Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, There's a "Mission to Learn" After All
| Friday, August 28, 2009
|Sometimes life brings you to a mirror. You look in that mirror and ponder what if. There are times you think, ok, I really like this mirror. It all turned out pretty well. There are many other times, you could just as soon chuck it. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the ugliest of them all?
If the mirror is not about physical appearance, but instead about thought or ideas, you begin to think about all those years that led you to a particular perspective, opinion, or point of view. Anyone who comes to the same conclusions as you or seems to have similar points of view is immediately suspect. That is a given. How can he or she have the same idea or thoughts? Well, anyone can. We all distill our information from the endless sea of possibilities out there. With 6.7+ billion people, someone is bound to have found a similar life purpose or mission.
And so it is with Mission To Learn. What a wonderful concept about the human species! Learning is not just about K-12 situations or learning for credit of some kind. It should not wait until one gets to a college or university setting nor should it end with that. Learning is lifelong and all environments we enter are learning venues; including grocery or department stores, summer cabins, bookstores, cafes, sports arenas, and airplanes. It is time that we stepped back, looked in the mirrors around us, and realized that.
Too often learning is compartmentalized. You teach or learn in K-12 settings and only are concerned with that. Or you are college professors, university administrators, or instructional designers. If so, higher education becomes your audience or life mission. And then there are those who are totally focused on corporate training and employees who need perpetual reskilling. Ditto military training. Same is true of training and education in governmental and non-profit settings as well as healthcare ones. You may not think about it but there are also learning mission statements of libraries and museums. And so on. Each particular place has its overriding focus. We each exist in our own silos or bowl only in our own lanes with minimal interest (or time) in what is happening in the alleys right next to us. Once you mention adult education in a discussion with many in the K-12 world, the conversation often grinds to a halt. Ditto the reverse.
However, the one overriding principle is that all of us humans learn; young or old, rich or poor, male or female, etc. And with the world now open for learning, we all have many more avenues for learning and people to learn with. Today technology brings us all together to learn--with Twitter or Facebook posts, Ning groups, or projects in Google Docs. Learning is really becoming lifelong.
The labels we have as being in primary school or corporate training typically relate to our training or where our funding comes from. Even our departmental housing. But, with the emergence of Web technology and the tools for collaboration and communication, we are all teachers of the world today as well as learners within it. Our colleagues, students, friends, teachers, mentors, tutors, etc., are global ones. They are all helping you on your mission to learn.
Now we have a movement with exactly that name. Yes, "Mission to Learn" exists. According to the "About" section of the Mission to Learn website, Mission to Learn is a destination for lifelong learners in a hyper-connected, information-overloaded world. Our view is that learning is not just about courses, or schools, or teachers. In fact, we’re not all that concerned here with formal learning or professional development. Learning happens everywhere, all the time, and the Web has exploded the possibilities for all of us to reach our full potential through learning."
And so Mission to Learn seems to be stating what I have noted in my The World Is Open book. The Web has really changed things. We are more connected as a species and much more learning focused than in the past. Informal forms of learning are pervasive, continual, and increasing in importance. They are life itself. I explored the website and it is as if I am looking in a mirror. A pleasant sort of mirror at that.
Mission to Learn is the brainchild of Jeff Cobb. Jeff interviewed me this week (see "Open Education, Open World, Podcast with Curt Bonk"). You can now read his blog post of August 26, 2009 on that interview and my book and listen to the audio or go directly to the MP3 from that session.
I had fun. Jeff is a great podcast show host. And he is looking to expand his mission, or I should say, his "Mission to Learn." You might become a member or subscriber. Like all such missions, it is free. You can get his Learning Monitor newsletter.
People like Jeff accurately argue that the Web is transforming education in front of our eyes. The natural instincts to learn are more and more apparent each day as we have dozens of downloadable documents to read, Web portals to browse, blog postings to discuss, wikis to collaborate on, and shared online videos to watch. We do not have to be in sixth grade to watch content from NASA TV, Discovery Channel Video, or National Geographic Video. And we do not need to be an adult to benefit from MIT World, SciVee, or hundreds of colleges and universities with channels in YouTube or YouTube Edu. Now we can select any of these learning options as well as hundreds of thousands of other ones at any time. You are free to learn.
