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Moving Clocks from 2008 to 2013 for MOOCs and Open Ed: It's E-Learn Las Vegas Once Again
Friday, August 30, 2013
Reflecting Back Five Years…

The 2008 E-Learn Preconference Symposium on E-Learning in Asia:
Five years ago, my colleagues (Tom Reynolds from National University, Mimi Lee from the University of Houston, and I coordinated a preconference symposium on “E-learning n Asia” in Las Vegas during the E-Learn 2008 conference. After a special invitation from Gary Marks, Founder and Director of AACE, we also were conference program co-chairs that year. AACE runs many conferences including Ed Media, E-Learn, SITE, Global TIME, and Global LEARN. And E-Learn is one of the best. There are typically around 800 to 1,000 or more people who attend from around the world. And when it is on the west coast or in Hawaii, many participants fly in from Australasia. And that is exactly where many of my friends live.

Though it was a ton of work to help coordinate entire conference as well as the symposium before it started, we had a great time during the preconference symposium. Even better, our old friend, Dr. Tom Reeves from the University of Georgia, popped in and ended up helping us out in a big way (if interested in the topics and participants that day, see this old blog post and 2008 preconference symposium program—you will notice many superfantastic participants that we had). Tom Reeves ended up giving a splendid recap reflection on what he had heard that day. It was highly insightful and humorous at the same time. So crisp were his remarks, that we invited him to help with the special issue of a journal that came out of that session (see below).

As indicated, during our 2008 symposium during E-Learn in Las Vegas, we had well known e-learning researchers from many countries in Asia fly in to give their overview of the state of e-learning in their respective countries. We had top e-learning scholars from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and someone from Australia who was researching e-learning in Turkey as well as other countries. We all bonded together and remain best friends and close colleagues. In fact, I will visit many of them when in Japan next month (September 16 to October 1) and in Taiwan 2 months later (November 7 to the 20th I think). And some are coming to E-Learn in Las Vegas in October.

In addition to the symposium back in 2008, there was a special issue of a journal as well as a print-on-demand book (“A Special Path through Asia E-Learning” that sprang from that glorious day. The citation is below (Mimi Lee wrote the introduction to the articles, while Tom Reeves wrote the closing reflection). You can read their pieces in the journal issue or in the book which costs just $15.

Bonk, C. J., Lee, M. M., and Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.) (2009). A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. (click here to view more info on this book; to see any AACE book)

Note: this was also a special journal issue: Bonk, C. J., Lee, M. M., and Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.) (2009). International Journal on E-Learning. 8(4). Special issue: A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning.

Below is a picture of most of the people who contributed to the first symposium back in October 2008. This picture was taken right after the final presentation that afternoon. Needless to say, we had a very fun and informative time.

After a quick freshening up, we then went to dinner and then a show in Las Vegas (Le Rev) after the symposium ended. As I said, it was truly a marvelous day. And many great friendships were formed.

Global Learn. We had so much fun that after the 2008 event, the four of us (Tom, Tom, Mimi, and I) along with most of the symposium participants helped create a new conference for AACE called “Global Learn.” Global Learn had live events in May 2010 in Penang, Malaysia and in March 2011 in Melbourne, Australia. Each was exceptional. Penang was certainly a great kick-off! Since then, it has gone virtual. For instance, there was a virtual Global Learn this past year mainly focused on Europe and North America. It may go back to a live event in the future. Can you say Singapore anyone? Well, perhaps.

The 2013 E-Learn Preconference Symposium on MOOCs and Open Education (Oct 21):
Fast forward five years and the four of us are hard at work organizing another such event in the exact same city for very same conference. Very exciting! Only this time it is on massive open online courses (MOOCs) and open education (see symposium details). The event will take place on Monday October 21 at the Paris and Bally Convention Center as part of the E-Learn 2013 Conference with an optional hiking and reflection trip the afternoon before (Sunday the 20th) in Red Rock Canyon. However, instead of the Riviera like last time, this conference is in the Paris Las Vegas and Bally's Las Vegas (you will find me in the Paris). Both are much better venues than the Riviera and vastly improved locations in the middle of the strip. As mentioned, we have great guest speakers liked up (see below) as well as an excellent panel of international experts. In addition, there are thematically designed breakout groups.

I hope to see you at the 2013 preconference symposium for E-Learn on MOOCs and Open Education. We have an opening keynote from Paul Kim from Stanford to start the day. He will discuss “MOOCs through the Lens of Sustainability.” And we will have a keynote from George Siemens, the de facto co-inventor of the MOOC, to end the day. His talk, “MOOCs: Where Next?” will get us to think about the future of higher education and education in general. We are extremely fortunate to have these two amazing people help kick-off and end the day. Read their bios! Paul Kim has created many interesting projects including the pocket school project (i.e., the teacher is in your pocket as a mobile device) which I discuss in my World is Open book. And George Siemens helped create a new learning theory called “Connectivism.” In addition, he has helped lead the charge for better learning analytics from online courses. These are two of the most prolific and influential people in the fields of educational technology and e-learning that I know.

But wait, there is more…there is always more! After lunch, there will be an international panel address topics like attrition, accreditation, and assessment of MOOCs and open education. We will also have thematic breakout groups in the morning as well as the afternoon that you can participate in. And we will end the day with a social. Of course, there will be much discussion all day as well as much reflection, sharing, thinking, interaction, and new connections.

Read on for more details, read on below. For those new to this topic, MOOCs = massive open online courses. Write to me if you have questions (cjbonk at Indiana dot edu). See you in October. To see if you are ready (i.e., MOOC ready), there is a 10 item checklist below. Let me know how well you did when I see you October 21, 2013.

E-Learn 2013
MOOCs and Open Education 
Around the World

Las Vegas, NV: October 21, 2013, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Social Reception to follow: 5:15 - 6:15 PM
Are you MOOC ready? If not sure, perhaps you should review this 10 item checklist below: you interested in MOOCs? about Open Education? you like to hear the inventor of the first MOOC, George Siemens, predict where he thinks we are going next? you want to know what happened when Stanford Professor Paul Kim taught a MOOC on "Designing a New Learning Environment" to over 20,000 people enrolled from around the world? you want to listen to an international panel speak on pressing issues of attrition, accreditation, and assessment in MOOCs and Open Education. Do you have questions for them? you interested in the challenges, successes and motivational intents of those enrolled in MOOCs? about the challenges facing organizations and entire countries attempting to implement MOOCs? maybe you have a specific issue or set of issues that you wish to discuss with others and get their insights and feedback. What say you? you want to engage in a couple of hands-on, small group sessions related to MOOCs and Open Education? you like to reflect, discuss, think, converse, and socialize? 

If so, have we got a marvelous day for you! Welcome to the special
 "Preconference Symposium on MOOCs and Open Education 
Around the World."

Excited? Well,then, visit the registration page:

Want more info? Go to: 

Cost: $165 (includes beverage breaks, lunch, and reception)

Special Registration Note: Please also consider participating in the E-Learn 2013 conference, beginning the next day. It is NOT necessary to register for E-Learn in order to attend the Symposium. Viva Las Vegas! 

Organizing Committee and Symposium Facilitators
Curt Bonk, Indiana Univ.; Mimi Lee, Univ. of Houston; Tom Reeves, Univ. of Georgia; Tom Reynolds, National Univ.  


For more Symposium details, see:

E-Learn 13
Las Vegas
Final Call for Papers
Proposals Due:
August 30, 2013submit button
Register Early and Save!
Early Registration:
September 13, 2013    register button
Las Vegas and Hotel Details
Hotel Reservations:
September 19, 2013
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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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