Not only is it changing the way we advertise, and do business, but crowdsourcing is also changing the way we teach and learn. It is a simple concept, which has been around for a long time in one form or another. As they always said, “Two heads are better than one,” so why not hundreds, or even thousands?