Keep looking in the mirror. Someday you might come to see something fresh and new. There just might be a mission to learn in you that you did not recognize before. You can thank people like Jeff Cobb for that. I think the world is filled with such people. Thanks Jeff. Thanks for giving all of us a mission to learn.
Guest Blog Posts and Interviews for GETideas.org, TeachKnowLogist (from India), and Inside Higher Ed
| Wednesday, August 26, 2009
|I have not been posting much to my blog yet my fingers are sore from blogging. How can that be? Well, I have been doing many guest blog posts and interview responses. Here are 3-4 examples.
First, Catherine Shinners, Community Manager of GETideas.org contacted me. She has posted my new book, The World Is Open (TWIO), to their library and were profiling my work. That was a kind gesture. She soon asked if I could blog post for them. I said sure and started to write about K-12 leadership issues in the age of e-learning, open education, and the Web 2.0. On Monday, the first of a three-part blog post went up. It is titled, "Learning and Leadership in the Open Education Age (Part 1): Online and Web-Based Learning: 1990-2005."
On their Website, GETideas.org indicated that they want to support global education transformation with different partners, visionaries, and thought leaders from around the world. The site is supported by Cisco Systems, Inc. I may go out to the San Francisco area for an interview on my ideas in front of a live audience. We will see.
It was great to hear of this site and that there is corporate backing for it. Strategic initiatives like this can help people making sense of many changes happening around them.
Second, a week or two ago, my good friend Dr. Sanjaya Mishra of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)interviewed me for his blog TeachKnowLogist. He asked some insightful questions about my TWIO book. Sanjaya is the editor of the Asian Journal of Distance Education. And he works for what I think is the largest university on Planet Earth--IGNOU is approaching 2 million students. Wow! And Sanjaya is one of their stars! He has many books and articles in the field of educational technology. He will be one of workshop chair at the newly announced conference, Global Learn, which will be in Penang, Malaysia May 17-20, 2010.
Sanjaya posted this interview in a couple of different ways. It is text at his blog, "The World is Open" August 13, 2009. You can also listen to it as an archived audio file. And it can be streamed as an MP3 audio file. Always great to have multiple formats.
Listening to a written interview is interesting. I appreciate Sanjaya showing me that. I have now added that feature to this blog. You can subscribe to the podcasts or audio versions of my blog posts. The technology for this is coming from Odiogo. You can sign up. It is free! I recommend that you consider it.
Third, I was interviewed by Scott Jaschik from Inside Higher Ed about my TWIO book. It took me a while to respond. The interview post is, in fact, titled, The World is Open. Again these were great questions. It took a while to respond. It was posted yesterday morning. Much great feedback immediately came in.
I will also have a guest blog post at Powell's Books blog. It will have many links to learning openers which I discuss in my book. Now I need to write a guest blog post for the Faculty Focus newsletter from Magna Publications. Back soon.
Fingers getting sore!
New Book from AACE: "A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning"
| Monday, August 24, 2009
|Recapping E-Learning in Asia Book, Special Journal Issue, and Las Vegas Event:
Sorry again for not posting for a week. I have been posting elsewhere. Details to come soon.
Good news! Last week I received a book in the mail. It was a "special" book. I have been waiting patiently in anticipation of it. But special it is! In fact, it was titled: "A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning." This book is a print-on-demand book. It also also a "special" issue of the most recent issue of the International Journal on E-Learning, volume 8, number 4. The digital format of the journal is out in the AACE library but not the printed version yet. Ironically, the book is already out in both versions. Here is the citation:
Bonk, C. J., Lee, M. M., & Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.) (2009). A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. (see http://www.editlib.org/ebooks/ or http://www.editlib.org/p/32264 and http://aace.org)
You can order the electronic copy or the printed version of the book from the AACE digital library. The printed version (which I am recommending to you) is only $15. I think the e-book is cheaper. Below is the book cover. It is pretty special I think. Hope you agree. Tom Reynolds and I have wanted to do a book together for 20 years now. Finally!
