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Introducing the Preface to My New "Adding Some TEC-VARIETY" book
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Introducing Chapters from the TEC-VARIETY Book One Day at a Time:
As detailed in my most recent blog post back on July 24, 2014 (2 months ago), my new book, written with Dr. Elaine Khoo from the University of Waikato, was published in May 2014 (though a prepublication version was posted online 3 months earlier). It is titled: "Adding Some TEC-VARIETY: 100+ Activities for Motivating and Retaining Learners Online." This book project took more than 10 years to plan and 3 years to write. Hence, I am glad it is done. I am even more delighted to bring it to you for free!

During the next few weeks, I will be offering sample paragraphs from the start of each chapter. I will try to do one per day. Again, I want to remind you that the entire book is free as a PDF document at the book homepage and so are each of the 15 chapters. To date, more than 21,500 people have downloaded the book and over 13,000 have downloaded specific chapters. You can also find a link to the book from my personal homepage.

As an experiment, I self-published the book with Amazon CreateSpace. I also used my book publishing website which I forgot that I owned. My amazing son Alex did the book cover. If interested, you can purchase paperback or softcover versions of this book for under $15 USD in Amazon and for the Kindle for under $10 USD via Amazon.

See below for a opening part of the Preface. Elaine and I hope that you enjoy the book. Below is the section of the book that I am sharing today. I will share more of it in the coming days and weeks.

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Preface to TEC-VARIETY (Note: this is just the first three paragraphs as a teaser or tickler).

Ki te kahore he whakakitenga ka ngaro te iwi.
Translation: Without foresight or vision the people will be lost.
—Kingi Tawhiao Potatau te Wherwhero, demonstrating the urgency
of unification and strong Maori leadership

 The Web of Learning

Many ideas and events led to the development of the TEC-VARIETY framework and the 100+ activities for motivating and retaining online learners described in this book. Much of it has its roots in the mid-1980s, long before most educators had ever heard of online learning.

At the time, Bonk was, in fact, a deeply bored accountant working in a high-technology company. In his spare time, he enrolled in paper-based correspondence and television courses as well as outreach and extension courses to qualify for graduate school in educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin. During these courses, he learned much content knowledge in education as well as psychology. Perhaps more important, Bonk gained an appreciation for the multiple modes of educational delivery as well as the varied ways in which learners could access courses, and then change or improve their lives. When online learning began taking off a little over a decade later, he coordinated several national research projects on the state of e-learning and blended learning in both higher education and corporate training in the United States. His research soon entered into K–12 and military training settings and then expanded globally.

In each project, many benefits and challenges regarding online learning were documented. For instance, as with centuries of correspondence and face-to-face (F2F) courses, most online courses initially relied on text alone. There was often a cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all mentality of the right way to do things and often a favored instructional design model that would win the day. Such is the history of the instructional design field. As was soon apparent, however, prescriptive forms of instruction belonged to the previous world of scant learning resources and limited selections; they were not applicable to an open learning world housing vast resources, choices, and opportunities to learn.

Fast-forward to the age of the Web 2.0 in the second decade of the twenty-first century. We live in a world rich with golden nuggets of free and open learning content as well as technologies for interacting and collaborating about this content. Not too surprisingly, relying on prescriptions and preset paths can lead to boredom and protests. There might also be contempt for instructors who are unwilling to allow individuals to learn as they do in more informal settings where they might rely on Twitter feeds, text messages, online news and reports, mobile applications, Facebook postings, and shared online video. Today’s learners also want instruction to be ...(see free book for more...)
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Note: for the rest of the Preface and the entire Adding Some TEC-VARIETY book, you can find it FREELY available (and the entire book as well at the book homepage or you can purchase it via Amazon. Comments and questions are always welcome as are stories and examples of how you use the ideas in the book (just write to: curt at

Bonk book blogging so far:
1. Announcing the Adding Some TEC-VARIETY book, July 24, 2014.
2. Introducing the Preface, September 18, 2014.

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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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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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