This is the blog of Dr. Curt Bonk, Professor at Indiana University and President of CourseShare (there are NO Guest Blogs and NO advertisements permitted).

Dr. Bonk's Home Page

Bonk's Emerging Learning Technologies course

Video Primers in an Online Repository for e-Teaching and Learning (V-PORTAL)

Click here for information about my recent book, MOOCs and Open Education Around the World.

Bloggers I follow
My reading list
Kicking Yourself Hard! 20 Years of the Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I finished teaching at 10 pm last night and then I went to my department mailbox since I had not been in my office for a few days. There was a nice FedX package from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In it was 2 copies of a new book called: "20: An Anthology Celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of the Higher Colleges of Technology," edited by my friend Tayeb A. Kamali. The forward is by Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, who founded the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) 20 years earlier (see He is now the chancellor.

I have spoken at various locations of the HCT including Dubai Women's College, Abu Dhabi Men's College, and Dubai Men's College. Great places and great people and oh, the hotels are unbelievably 1st class. Fond memories! So many great audiences there. And many a fast taxi ride from one place to the next but that is another story. Everything is so new in the HCT and in the country! I miss my friends there.

Here is the book:

The UAE is a fantastical type of place. Having been at the e-Merging e-Learning (EMEL) conference a couple of times and also E-ducation Without Borders (EWB), both in Abu Dhabi, I know that the people of the HCT sure know how to coordinate a conference and galas with laser light shows and singing and dancing. More importantly, they also bring world leaders for keynote presentations. I helped run the EMEL conference a couple of times with excellent Tayeb's help, of course.

But last night as I opened the wonderful book they sent and immediately was kicking myself. Back in early August, I got a call from my friend, Paul Mace, in the UAE asking me for a short book chapter for this book. He noted that they were putting together a special 20th anniversary book commemorating their HCT. I got this request while heading out of town for a week with my son for a vacation down the California coast and just after sending in a bunch of AERA proposals. So, seriously, I was sorta tired at the time. Limited time. I initially said "no" and then "yes" (with a few maybe's in between, of course) and sent them an article on the new millennial learning and generations of learners which was being deleted from a book I was working on. Like all academic articles, it had references. However, they did not want articles with references. So I pulled it.

Now I get the book and it has chapters from many people who have visited the UAE for speeches over the past 2 decades including 6 Nobel prize winners and many other famous people including for US President Jimmy Carter, Albert Schweitzer, Kofi Annan, and Sonia Ganhi, etc. My good friend, Jay Cross, from the Internet Time group has an excellent piece in there on "Conversations" (Chapter 12). 64 chapers in the book and mine could have been one of them (well, then it would be 65). Jimmy Carter talks about the Global Challenge in Chapter 32. Tayeb talks about How the HCT was formed in Chapter 4. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan has chapter on how public-private partnerships can be a seedbed to a more grow civil society. Prince Charles (the Prince of Wales) has a short piece for Chapter 42 called "Honoring the Faiths." A. M. Rosendale, former executive editor of the NY Times, discusses the free press and pursuing the truth.

More important than the people is the content. There are chapters on leadership and trust, empowering women, visual thought, the importance of art in society, ending poverty, cultures of creativity, the path of life, waves of change (in particular in the UAE), a girl in Afghanistan, and gathering skills. Amazing stuff. And they do a great job with the book display--fairly short and readable chapters and with pictures of each author. Some 623 pages.

I will never get a chance to write with such people again. Boy I feel dumb now! Kick-kick-kick!!! Ouch! Cannot sleep. I am so stupid!”

Ok, I woke up this morning and found out from Paul Mace that there will be a Volume 2 in the spring that I can write for. And they will be revising Volume #1 in the next few weeks and I could perhaps have an article in there. Choices, choices...but no more kicks. Wow, I get a second chance. Now what to write on? What could I say that could ever approach Jimmy Carter or Kofi Annan? This may take some thinking!!! Perhaps a piece on sharing and open educational resources. Perhaps. It is the most important trend in education since I entered the field more than 20 years ago. Stop kicking, Curt, and start writing.
Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 11:06 AM  
  • At 9:28 AM, Blogger Guohua said…

    Good to read it, Curt. I think your article titled "Sharing…the Journey" is well written. I can't help resonating with what you say about sharing - a giving and taking process. Indeed, with unique instructional and learning environemnts afforded by Web 2.0, sharing is going to grow exponentially - now that people of any age, gender, nationality, religion can participate, any time anywhere.

    As an instructional designer working with faculty members on course development, I see that increasingly, sharing is accepted and practiced by faculty members in their instructional practice. At the same time, though, some faculty would stick to their traditional way of teaching and felt good about it. They were accustomed to their way of teaching and did not see why they need to change. Your article may help them see the benefits of sharing.

  • At 4:39 PM, Blogger Curt Bonk said…

    Yes, sharing is more welcome today Guohua. And, thus, it is more a part of life as a college instructor. It is now who we are. And as that occurs, we can see more perspectives on teaching and hopefully internalize some of them!

Post a Comment
<< Home
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.

See my complete profile

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.

Recent Posts
Popular Posts
Powered by

Free Blogger Templates