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An Open Letter to the Learners of This Planet: A Postscript to The World Is Open
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Update on "The World is Open" E-book Extension, Prequel, and Postscript:I am still working on the e-book that extends my new book, The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. It will have the same chapter sequence and length, but different content. I am currently working on Chapter 11 of 12. It is on "networks of personalized learning." I finished a solid draft of Chapter 10 on mobile and ubiquitous learning late last night and sent it on for copyediting. The final 2 chapters may take me a while given my upcoming speaking schedule. Not sure when the e-book extension will appear now. But it is starting to take shape. My colleague, Dr. Grace Lin, and I are also working on some reflection and discussion questions for the book. The Web resources and references for both the hardcover and e-book extension are posted to the WorldisOpen book website (more Web resources will be added soon).

I also wrote a short prequel (8,900 word) and a postscript (3,800 word). The prequel is posted but is being modified and updated. A couple of people are doing final proofing of it now (I hope to have the new version of the prequel up in early October). The postscript is finalized and posted. It is in the form of an open letter to the learners of this planet. It will also be published in a book for the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates. The reference is below. Near the end of that article, I list 10 learner rights and 10 learner responsibilities in this new age of learning. I pull them out and list them below. See what you think.

Bonk, C. J. (in press, for October 2009). An Open Letter to the Learners of This Planet, A Postscript to The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. In T. A. Kamali (Ed.), Higher Colleges of Technology 22nd Anniversary Anthology. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: HCT Press.

I have permission to repost it. A snippet from ending section of that article is below:

This is your learning world. You have the right to learn where, when, what, and how you want as well as from the people who fit your learning needs. Throughout history, billions of humans have lived and died on this planet. None of those who left this world prior to the end of 1999 had the learning resources you now possess. Not a soul!

Keep in mind that you do not even need Internet access to benefit from the explosion of Web content and learning technologies. All that is required is for you to live in a community that has an organization or institution that is connected to or touched by the Internet. People from around the world can give their time, talents, and money to it; often making their contributions or commitments from a Web page or link. As this happens, we all learn.

Learner Rights
Learners of any century need rights, but this is especially true for learners of this century. As we push into the technology-rich twenty-first century, you—the learners of this planet—can see your rights crystallizing before your eyes. I suggest that we all have the following ten learner-related rights:

1. The right to learn when and how you want in a learning environment that is personally safe and comfortable.
2. The right to access any content you need at any time you need it.
3. The right to learn from the best educators and learning guides on the planet as well as from as many instructors as you so choose.
4. The right to help others learn.
5. The right to share your learning-related discoveries and ideas with others (such as experts, peers, instructors, friends, and family) for their prompt and candid feedback.
6. The right to self-monitor your learning progress as well as obtain feedback from others on that progress.
7. The right to share content that you create as well as comment on or evaluate the educational resources that you find.
8. The right to form groups of individuals or learning communities with similar learning interests and experiences to discuss, debate, and extend such ideas while finding personal learning identity and meaning.
9. The right to create new tools, materials, and resources to facilitate your own learning as well as that of others.
10. The right to teach, train, tutor, and mentor others using Web tools and resources.

These are the inalienable rights for learners in this century, a time period when we are inundated with seemingly limitless learning opportunities. Each of these rights is easier to visualize, support, and actualize with Web technologies. With these ten rights in place, cultures and people can advance in more harmonious ways and at a much quicker pace than in the past. We can learn whatever we want with whomever we want at the times and places that we want.

Learner Responsibilities
Along with learner rights regarding Web technology, we also have responsibilities. Among these are the following ten learner-related ones:

1. The responsibility to take ownership for our own learning when and where appropriate to do so.
2. The responsibility to seek out the most accurate and credible information while questioning and examining online information and knowledge in a critical and reflective manner.
3. The responsibility to dialogue with children or any other unseasoned learner about how to evaluate the quality of the educational content found online.
4. The responsibility to contribute to the learning of others in a productive and humane way.
5. The responsibility to educate others about the learning potential of the Web—to show them how to contribute to the Web and how to receive learning from it.
6. The responsibility to seek help when online tools and resources are overwhelming or frustrating.
7. The responsibility to respect those who provide meaningful educational content and tools, and all the teachers, trainers, tutors, mentors, and learning guides you encounter in your online learning quests and queries.
8. The responsibility to test and experiment with new learning resources and discuss and report on their utility with others.
9. The responsibility to report online educational resources that are inappropriate or potentially harmful (as well as the people who placed them there).
10. The responsibility to think about how online educational materials can benefit those beyond your household, neighborhood, community, or region of the world to your global brothers and sisters who have different educational and cultural backgrounds, needs, opportunities, and supports.

