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
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.
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.
Are you MOOC ready? If not
sure, perhaps you should review this 10 item checklist
Are you interested in MOOCs?
How about Open
Would you like to hear the inventor of the first
MOOC, George Siemens, predict where he thinks we are going next?
Might 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?
Perhaps 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
Are you interested in the challenges, successes and
motivational intents of those enrolled in MOOCs?
How about the challenges facing organizations and
entire countries attempting to implement MOOCs?
Or 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?
Might you want to engage in a couple of hands-on,
small group sessions related to MOOCs and Open Education?
Do you like to reflect, discuss, think, converse,
If so, have we got a
marvelous day for you! Welcome to the special
"Preconference Symposium on MOOCs and
Around the World."
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
Organizing Committee and
Curt Bonk, Indiana Univ.; Mimi Lee, Univ. of
Houston; Tom Reeves, Univ. of Georgia; Tom Reynolds,
For more Symposium details,
Early and Save!
and Hotel Details
P.O. Box 1545 Chesapeake, VA, USA 23327-1545
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone:
Labels: AACE, E-Learn, E-learning in Asia, George Siemens, Global Learn, Las Vegas, MOOCs, open education, Paul Kim, reflections