Note: this was also a special journal issue: Bonk, C. J., Lee, M. M., & Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.) (2009). International Journal on E-Learning. 8(4). Special issue: A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning.
Some History or Overview:
This is not the first such review of e-learning in Asia. There was one over two years ago in the March 2007 special issue of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. That earlier issue was coordinated by my good friend Dr. Insung Jung from International Christian University in Japan. She titled that issue the “Changing Faces of Open and Distance Learning in Asia” (IRRODL, 8(1), 2007). In the opening article introducting that issue, Insung mentioned that, at that time, there were 70 universities within Asia dedicated to open access to education. And these were big ones. Really, really big ones! The supersized whoppers of the e-learning world. In fact, 7 of the 11 largest universities in the world were in Asia; each with over 100,000 students. Hence, why the world seemed to be tuning in to e-learning events in Asia. Much media as well as research attention.
Her special issue documented much e-learning attention and growth that was happening in Asia. In some coutries included in that issue, the governments and universities were experimenting with cross-border relationships and other unique partnerships. There were also places wherein the focus was on blended learning programs whicn combined self-study with online and face-to-face experiences as needed by the learner or dictated by the content. There was increasing focus on expanding access to content, greater course interactivity (i.e., less boring stuff), and customization and individualization of learning modules, courses, and programs. Of course, many digital divide issues remained as well as quality control, assessment, and plagiarism concerns.
E-Learning in Las Vegas (November, 2008):
As we read the articles in that issue, my colleagues, Tom Reynolds from National University in San Diego and Mimi Miyoung Lee from the University of Houston, and I were extremely impressed. Insung had gathered a highly unique group of people for her special issue. So excited by the vast changes happening in the Asia e-learning scene that Tom, Mimi, and I decided to conduct a special preconference session on e-learning in Asia at the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education in Las Vegas on November 17, 2008.
The three of us were the program chairs for the conference. So, we at least knew who to talk to (us...smile). Further impetus came from the conference founder and director, Dr. Gary Marks, who was encouraging us to do so. He too was excited by what he saw happening in terms of Asia e-learning. We quickly replied to him, sure, why not...Las Vegas is a special place in which to try this out. So we went and searched for the best people we could find. We found a dozen shooting stars! They were making many brilliant waves in their respective countries.
With a few Web searches, emails, MSN chats, and Skype calls, we soon set up a preconference symposium on e-learning in Asia for the E-Learn 2008 Conference in Las Vegas. We got many fascinating people to join us. Unfortunately, Insung Jung, herself, was not available at that time. Gary gave us a complete day for the symposium. And at the end of the day, we had dinner and saw a fantastic show in Vegas called Le Reve. What fun! See below.
We designed the day so that the symposium addressed a range of issues related to e-learning throughout Asia. During the event, we had a dozen different people showcase their e-learning research and program innovations within 10 different Asian countries. The countries that were represented were China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Turkey. Unfortunately, the representative from an eleventh country, Indonesia, had to cancel at the last minute due to administrative responsibilities back home. A picture of the participants is below.
Tom, Mimi, and I acted as the moderators and coordinators of these presentations and ensuing interactions among the participants as well as session discussants. Mimi wrapped up the day with her reactions. Tom posted what was happening to the conference blog. And I made sure we tried to end the session on time. We also were helped by Dr. Tom Reeves from the University of Georgia who attended the morning session but had his own workshop in the afternoon. He gave a quite lively and fun recap of the morning presentations. Tom also wrote the ending chapter of the special issue. A special thanks to Tom!