So, those are your rights and responsibilties as a learner in the twenty-first century as I see them. Do you agree? Do you want to add to the list or modify anything? You have a right and perhaps a responsibility to do so. That is just a piece of the postscript. You might want to read more of it.

I hope to post the revised prequel, "Sharing...the Journey" this coming week or next. I was hoping to blog post on the prequel first but it is taking slightly longer than I expected. In the meantime, you might check out the postscript and my "Open Letter to the Learners of This Planet."
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We're Talking EdTechTalk Tonight...
Saturday, September 19, 2009
If anyone is interested, my friend Jeff Lebow from Worldbridges
(initially called "World Explorer") will be interviewing me about my World is Open book tonight in EdTechTalk. This will be Sunday night September 20th at 8 pm New York time.

Jeff is a firm believer in intercultural interaction, open source forms of collaboration, respect and civility, and world identity. Online Webcasts are one way for people to see different and multiple perspectives around the planet. Hence, this should be a fun interview. In EdTechTalk he brings people in to discuss emerging technologies and trends.

You can look up your time at this link. Jeff will archive the session in case you miss it. If you are there, be sure to ask a question.
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The Jossey-Bass Online Teaching & Learning (OTL) Conference Online October 6-8, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Upcoming Jossey-Bass Online Teaching and Learning Conference:

My publisher Jossey-Bass (JB) (an imprint of Wiley) has asked me to post a note to my blog about their upcoming online conference on October 7th and 8th, 2009. There will also be a special pre-conference workshop, hosted by Fielding Graduate University, which will be held on October 6, 2009. I am the keynote speaker on the final day (Thursday October 8th) from 1:00 to 1:50 pm eastern time (EST). In that talk, I will be discussing my new book, The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. Here is a link to my talk.

Conference Registration and History/Overview:
The conference title is the "Jossey-Bass Online Teaching and Learning Conference" (OTL2009). It costs $260 ($239 if you register before September 19th) and this code will give you an additional $20 off (cbk4b); so as cheap as $219 if you do it this week. The conference program looks interesting.

In these days of budget shortfalls, I am sure that many people will prefer an online conference. Jossey-Bass (JB) says that the speakers are "over 20 of the field's most well-respected practitioners and authors." Or perhaps 19 famous folks and little ol' me. Many of them are JB authors. Hence, this is good exposure to people writing about teaching with technology without having to fly or drive somewhere. I doubt if these 20 people were ever in one place or space before or ever will be again.

From what I hear, this is the third year of the conference and it has always been online. They had perhaps 300-400 the first year and I think 600-700 the second year. So perhaps they will get to 1,000 this year. Hard to say. I was sent an email today that said that this year there is an option for Continuing Education Credits. More added bonuses are noted below.

The Program and Some Topics:
The topics include "Learning Online with Games, Simulations, & Virtual Worlds" with my friend Clark Aldrich. Jonathan Finkelstein (who is helping me with my session) will talk about Producing Great Podcasts. Also making an appearance are my amazing friends from Calgary, Randy Garrison and Norm Vaughan talking about "Recent Developments in Blended Learning in Higher Education." They have a cool new book on blended learning, Blended Learning in Higher Education: Recent Developments and Implications for Practice. It is much more applied and lighter (easier to carry around AND use) than my Handbook of Blended Learning; Global Perspectives, Local Designs from 2006.

In addition, Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt, who seem to be everywhere (and perhaps are), will do a preconference workshop on the 6th on "10 Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Own Professional Development." They will have a conference talk on the 7th on "Assessing the Online Learner: Resources and Strategies for Faculty" and on the 8th on "Collaborating Online: Learning Together in Community Online." They have books on everything imaginable in the online teaching and learning field. Rena and Keith were the first to lead us into this field with practical guides.

There are many other great speakers as well as podcasts you can listen to from the likes of Stephen Brookfield (Discussion as a Way of Teaching), Raymond Wlodkowski & Margery Ginsberg (Diversity and Motivation), and Rita-Marie Conrad and J. Ana Donaldson (Engaging the Online Learner: Activities and Resources for Creative Instruction). There is even a scheduled Happy Hour from 4:30 to 5:00 pm on Wednesday afternoon October 7th.

