Context search

Today I had a call wit the leadership of College Catts Pressoir, as part of my work for the Learning Planet initiative. We discussed the requirements for the digital platform that would support an open-source ecosystem for SDG-based curriculum design. In simple words, an ecosystem that will enable all school and university students across the globe to complete their studies while working on solutions for our biggest challenges, all year long. Learning by doing, at its best.

My takeaway idea from the call? - Context search.

We had a very specific use case in mind - collaborative documentation and sharing of pedagogical best practices, but I imagine this approach to searching and navigating content could be relevant for any community of practice. Searching with context adds so much more value than lists of links.

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How does it work? Imagine you want to solve a problem and search online for a specific “how to” question. As a result, beside the most relevant resources, you get a context sidebar with information like:

  1. Trusted community members who used/validate the resource;

  2. Speed to solution compared to the benchmark

  3. Costs to solution compared to the benchmark;

  4. Learning curve complexity;

  5. Risks / challenges related to this methodology etc

Every community might have its specific context indicators and they should be user-generated and real time, to help curate the best resources.

P.S. Perhaps context search can also be implemented by general search engines like Google, they already have rich context data for most resources. Take Google Scholar as a start - there is a long tradition of paper citations but we could add traffic data, readers map, related universities, critics etc, for each paper.