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The World is Open on WGN TV and Chicago and Milwaukee Public Radio
Saturday, November 14, 2009
In the stories below, I am recapping events from this week (mainly being on TV in Chicago on Tuesday) as well as four weeks ago when I was on 4 radio shows in one day. They all link together somehow as part of my World is Open fall book tour. As I added pictures, this blog post got much longer than the 1-2 paragraphs that I had intended. To watch me on WGN TV in Chicago, scroll down to the bold section. Hope you enjoy.

Chicago WGN TV and Chicago Public Radio:
Tuesday was a highly unique day in my life. Got up at 3:55 am in order to drive to the Indianapolis airport and fly to Chicago where I would be on WGN TV Midday show later that day. I flew back the same day. Between interesting taxicab rides and sitting in the cafeteria for 3-4 hours waiting to go on the show and then sitting in the airport for 3 more hours waiting for my flight, it made for a particularly long day.

Fortunately, there was intermittant Internet access that kept my mind occupied when stuck in the cafeteria. After being at Chicago Public Radio a few weeks earlier on Navy Pier in downtown Chicago with a gorgeous view, this was quite different. See pictures from Chicago Public Radio below. LISTEN TO RADIO SHOW: If interested in that earlier show, you can listen to either the audio stream or the MP3 link. I recommend the MP3 link since the audio stream is currently down.

This is a picture or two of the area near Chicago Public Radio:

Walking back to my hotel (the "W" hotel is in the distance):

And this is a picture of Navy Pier from my hotel room:

WGN is on the near north side of Chicago in a highly secure facility that was reminiscent of my days working in factories in Milwaukee. I was soon reminded why I do not fit in a corporate setting and why academia is preferable. Each person walking in and out must swipe their card to get access to the building. They have set times, places, and meetings. I really do not like set schedules or mandates on my time. I need my freedom to learn, to teach, and to live.

The WGN guard laughed at me for showing up so early. But, given existing plane schedules, I really had no choice. For the entire morning I could watch the comings and goings of many people. But, as with Chicago Public Radio, they were extremely polite and helpful people. When I was finally called in for my appearance, a make-up person took care of my shiny nose. Then after a short bathroom break, I was escorted quickly to the set. The production people placed a microphone on my tie and we did a sound check. After a brief chat with Steve Sanders, the WGN anchor who was about to interview me, we were on the air (the picture below is of the set).

The questions came relatively fast and I responded to them as succinctly as I could. Much of it is stuff people who have heard me speak or who have read my "The World Is Open" book already know. But it went pretty well overall. Steve Sanders said he really liked the interview and the book. After signing the book Steve had, he soon left the room. Allison Payne, the other anchor, remained and I got my picture with her. The first picture was fuzzy but the second was pretty good (see below).

It was great to meet Steve and Allison Payne whom I had seen on TV many times before. Looks like this particular show may have made it to some cable stations not just Chicago (WGN 8). If I had been on 20 minutes later, it would have been on WGN America (national). I am just happy to have had this opportunity. So I took another interesting taxi ride back to the airport (my driver had liked to go fast as he could). And with that, my 4-5 minutes on TV was now over. WATCH TV CLIP: You can watch the show: either the video only or read the story and the video.

What wonderful experience! I say this despite the papers sticking out of my suitcoat at the end. Smile.

Milwaukee Area Radio:
Three days later (November 13, 2009--yesterday), an interview I had done for Wisconsin Public Radio (WUWM-FM 89.7 FM) appeared. The particular show I was on was called "Lake Effect” and the interviewer was Mitch Teich. He too asked about my “The World Is Open” book. LISTEN TO RADIO SHOW: The show I was on had various participants but you can just listen to my segment if you want. Compared to the Chicago Public Radio interview, the audio seems fast for both Mitch and me (especially at the beginning). Not sure what happened.

This interview was important to me since Milwaukee is my hometown. I wonder if anyone I grew up with or worked with back in the day was listening to it. Anyone from high school? How about St. Matthias grade school? Some pictures I took in the studio are below.

Here is a picture of Mitch in the studio:

I had fun in this one:

It was so satisfying to be in Milwaukee. All those years or driving downtown through rush hour traffic watching my father head off to work at AT&T and Wisconsin Bell. Now, here I was downtown once again but not to work. Instead, I was there for a book interview. And, in contrast to the early elementary teachers who questioned my ability to read and write, it was a book that I wrote.

The same day of that interview in Milwaukee, I also was on a radio station in Racine, Wisconsin (WRJN-AM 1400 AM). I was on the “Afternoon Show” with Pete Ferrand. Again we discussed my book. This was a full hour show with call in. It too was quite fun! See pics below.

About three hours after the Racine radio show, I was on a program from Mequon (a Northeast suburb of Milwaukee) called Dresser after Dark. Dresser after Dark is part of the IRA/USA Radio Network. It is hosted by Michael Dresser.