Three Book Bonus:
Those who register will receive their choice of any of 3 books from 8 that are offered. Free! Here are some of them:

1. Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds: Strategies for Online Instruction
by Clark Aldrich

2. Assessing the Online Learner: Resources and Strategies for Faculty
by Rena M. Palloff and Keith Pratt

3. Using Wikis for Online Collaboration: The Power of the Read-Write Web
by James A. West and Margaret L. West

Notice that my book is not in there. It is ok...remember I am currently writing a free e-book extension of The World is Open (TWIO) book with the same chapter sequence but different content. This will come out in a couple of months. Working on chapter 10 of 12 now. The WorldisOpen Website also has tons of resources and references from both books and a free prequel and postscript.

Recap and Contact Information:
So let's recap this conference a bit. You will get to meet 20 authors in live interactive keynote and workshop sessions, learn concrete and practical resources to help in higher education teaching and learning, network with hundreds of global colleagues, listen to special bonus podcasts, access archived session information at any time after the conference, learn from leaders in the field, and get 3 free books. Sounds like a pretty good assortment of activities. In some corporate conferences or face-to-face events you pay this amount or even more for just one or two speakers. See the conference flier for more details.

If you have questions, JB can be contacted by e-mail: or by Telephone: 888.222.9749 (in US & Canada). 212.420.6052 (outside US & Canada)

Hope you get a chance to enjoy the conference. See some of you on October 8th. Remember, the world is now open to do so!
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The World is an Open List: Especially 100+ Item Free Education Lists
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Yesterday, Powell's Books Blog people posted a guest blog post that I did for them. The title of the post is: The World is an Open List: Especially 100+ Item Free Education Lists. In it, I discuss how we are living in a world of lists. And this world of lists is not just detailing the world's best vacations, diet plans, sports figures, or movies of the year. Today such lists are common on the world of education; especially open education. We have lists of the top 100 OpenCourseWare sites or top 100 free websites for learning. There are also the top 100 podcasts from universities or top 100 educational blogs. And there are summary lists on ways to teach online as well as educational applications of tools like Twitter and Second Life.

So much is available for educators and students today! I also talk about free e-books and related e-book lists. In the end, I link it all back to my World is Open book. Enjoy my blog post to Powell's Books Blog. Powell's is very popular in places like Portland, Oregon. It is an independent bookstore there. I found it at the Portland International Airport back at the end of June.
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The World is Open on the Radio--Perhaps even a little red Sinclair Transistor Radio
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
What a hectic day! That has been my life since my book was released in early July. Just trying to catch my breath each day. This time I am talking radio. Yes, radio. Something I loved growing up as a kid in West Allis, Wisconsin (street address was "2468" who do we appreciate? Yes, that was the address believe it or not.). Basically this is the near west or southwest side of Milwaukee. So I just say I am from Milwaukee. Nice city, but I will likely never live there again.

Back when I was like 7, 8, or 9 years old, I had a lovely red Sinclair transistor radio. I listened to it when fishing with my dad or my Grandma and Grandpa Goronja, swinging on the swing in my backyard (with a big ol' pine tree next to me), or sitting in my room. Lots of British invasion and Bubble Gum music. Let's see, there were the Rolling Stones (still around), Beatles, Scott McKenzie (telling me and everyone else to move to San Francisco), the Kinks, Cream, and Eric Clapton (with various groups..he's still around too), as well as Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, the Moody Blues, The Who, Procol Harem, Eric Burden and the Animals (also speaking about San Franciscan Nights, the Hollies, The Turtles, the Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder (still around), Donovan, the Yardbirds, the Association, the Spencer Davis Group, and soon Led Zeppelin, the Guess Who, Ozzy Osborn and his group Black Sabbath as well as Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) and Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) and sometime later, the E-Learning Gang (ELG...Was that a group?). That little radio was my life line to the world beyond our little red brick house. It made me more globally aware.

Here is a picture of what one looked like. Memories! Here is a pic with the carrying case and ear plugs. So cool!

I had that so long ago. Wow. The Web is so cool. Lots of emotions rush through my body when I see it again. It has been decades. It lasted a good long time. In those days, when technology died you really struggled with throwing it away. Not today I guess.