We had so much fun at the conference symposium during the day as well as the events that unfolded that night and throughout the conference, that we decided to do the special journal issue mentioned above. And, as noted, that special issue has now become a book. The countries included in the special issue book and journal are: Japan (2 chapters), Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Turkey; in that order. (Sidenote: Mimi, as a Korean native, indirectly represented that country. Tom and I foolishly attempted to represent Nepal and Bhutan, respectively, but were not successful--I am joking.)
Such is digital scholarship in the 21st century. So much is possible and quickly. The special issue includes a wide range of topics, concerns, and opportunities. Areas discussed in the various chapters include the impact of e-learning on students, new requirements for instructors, models for e-learning adoption and implementation, and the ways in which the Web 2.0 and other technologies are used within Asia for e-learning (in particular, the Japan and Singapore chapters). Some chapters also address motivation and retention issues, institutionally-sponsored research, e-portfolios, assessment and evaluation, administration and management, and future trends. See below for the table of contents (with names of the participants and their respective countries noted).
Preface: A Special Passage Through Asia E-Learning p. 9 Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi Miyoung Lee, and Thomas H. Reynolds
Opening Comments on E-Learning in Asia p. 17 Mimi Miyoung Lee
Digital Trends Among Japanese University Students: Podcasting and Wikis as Tools for Learning p. 23
From Competency List to Curriculum Implementation: A Case Study of Japan's First Online Master's Program for E-Learning Specialists Training p. 39 Katsuaki Suzuki
E-Learning in Supplemental Educational Systems in Taiwan: Present Status and Future Challenges p. 49 Ke Zhang and Jui-Long Hung
E-Learning in the Philippines: Trends, Directions, and Challenges p. 65 Melinda M. Dela Pena-Bandalaria
University 2.0: A View From Singapore p. 81 Daniel T. H. Tan, Chye Seng Lee, Lay Kock Chan, and Adrian Din How Lu
E-Learning in Malaysia: Moving Forward in Open Distance Learning p. 97 Zoraini Wati Abas
E-Learning Readiness in the Academic Sector of Thailand p. 109 Thanomporn Laohajaratsang
E-Learning in India p. 119 Sanjaya Mishra
Academic Social Networks Affecting the Adoption of E-Learning in Turkey p. 131 Siew Mee Barton, Brian Corbitt, and Lemai Nguyen
E-Learning in Asia: Just as Good Is Not Good Enough p. 147 Thomas C. Reeves
Countries for Special Issue (the passageway):
A map of the participating countries is below. Keep in mind that country selections were based on nominations and places or people with known innovations in e-learning. Our special passage through e-learning in Asia could have taken a much different route. We realize that a more northerly passage would have provided a much different view. We also know that a set of chapters from the same eight countries just 5 or 10 years from now would have vastly different issues, challenges, opportunities, and questions.
I hope you enjoy this special passage through Asia e-learning. Many of us will reconvene at the E-Learn conference in Vancouver in late October. If you are going, please let me know. Books will likely be on display.
We will also get many people to talk about e-learning in Asia at the new conference we are helping create called Global Learn: Global Conference on Learning and Technology. Global Learn will be in Asia and the Pacific Rim region each April or May. The first one will be in Penang, Malaysia May 17-20, 2010. Here is the hotel (quiet, this is still a secret!). Hope to see you there. Perhaps you can be a contributor to this first ever type of event. I promise to bring a few copies of this book to pass out at my sessions. Of course, we will continue the conversation there. It should be highly interesting and exciting as broadband expands in Asia as does mobile learning and so much more. And that will certainly be special. See you at the Shangri-la!
Before Global Learn, please take some time and explore that special passage through Asia e-learning. You will meet many fantastic people from India, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan. Oh, ya, also some great scholars from Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. And very special friends from Australia doing research in Turkey. Smile.
Just $15 USD from AACE. Order direct.
20 Quick Points from "The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education"
| Thursday, August 13, 2009
|Last week, my publicist, Meryl Moss, asked me to post a few some guest blog posts to her BookTrib blog. Some of you may have read them. I explained some of the history behind the writing of my book, The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education. I also had a post with 20+ ideas for finding someone's email or other contact information.
