A recent list of the World’s Top Tools for Learning is a stark reminder of how rapidly the educational ecosystem has moved beyond the traditional classroom. Most young professionals seem to have readily embraced the ability to learn quickly and interactively formally and informally, in a real-time environment that was utterly unimaginable only a decade ago.
Many leading online educational tools are built around rapidly augmenting micro-level communications to a global-wired audience. Four key tools from the top of the list include: Wikipedia – the largest knowledge sharing encyclopaedia ever created; Twitter – the turbo-charged, real-time communication network; YouTube – the world’s largest video library; Slideshare – the emergent PowerPoint sharing powerhouse. The principles underpinning crowdsourcing resonate in a similar way – democratising discrete, micro projects by reaching a global, collaborative community (e.g. 99 Designs, Innocentive, Amazon Mechanical Turk)