What is Tacit Intelligence?

Tacit intelligence refers to the intelligence that results from the data generated by the activities of many people over time. New and vast information stores are being created in real-time by thousands of people in the course of their daily activities through the patterns of their choices and actions. The data in these information stores allow the discovery of entirely new knowledge by capturing trillions of key clicks and decisions as people use the network in the course of their everyday lives. Companies such as Google and Facebook leverage this tacit data to continuously refine their search and advertisement results, better tailoring the resources and promotions that appear to each user. For example, if a user has previously visited websites to research new cars to buy, it is very likely that ads for cars will appear in their web searches and other websites they are browsing. Discovering and harnessing the intelligence in such data — revealed through analyses of patterns, correlations, and flows — is enabling more accurate predictions about people’s preferences and behaviors, and helping users understand and map relationships, and gauge the relative significance of ideas and events. The implications for education include more personalized learning experiences and opportunity for students, based on their study habits and interests.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Tacit intelligence could be used in online learning environments to ‘push’ relevant information to learners based on their learning style preferences and behaviors. This information could come from library resources or the web for example. Related to learning analytics.- Jolie Jolie Oct 16, 2013
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • In the context of online learning, this technology could be used to personalize the learning environment for the learner. What is missing is the explicit connection between student interests (e.g., how is this captured in an online learning environment?), course goals/objectives (e.g., how can the system/algorithms be programmed to guide inquiry that facilitates student learning?), and the sources of relevant data (e.g., what will be involved in permitting push technology from online library resources?). - Jolie Jolie Oct 16, 2013
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • This technology could have significant impact on online learning, personal learning environments, library science, student research, student transition to workplace performance, and lifelong learning.- Jolie Jolie Oct 16, 2013
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • I am not aware of this technology implemented in higher education at this time. - Jolie Jolie Oct 16, 2013
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