This week, she has asked me to turn my 460 page book (monster) into 5-6 bulleted points. I tried for a few hours but was not able to. I was able to create a summary of 20 key points.
The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education
by Curtis J. Bonk, Published by Jossey-Bass, in Wiley imprint in July 2009.
20 Quick Points
First of all, keep in mind that there are 12 chapters, an introduction and ending chapter as well as 10 chapters in the middle; 1 for each of 10 openers.
Ten Openers: (WE-ALL-LEARN)
1. Web Searching in the World of e-Books
2. E-Learning and Blended Learning
3. Availability of Open Source and Free Software
4. Leveraged Resources and OpenCourseWare
5. Learning Object Repositories and Portals
6. Learner Participation in Open Information Communities
7. Electronic Collaboration
8. Alternate Reality Learning
9. Real-Time Mobility and Portability
10. Networks of Personalized Learning
Here is a mini Table of Contents:
Introduction to the Open Learning World
Chapter 1: WE-ALL-LEARN
Chapter 2: To Search and to Scan (Opener #1: Web Searching in the World of e-Books)
Chapter 3: E-Demand around the Globe (Opener #2: E-Learning and Blended Learning)
Chapter 4: It's a Free Software World After All (Opener #3: Availability of Open Source and Free Software)
Chapter 5: MIT in Every Home (Opener #4: Leveraged Resources and OpenCourseWare)
Chapter 6: Portals for the People (Opener #5: Learning Object Repositories and Portals)
Chapter 7: Making a Contribution (Opener #6: Learner Participation in Open Information Communities)
Chapter 8: Collaborate or Die! (Opener #7: Electronic Collaboration and Interaction)
Chapter 9: Who are you? (Opener #8: Alternative Reality Learning)
Chapter 10: U-Learning? (Opener #9: Real-Time Mobility and Portability)
Chapter 11: Learning at Your Service (Opener #10: Networks of Personalized Learning)
Chapter 12: The Treasures and Traps of this Open Learning World
1. E-Books (Opener #1): Around 100 schools in Korea are experimenting with digital books in 2009. These books are embedded with simulations, study aids, dictionaries, games, hyperlinks to the Web, multimedia, student authoring tools, enhanced data searching capabilities, email, discussion forums, and evaluation tools. The Korean government wants such books free for all schools by 2013. If Korea is successful, there is no reason why the U.S. cannot set similar goals. Already the state of California is adopting policies for digital and open access textbooks as a means to reduce the state deficit and enhance learning.
2. K-12 E-Learning (Opener #2): The state of Michigan has mandated 20 hours of online experience to complete high school; in effect, requiring every student to take at least one online class to pass high school. The state of Florida has mandated online course access in every school district from kindergarten through high school. These are signs that the online learning momentum is not going to subside anytime soon.
3. Higher Education E-Learning (Opener #2): Most courses in universities settings today have some type of online component. Some institutions like the University of Illinois at Springfield and the University of Central Florida now offer many of the exact same courses in face-to-face, blended, and fully online formats. Students are allowed to select the delivery mode that works for them. E-learning is also exploding in Asia with 7 of the largest universities in the world, all with over 100,000 students. While the University of Phoenix may have over 400,000 students, Ramkhamhaeng University in Thailand has more than 600,000 and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has nearly 2 million students. The Open University of Malaysia has exploded from just 800 students in 2001 to over 80,000 students in 2009. That is some 10,000 additional students per year!
4. Free and Open Source Course Management Systems (Opener #3): Creating online courses and programs can cost a lot of money. Systems like Moodle and Sakai are free and open source options. As of February 10, 2009, there were 620,000 registered users of Moodle from 204 countries speaking 78 languages. And there were countless Moodle users who did not register.
5. OpenCourseWare (Opener #4): MIT has succeeded in placing all of its courses online (some 1,890 courses). Many are being translated free to the world in Spanish, Portuguese, and simplified as well as traditional Chinese. Hundreds of other universities and other organizations are following in MIT’s footsteps in placing their courses online.
