Social support for creativity and learning online

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Social support for creativity and learning online is a 2008 conference paper written in English by Bruckman A. and published in Proceedings - 2nd IEEE International Conference on Digital Game and Intelligent Toy Enhanced Learning, DIGITEL 2008.

[edit] Abstract

In the mid 1990s, we began to ask some hopeful questions about the potential of the Internet to empower the individual: Can users become creators of content, rather than merely recipients? What can people learn through working on personally meaningful projects and sharing them online? If content creation is to some degree democratized, does this have broader cultural or political implications? This enthusiasm faded a bit by the dot-com bust, and many began to wonder: will it be business-as-usual after all? But then it started happening. On Wikipedia, thousands of volunteers collaborate to create a shared resource that, while not without flaws, is astonishing in its breadth and speed of adaptation. Furthermore, the process of writing this resource is truly collaborative to a degree that should make any Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) professional envious. On sites like deviantART and Newgrounds, people collaborate on original art projects and animations. On MySpace, teens create their own web pages, sharing snippets of html and expressing themselves in a quintessentially teenage fashion. Blogs written by ordinary citizens have become influential in politics and culture, almost just as envisioned by science fiction writer Orson Scott Card. Peer production of content, it seems, has arrived. What has made this explosion of creativity possible is not better tools for production (though those help), but rather social contexts for sharing those products with others. The easy availability of an audience motivates people to create. In this paper, I'll review the history of peer production of content on the Internet, and present current research in the Electronic Learning Communities (ELC) Lab at Georgia Tech that aims to help support this phenomenon. Drawing on work in the fields of online community design, CSCW, and computer-supported cooperative learning, I'll discuss how we can design Internet-based environments conducive to creativity, collaboration, and learning.

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