Ok, now to the connection and why I am blogging. In my last blog post, I discussed the Mission to Learn website and podcasted interview about my book, The World Is Open (TWIO): How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. Podcasts are great and something I could not listen to on my Sinclair Dino Supreme gas pump transistor radio. Sure, I used that radio for music, but today, it would be for information such as on NPR; that is, assuming I was not listening to an audiobook in the CD player.

During the past 4-5 weeks, I have been on many radio shows talking about the TWIO book. Now these I could have listened to on my little red radio. These shows have included Wisconsin Public Radio (twice; including a show called “To the Best of Our Knowledge”), the USA Radio Network (twice; including “Point of View” with John Clemens and sent to over 1,000 stations), and yesterday I did Media Tracks Communications show called "Viewpoints" for 360 stations). There have been shows in Manchester, NH/Boston area, Greenville, South Carolina, San Diego, Grand Rapids, and North Carolina.

Today I was on a panel for online education for a station in Louisville, Kentucky. This show was archived already. Several other ones too. So I thought I would share the links to the 7 archived shows (so far) in case you wanted to listen to any of them. I really liked the San Diego NPR interview which is #4 below. Other people I have been talking to really think that one went great. I also liked the 2nd one on Wisconsin Public Radio since it played in my home state and my Aunt Rosemary, my brother-in-law Chuck Maas, and others heard it.

The first one I did back on July 23rd (#7 below), I could not hear the interviewer well once the studio went live. His voice went faint on my phone and so I just had to go with the flow and sorta hear him as best I could. But Dr. Alvin Jones was a great interviewer and does many famous author books. It was an honor to be on his show. On the 1st one listed below, I think I went a bit fast (the show in Louisville) but I think it went well overall. There were two other panelists who joined me to discuss online learning.

So here they far.

Archived Radio Shows on "The World is Open" (TWIO) book and related topics:
1. September 1, 2009, Louisville, Kentucky, Length: 50 Minutes: Radio interview for “State of Affairs/Studio 619” show with Julie Kredens, interview on "World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education,” panel discussion, and call in show panel with Allen Lind, Vice President for Information and Technology, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and Diane Calhoun-French, Provost, Jefferson Community and Technical College, WFPL.

Archived audio:

MP3 Audiostreaming:

3. August 19, 2009, Madison, Wisconsin, Length: 50 Minutes: Radio interview for “Conversations with Joy Cardin,” Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR).

Archived podcast:

Stream with Real Player:

3. August 19th, 2009, Grand Rapid, Michigan, Length: 9 Minutes: Radio interview for “Morning Show with Shelley Irwin,” Shelley Irwin and Kevin Chapman, WGVU-AM/FM (NPR).

MP3 Audiostreaming:

4. August 18, 2009, San Diego, California, Length: 24 minutes: Radio interview for “These Days” show with Maureen Cavanaugh, Hank Crook, “Internet is Increasing Access to Education Around the World,” KPBS 89.5 FM.

Interview transcript and podcast:

Audiosteam with Windows Media Player:

5. August 5th, 2009, Boston, Massachusetts, Length: 31 Minutes: Radio interview for “LifeTips Radio.” Amanda Smyth, Boston, MA. Archived and available.

Archived Podcast:

MP3 Audiostreaming:

6. July 29, 2009, Southport, Connecticut, Length: 2 Minutes: Taped radio interview about “The World Is Open” book on radio program, “Something You Should Know,” Mike Carruthers.

Audio Transcript:
MP3 Audiostream:

Direct to Real Player:

7. July 23, 2009, Oxford, North Carolina, Length: 8 Minutes: Live interview about “The World Is Open” book on the Paradise Radio Network WCBQ-AM 1340, WHNC-AM, by Dr. Alvin Augustus Jones.

Archived Podcast with Windows Media Player:

Direct Link to MP3 Audiostreaming:

So there you have it; of the dozen or so radio shows wherein I have been interviewed on the TWIO book, these 7 radio programs have archived the audio and a few included the transcript. More will be posted soon as I try to keep this page up-to-date. You can find most of these and more in my "The World is Open" book website under "Media Interviews."

Give a listen. See what you think. Which one do you like best? Seems much interest in the book. So, in effect, the World is Open on the radio.

Wish i was an 8 year old kid again listening to such shows on my little red Sinclair transistor radio. Wish I still swinging on that swing in West Allis, Wisconsin.
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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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