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).

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Online Language Learning Follow-Up Articles and Discount Coupon for my R2D2 (100+ Online Activities) Book
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Two months ago I blogged on an article in the New York Times related to online language learning where I was quoted. Here is a reminder of it: “Learning from a native speaker, without leaving your home,” by Anne Eisenberg, February 17, 2008.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/17/business/17novel.html?_r=2&ref=business&oref=slogin&oref=slogin#

During the past two months, my blog post on online language learning (and that article) has gotten thousands of hits. In fact, it is perhaps my post popular blog post since I started blogging. Not sure. Here is the link to the that blog post:
http://travelinedman.blogspot.com/2008/02/new-york-times-article-on-online.html

This syndicated article reappeared in many places such as International Herald Tribune: “Language lessons could be just a click away,” http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/17/technology/novel.php

And the Deccan Herald in India, “Learning a language over a cup of mocha.”
http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Mar202008/dheducation2008031958318.asp

I was then interviewed for two other follow-up stories that appeared on online language learning the following month (March):

First, I was interviewed for “The Review,” University of Delaware student paper, article called “Livemocha,” by Maddie Thomas, March 7, 2008,
http://media.www.udreview.com/media/storage/paper781/news/2008/03/07/News/Web-Site.Provides.Opportunity.To.Learn.Foreign.Languages.From.Native.Speakers-3257378.shtml

If you are interested in college views on language learning, read that piece. But it is short.

Next, a writer for Edutopia (from the George Lucas Education Foundation (GLEF)) got in touch with me, “Word up: Bringing the world’s languages to your classroom.” By Laila Weir, March 11, 2008, see http://www.edutopia.org/online-language-resources

If you are interested in K-12 views on language learning, read that piece. This article is much more elaborate and includes additional online language learning resources and other information. Laila Weier, a freelance writer from Santiago, Chile, starts with the article with the paragraph: “One of the biggest challenges for foreign language teachers is to expose their students to authentic speech by native speakers. Another is to immerse them in the culture of the language they're studying when that culture may be half a world away. But in our expanding digital age, it's increasingly easy to connect live with overseas students, find related videos and audio clips, and discover examples of living language online -- all free.”

Laila is right. The resources my research team and I have compiled (see next blog post) confirm that immersion in a language can now happen online. There are many pedagogical possibilities with these online language tools and resources. In fact, this past week I tried some out in Mixxer with a tutor from Taiwan who taught me a few words for my next trip to China or Taiwan. I wrote that up in a story for my next book. In fact, I have written extensively on the topic of online language learning in the book I am writing, “The World is Open: Now, WE-ALL-LEARN with Web Technology.” It is almost an entire chapter. I also have a few language learning ideas in the book I have coming out with Dr. Ke Zhang around July 4, 2008. Here is the book:

Bonk, C. J., & Zhang, K. (in press). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Preorders are here:
http://www.amazon.com/Empowering-Online-Learning-Activities-Reflecting/dp/0787988049/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204843496&sr=8-1

R2D2 is more a problem solving wheel or process than a learning style method. It is a way to rethink your online teaching activities and how you are addressing diverse learner needs. You can see a visual of the R2D2 model here:
http://www.publicationshare.com/#b

Ke Zhang and I compiled a comprehensive list of Web resources in each of the chapters. Jossey Bass gave permission to post these to the Web. The Web resources discussed in the R2D2 book can be found at (they are organized by Phase of the R2D2 model, and, in effect, by chapter of the book):
http://www.trainingshare.com/resources/12Reference.htm

If you want to order through Jossey-Bass instead of Amazon, you can get a discount form for 20 percent off here:
http://www.publicationshare.com/Bonk_Empowering%20Online%20Learning.pdf

There are also discount forms off my homepage:
http://mypage.iu.edu/~cjbonk/

I will close with a book endorsement I just got via email from my good friend Thiagi:

"I have a library full of books on e-learning and most of them are vague, theoretical, and lengthy. I like Curt and Ke's book because it gives me freedom and flexibility. I can open to any page and discover something that is immediately applicable to the e-learning that I am designing." (from Dr. Sivasailam "Thiagi" Thiagarajan, president, Thiagi Group, and author, Design Your Own Games and Training Activities)

Thanks Thiagi! It is always a fun advenure to explore Thiagi's Website at: http://www.thiagi.com/. Lots of free stuff and ideas to be found stuff there.

Hope you find some ideas in the R2D2 book (Empowering Online Learning) for your teaching; especially language learning ones. There should be tons of ideas for K-12, higher education, and military, government, and corporate training.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 11:24 AM  
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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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