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The World is Open for a Reason: No, Make that 30 Reasons!
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Lots of online learning news in the online Chronicle of Higher Education today including an article from an Education Department report that showed that online learning may have better results than face-to-face learning. This is a meta-analysis of the research on online and blended learning. What is interesing to me is that of the 1,100 or so odd relevant empirical studies they found from 1996 to 2008, only 46 had "sufficient data to compute or estimate 51 independent effect sizes."

T.H.E. Journal picked up this story as well showing the importance of blended learning today. In fact, T.H.E. cites U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, saying that "This new report reinforces that effective teachers need to incorporate digital content into everyday classes and consider open-source learning management systems, which have proven cost effective in school districts and colleges nationwide." This appeared in a statement that came out with the release of the report. So now he suggests the need to expand broadband access and online learning to more communities across the U.S.

If that story makes ya yawn or is old news, David Wiley had a highly interesting and apparently somewhat controversial piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education as well about "The Parable of the Inventor and the Trucker." This one generated much discusion. See the comments below the article. I will side with David. See my eLearn Magazine article noted below for why that is that case.

While all this was going on, AACE (The Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education) announced a new Social Media Seminar Series. George Siemens and David Cormier will be offering monthly sessions the 2nd Tuesday of each month. AACE also announced a social networking group in Ning for the E-Learn Conference in Vancouver in October. I joined in to bring the total to 17 people. I am sure it will soon have hundreds like the AACE created back in February for a virtual conference. There was also a Ning group for Ed Media last week in Honolulu. Ed Media was fun. E-Learn will return to Hawaii in 2011. I am counting down the days already.

Then late this afternoon, I had an article published in eLearn Magazine about online sharing that might be of interest. The article includes 10 reasons why institutions and organizations share educational content online as well as 10 why instructors share. It ends with 10 why learners would use any of it—-especially those currently unemployed. Wrapped around those three lists is an explanation of how I came to write my book, The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education (a brief 4 year running history of how it came to be) as well as bit of the field of OpenCourseWare and the open educational resource (OER) movement.

Note that this article was written first as ideas in my TravelinEdMan blog a month or so ago. Then I expanded it for the upcoming free e-book extension of my "The World is Open" book. Now the bulk of it is in this eLearn piece.

Here is the reference: Bonk, C. J. (2009, July). The World is Open for a Reason: No, Make that 30 Reasons! eLearn Magazine. Available: and

So if anyone asks why people share online content, you can now perhaps cite 30 reasons. At the very least, you should have 2 or 3 now. perhaps that will be enough.

That should give you enough to read today. It was enough for me. Now printing the Education Department report. Time for a late night run. What a day!
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 7:24 PM  
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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.

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.

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