Doing this particular one was interesting since this was not a live show nor was I required to be in the studio. I could call in remotely, though I would have been happy to drive over to Mequon since it had been a long time since I was last there. It is an upscale part of Milwaukee. So, instead of driving there, I called from my mom's house. I told my brother, Richard, to be quiet. Amazingly, he was. I even offered him a $20 and then $40 to behave and he turned it down and pouted and went to his room.

But my mom was not so quiet. Within a few minutes of the interview with Michael Dresser, my mom turned on the TV full blast (she wears a hearing aid or I should say multiple ones) since she is basically deaf without them. Then, as I wandered downstairs, she started doing dishes and banged her pots and pans. I lost my concentration. Of course, the house chimes also went off; they go off every 15 minutes. Loud ding! Ding! Ding! And not just three times. Oh my.

It was the worst interview of the day (from my perspective--still not too bad). But to be on 4 radio shows in one day (Chicago Public Radio, Milwaukee Public Radio, Racine, and now Mequon), albiet 2 of them were taped and 2 live, it made for one very interesting day. Dirving in the rain and through miles of highway construction was not fun, however. Chicago went the best. It was so cool to be there. They prepped with me the night before. Milwaukee was cool too--I had a chance to take more pictures in their studio. And I also got a chance to walk in both downtown Chicago and Milwaukee the same day. As noted below, the next day, I was walking in downtown Madison as well as the UW-Madion campus.

Off to Madison for Two Webinars:
The following day I did a couple of Webinars for Magna Publications in Madison, Wisconsin. These talks were targeted for higher education people interested in online and blended learning. I talked about both my "World is Open" book ideas (the book had just come out in July) an my R2D2 and TEC-VARIETY mdels (my Empowering Online Learning/RD2 book had come out the prevous July. Here are those 2 talks:

1. The Flat World Swung Open: Now WE-ALL-LEARN with Web Technology
2. Creatively Engaging Online Students: Models and Activities

DOWNLOAD TALK PDFs: You can download PDF copies of the PowerPoints from those talks at my archived talks site. When you click, look for the October 16, 2009 talks.

Both of these went very well (So well, that Bill Haight, Magna President and Founder, gave me tickets for the Wisconsin Badger Homecoming game for the following day. I am an alum so I gladly took them. To be honest, he told me about the tickets before the show.). It was quite exciting to be in Madison during homecoming weekend.

A couple of pictures with Chris Hill and Kate Stover from Magna are below. As you can see, after five different shows in 2 days, I was getting the hang of it. I love having a mic in front of me. Ham? Yes. Sure. Why not?

Chris was a great host for the show we did. He read the data from the polling questions we received as well as the questions from the audience at the end. He also did the introductions an closings for each Webinar.

As with all my stops, Magna people were great. I also love Madison since I went to graduate school there.

I do like the camera! I will be back at Magna in Madison on December 14th for a couple of K-12 Webinars. One will be on blended learning and H1N1. I did not think I would have to be a swine flu expert. But apparently so.

How can you not love Madison? Here are some pictures from Lake Mendota and the UW union area as well as homecoming with Michael Thomas (a former student) and Bill Haight (the owner of Magna Publications). We had a great time that day, despite the Wisconsin loss.

Indiana does not have a terrace with a view like this. Nor does IU allow beer.

When I was a young kid, my father took me ice fishing on this lake and it was cold!

The Rathskeller in the UW union (a fine place for a beer):

Katrina Liu, Mike Thomas' student, shows off her Badger pride at an alumni homecoming event.

Homecoming parade! A tad cold but not bad.

My sister, Cathy (from Oshkosh), and brother, Tom (from Syracuse, NY), were home at mom's after the football game so I drove back to Milwaukee. It was great to see every one. Only my sister, Ann, was missing. (Note: Richard and Cathy are in the front row, while Tom and I are in the back.)

Ok, that recaps this past week on TV and radio plus a few earlier radio shows as well. Many of these gigs were obtained by my publicist, Meryl Moss and her crew. Meryl did a great job getting the book some PR. Her work for me is done now. I will miss her.

I recommend TV and radio to anyone still reading this long blog post. Radio is a blast. And you typically have more time than with TV. So much is possible when you have extra time. The interviewer can lead you into so many exciting and thought provoking directions. Fun! Perhaps when the e-book extension comes out (i.e., "The World Is More Open) more such things will arise. I hope so.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 6:42 PM  
  • At 9:16 AM, Blogger The Svitaks said…

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and insights. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Looking forward to reading the e-book of the world is more open!

  • At 2:51 AM, Blogger daniel john said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 9:15 AM, Blogger kimberly said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 5:43 AM, Blogger Lanthanum said…

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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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