6. Community College Course Giveaways (Opener #4): There is a recent $500 million dollar plan ($50 million per year for ten years) from the Obama administration to create free and open online learning at the community college level. A free library of courses would be available to colleges and their students nationwide. Open courses for community college students will help millions of students explore careers options while giving many of them confidence before returning to school. They can also improve retention once they get there and lower the cost of a degree. Dr. Bonk was quoted and his World is Open book cited in key articles on these plans from the Chronicle of Higher Education (see http://chronicle.com/article/Obamas-Great-Course-Giveaway/47530/) as well as Inside Higher Education (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/29/ccplan).
7. Learning Portals (Opener #5): The majority of the work of Einstein, Shakespeare, Darwin, and many other historical giants is now available for free online. Of course, Shakespeare has multiple sites as do Einstein and Darwin. Learning portals even exist for all the digital museums of the world (see the Museum of Online Museums; see http://www.coudal.com/moom/) as well as countless digital libraries. Free dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauruses, and open access journals allow learners to find needed information within seconds. There are also millions of free online books from Google and the Internet Archive.
8. Online Sharing Communities (Opener #5): MERLOT is a website that contains more than 20,000 free learning contents that are useful in higher education, many of which are peer reviewed (http://www.merlot.org/). MERLOT has more than 70,000 members as well as conference, journal, and newsletter. Connexions from Rice University offers similar services but is available for all ages of learners. Millions of people from 200 countries access it each month. At the same time, Curriki, spearheaded by Sun Microsystems founder Scott McNealy, is providing a stockpile of free K-12 content.
9. Open Access Journals (Opener #5): The publishing world is increasing becoming open access. Open access journals in the healthcare area provide invaluable information to those in the developing world. The Public Library of Science (PLoS) offers free peer-reviewed scientific journals. Scientists who publish in PLoS journals might present their work in SciVee. SciVee allows the user to hear or see the scientist explain his or her research in what is known as pubcasts.
10. Shared Online Video (Opener #6): According to a June 2009 report, 13 hours of video are posted each minute to YouTube. It also indicated that Internet users watch nearly 13 billion online videos in November 2008 alone. In January 2009, 136 million people watched some type of professional video content. While most Internet users have watched or shared entertaining online videos from YouTube, educators can find many uses for them. In fact, there are millions of freely available educational videos in YouTube Edu, TeacherTube, Big Think, NomadsLand, Current TV, Link TV, Howcast, Wonderhowto, Google Video, CNN video, and BBC Audio and Video. Many schools, universities, and corporate training divisions now have their own channels in YouTube and iTunes U (e.g., Stanford, MIT, or Berkeley). Consulting firms like Deloitte are even sponsoring YouTube video competitions related to working at the company.
11. YouTube Teachers (Opener #6): The Web turns everyone into a potential teacher or learner. Matt Harding dances around the world and millions watch him. He becomes a geography teacher to the world community. In slight over a year, his 2008 video was viewed more than 22 million times. Lee LeFever’s “In Plain English” videos from Common Craft have been viewed millions of times. In them, LeFever explains blogs, wikis, and social networking technologies using simple examples and illustrations.
12. Teaching Celebrities (Opener #6): Lectures from Berkeley professors like Professor Marian Diamond in biology with hundreds of thousands of viewers as well as those in law, physics, computer science, and other subject areas are freely available to watch in YouTube for anyone with an Internet connection to watch. Some lectures are viewed hundreds of thousands of times. As of August 12, 2009, nearly one-quarter of a million people have viewed Google Co-Founder and President Sergey Brin give a talk at Berkeley on “Search, Google, and Life.” Stanford professors as well as those from hundreds of other universities can be listened to in YouTube as well as iTunes. Professors are becoming celebrities.
