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Are you a video nomad or just mad about video in international education?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Seems like international and global education online is hot today. I thought it was hot decades ago but, in comparison to today, I was wrong. Over ten years ago I created The Intaplanetary Teaching Learning Exchange (TITLE) where preservice teachers could discuss problems of students in schools using online cases. We had universities from Peru, the UK, Korea, and the USA involved. Here was one resulting publication, among many:

Bonk, C. J., Hara, H., Dennen, V., Malikowski, S., & Supplee, L. (2000). We’re in TITLE to dream: Envisioning a community of practice, “The Intraplanetary Teacher Learning Exchange.” CyberPsychology and Behavior, 3(1), 25-39.

And a decade earlier, I had one of my first major scholary publications on social cognition and writing in a journal called Written Communication. See (Happy to send these to anyone who asks.):

Bonk, C. J. (1990). A synthesis of social-cognition and writing research. Written Communication, 7(1), 136-163.

This article discussed some of the possibilities for technology to enhance global perspective taking. To stand in someone's shoes is central to elevating social cognition and ultimately empathy, understanding, and the cooperation. In the culture of today, we need such skills even more.

But that research was primary text based. Today web-based videoconferencing and video production, sharing, and commenting is become much cheaper and common. We are now sharing global views and ideas using video. And anyone can personally create and than share international news. We are definitely in a participatory age of education. Each day new tools for participation seem to pass by the screen as I work.

For instance, this morning I was also sent to look at a new site like CurrentTV or YouTube is called Nomad contains videos about social and political issues, international cultures, and global issues created by the citizens of the world—short films, documentaries, and creative travelogues, etc.). Today I watched several including ones on the problems in Darfur, poaching in Zimbabwe, problems in Palestine, etc. On the whole, they are extremely well thought out, professionaly, and educational. Captivating stuff! Some of these have previews and you have to pay to watch the entire episode and others appear to be entirely free to watch (though I am still not certain). My point is that cultural, social, political educational, and environmental issues around the world are being shared online through video and no longer just text.

Think of all the educational ways in Nomadsland and CurrentTV and YouTube can be used; especially for global and international education. Someone should be doing research on this! Well, I am currently doing a study of the educational value of YouTube videos. More on that in one of my next blog posts.

That link was sent to me this morning. Tonight, I got a news article from the George Lucas Education Foundation (GLEF) related to videoconferencing and global education of K-12 children. They have an article on the Global Nomads Group (GNG) ( where students learn about world cultures through videoconferencing (see: Here, children in K-12 classrooms in the USA can find out about Brazil, China, Honduras, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, the Sudan, and Vietnam. They might learn about geography, politics, cultures, religions, the military, and government. These interactive programs have exposed students to issues that the traditional curriculum did not teach.

We have had a similar videoconferencing program at IU for more than a dozen years. This program is called ISIS or International Studies in Schools. ISIS creates similar programs to the GNG mentioned above. Topics here include:
• What do you want to know about Iraq?
• East European Origins: Focus on Hungary
• Islam in Africa: Niger
• Meet the Mongolian Throat Singers
• Daily Life in the Netherlands
• Burmese Students: Perspectives of Refugees

The goals are respect and appreciation of differences, learning about different cultures, understanting the issues of equality in society, and fostering a sense of tolerance and openness. These goals can lead toward the development and empowerment of individuals as thoughtful and active participants of the 21st century--where we can educate all people of this planet. Former IU student, Dr. Mimi Lee at the University of Houston and Deb Hutton from IU, have just finished an article on it called: "Using Interactive Videoconferencing Technology for Global Awareness: The Case of ISIS" which is in review. They studied an implementation of ISIS in a rural Indiana community. If you want a copy, let me know. My colleague, Professor Merry Merryfield at Ohio State University also does extensive research in this area. If interested, See her work at:
Merry is an IU alum!

But my point is that video--both canned content put up in places like CurrentTV, YouTube, and Nomadsland, as well as synchronous videoconferencing experiences are becoming increasingly popular and effective means for international and global education and awareness. And it is about time! Perhaps you might try it! My Wikibook ideas in the blog post below have similar goals.

Finally, this morning I was sent a free Webinar for Thursday, September 6th at 1 pm your time on Wikis and Web 2.0 is noted below. social networking expert Howard Rheingold and Boston College's Jerry Kane
See I highly recommend it and will be lurking in the audience somewhere. I recently talked to Jerry Kane (see my blog post below--item #10 for his Wikibook ideas) and I met Howard Rheingold last spring when he visited IU. This should be a good one. Enjoy.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 11:11 PM  
  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger Come and See Africa said…

    Hi Curt,
    Great to know what you are up to these days. Thank you for your insight on "Writing", I sent the link to my son ( He was "surprised" that I have a very famous professor as a friend. He thinks you are cool,and I think Zach is cooler than you, ha ha.

  • At 8:57 AM, Blogger Curt Bonk said…

    Hey Kim, it is great to be connected with my friends from graduate school. This is so cool that 20 years has past since we first met and now our sons go to college and we discuss ideas via blogs, email, and wikibooks. Thanks for reading my blog post here.

  • At 7:49 PM, Blogger MW (My Wish) said…

    I listened to the webinar this morning. I've been tempted to start a wiki with my cross-cultural communication students but I wonder how collaboration can be enhanced without intimidating the Taiwanese cohort when they are asked to communicate in English?

  • At 11:13 PM, Blogger Curt Bonk said…

    Well, I have heard such concerns from Taiwan before. Perhaps testimonials might help from students who have tried this in the past (since this is new, that will not work). Perhaps start with an easy task like reviewing or critiquing an English wiki. Then maybe a small edit to a wiki. Then maybe push into bulding their own. That is what I am doing this semester.

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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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