Survivor Spoilers in education (EDM613 Wk1 #1)

I am currently reading Henry Jenkins' "Convergence Culture" and was struck how the idea of collective intelligence applies to Survivor "spoilers" and also transfers to the classroom.  The idea of collective intelligence centers on virtual communities who rely on the combined expertise of the members to accomplish something collectively. In the case of Survivor, they pool their resources in an attempt to figure out what, where, and who about the show before each airing. An undergraduate in history likened the skills of spoiling to that of cultivating skills as a student. 

That is where there is much to be learned from the process of spoiling. What enthuses the spoilers is not the possession of knowledge, but the process of acquiring that knowledge. They work together from all over the world with a common purpose and goal. This same process happens in the classroom at times (I wish I were able to facilitate it much more often in mine) and can also happen online. This is one of the powerful ways collaboration tools can be used by students outside the classroom to continue and build on the learning. I have had some early success in this area with my students as they prepare for exams (see image) because there is some built in motivation. I hope to find a way to create a "spoiler" culture in my classroom where students diligently work together and feel each has something to give to the whole.


  1. I used to joke about the pooling of ignorance that happens in groups too small to break out of their own biases and limitations of experience (eg., teenagers and "know it alls"). There is a whole world of understanding that develops, first as a group, that education just doesn't get. It is something to work toward, to be able to allow for the development of knowledge via the group and still recognize the individual specialness that drives us to be better.


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