13. Scribd is the YouTube of Text (Opener #6): Tired of shared online video? Perhaps try Scribd; it is the YouTube of text documents. As of June 2009, there were millions of documents posted to Scribd with 35 billion words in 90 different languages that were being read by 60 million readers each month. Scribd has quickly become one humongous virtual site. It now ranks in the top 150 sites in terms of Web traffic. It has readership approaching the New York Times and is already more than 5 times bigger than Wikipedia in terms of total number of words. The gap between it and Wikipedia continues to grow as more than 50,000 documents are posted daily to it. Small wonder it attracts so many eyeballs. The Securities and Exchange Commission, National Science Foundation, and Internal Revenue Service are among the biggest users, each with more than 10,000 documents posted to Scribd. More impressively, the Federal Register has more than 200,000 documents preserved in Scribd. Anyone can post legal documents, music scores, poetry, homework, term papers, catalogs, how-to-guides, resumes, technical reports, or genealogical records to Scribd. Users can also form social networks to discuss, rate, and share these documents. The text sharing possibilities are endless!
14. Wikis (Opener #6): A few years ago, many people said that Wikipedia would not work. Today it ranks 7th in Internet traffic in the United States. There are more than 10 million pages of content in more than 250 languages. As of August 2009, there are nearly 3 million pages in English alone. In addition, the Wikimedia Foundation boosts popular wiki sites such as Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikitionary, Wikinews, and Wikibooks. Thousands of books are being composed free to the world at the Wikibooks website. K-12 and college students might help instructors design lessons in a wiki or share their projects and products. At the corporate training level, places like Best Buy are adopting wikis as a way to allow its 150,000 employees to contribute ideas on business practices, training approaches, employee benefits, and industry trends. In a word, they now have a voice.
15. Guest Experts on Demand (Opener #7): Need a guest or expert speaker for your class? Today, all it takes is a simple email request and a $20 Webcam and you can bring that person in within minutes. Experts can also arrive using text chat, online discussion forums, interactive videoconferencing, Skype, Google Talk, or virtual worlds. And they can be archived for later use. Similarly, an instructor can select any region of the world for his or her students to collaborate with using freely available technology or services.
16. Collaborate or Die (Opener #7): The tools for online collaboration have exploded during the past decade. Microsoft offers SharePoint and Groove while Google has Google Groups and Google Docs. Online communities like Ning foster collaboration for more than 1 million groups including the popular Ning in Education, GrownUpDigital, Classroom 2.0, LearningTown!, and the Open Source University Meetup groups.
17. Virtual Worlds (Opener #8): As of January 2009, Second Life had more than 16 million residents, of which more than 1 million people log on each day. Colleges professors are using Second Life to teach law at Harvard, English at Ball State University, sex education at the University of Plymouth in the UK, and much more, including history, architecture, geography, art, and medicine. Using virtual world technologies like Second Life, many university medical schools and hospitals, in fact, are conducting simulations and other instructional activities that previously were extremely expensive. Businesses like IBM and Dell are finding unique ways to exploit Second Life and other virtual worlds for employee training, community building, special announcements, and online conferences.
18. Mobile Learning (Opener #9): According to Dr. Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer at Stanford School of Education, mobile learning will transform education around the planet. As of January 2009, there were 40,000 new mobile subscribers in Rwanda each week and 15.4 million each month in India. Across Africa, mobile penetration has exploded from just one in 50 people at the start of the century to more than 28 percent of the population as of March 2009. On a global basis, there are 60,000 new mobile subscriptions every hour! That equates to 720,000 more people who can learn online each day and tens of millions more people each month. In the Pocket School project, the teacher is in the pocket of migrant worker children in Latin America.
19. Mobile Technology Giveaways (Opener #9): Places like Abilene Christian University are giving away iPhones to incoming students as a means to attract new students as well as foster technology integration, Web access, and overall communication on campus. Not to be outdone, Oklahoma Christian University has initiated a program called InTouch to give away both an iPhone (or iPod Touch) and an Apple Macbook laptop to incoming students. Such mobile technologies are used for survey research, Web searching, uploading and downloading course tasks, and course discussions.
20. Online Language Learning (Opener #10): Have you ever wanted to learn Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi, Russian, or Farsi? Millions of people are using resources such as Livemocha, ChinesePod, SpanishPod, Mixxer, KanTalk, ECpod, and dozens of other online resources to learn or teach languages. Much of this is free. One company, Livemocha, has gone from start-up to 3 million users in less than 2 years. At the same time, free podcasts from ChinesePod, a product of Praxis Language, are downloaded around 300,000 times per month. These free podcasts are available at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Ok, perhaps the twenty items above caught your interest. I hope so. My publicist does as well. Feel free to write to me with questions.
A Week of BookTrib Blogging on the World Is Open book
| Monday, August 10, 2009
|Some of you may be wondering why I have not posted to my blog in over a week. One reason is the passing of Mike Reed. But I actually have been blogging; you may not be aware of them since they are at another blog site.
You see, my publicist, Meryl Moss, featured my book, World Is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education, at her BookTrib website 1-2 weeks ago. Each week, she features 5 books and gives them away in random drawings. In the past they have featured:
1. O’S Big Book of Happiness, from the editors of O, the Oprah Magazine
2. Lone Start by Alan Weisman
3. Gravedigger by Peter Grandbois
4. The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
5. The Reincarnationist by MJ Rose
6. The Fat Smash Diet by Ian K. Smith, M.D.
7. The Complete Beck Diet for Life by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.
8. On My Own Two Feet by Manisha Thakor, MBA, CFA & Sharon Kedar, MBA, CFA
…and much, much more!
Had I been more prompt in posting, you could have won my book just by stopping by the BookTrib site. Sorry about that.
Well now, you might be wondering exactly what is BookTrib. According to the BookTrib site, “BookTrib is a full service portal dedicated to bringing all the news, blog sites, and information about books, writers, and readers under one link. One place to stay up-to-date about the world of books and everything related to them. If it's about books, it's on BookTrib."
Meryl Moss explained to be that: “We started BookTrib originally to create a community of and for booklovers—readers! Now there is a one-stop spot for all things book-related! Our BookTrib giveaway has had over 170,000 entries since we began. Have a look and join the community.”
In late July and early August, I did a series of blog posts in BookTrib related to my new book “The World Is Open.”
I was slow getting in, so my publicist began with a blog post that was a press release we had done.
“The growing trend of the open-source movement will change the future of college education. . .” July 27, 2009,
But then I started to post. First I reflected on the free and open educational world of today and what it was like more than 2 decades ago as I prepared for graduate school days at Wisconsin. So much has changed since then. Terms such as Open Educational Resources (OER) and OpenCourseWare (OCW) did not exist then. And "open education" was not so widely used outside the Open University of the UK.
Blog Post #1. “Free and Open Education Today, Not Like Yesterday” by Curt Bonk, July 29, 2009.
Next, I detailed who the educational world was not open for and when they might jump into it.
Blog Post #2. “Just Who is the World Open For and When?” by Curt Bonk, July 30, 2009.
In my third blog post at BookTrib I described the history of my World is Open book and how it came to be.
Blog Post #3. “The Unfolding of an Open Book.” by Curt Bonk, July 31, 2009.
I ended my BookTrib blogging with a three-part post that detailed 20+ ways to access someone’s email account or obtain contact information of important people whom you might want to interview for such a book.
Blog Post #4. “A World of Open Contacts: 20+ Ways to Exercise Your Digital Risk Muscle, Pt. I” by Curt Bonk, August 3, 2009.
Blog Post #5. “A World of Open Contacts: 20+ Ways to Exercise Your Digital Risk Muscle, Pt. 2” by Curt Bonk, August 4, 2009.
Blog Post #6. “A World of Open Contacts: 20+ Ways to Exercise Your Digital Risk Muscle, Pt. 3” by Curt Bonk, August 5, 2009.
Enjoy those blog posts. And do check out BookTrib again down the road. It is a pretty cool place for us book lovers!