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Cool stuff coming from Microsoft as seen at the Cengage Learning 20th Annual Computing Conference
Sunday, March 29, 2015
TravelinEdMan's Recent Travel: Last week in Phoenix, I gave a keynote talk on how learning is changing and a breakout talk (slides for both) on my recent TEC-VARIETY (free) e-book at the Cengage Learning 20th Annual Computing Conference (for computer educators; homepage). I think they went well. After my talks, I got a sneak peek at upcoming Microsoft Windows and Office and other changes from two of the other keynote speakers. See the update below that I shared with my students. The videos in yellow are all cool and all of them are short (except the first one)…especially the last one from Pepsi.

Major Product Updates from Microsoft: I also saw two keynote presentations from people affiliated with Microsoft (one keynote was by this amazing professor from Central Virginia Community College name Corinne Hoisington; her talk from last year is posted; video; this video is long…but she is fabulous). She is perhaps one of the most interactive and engaging speakers I have ever seen. She has tons of Microsoft product books with Cengage.
While listening to Corinne and high level people from Microsoft during their keynotes, it was apparent that there are some pretty cool multimedia and augmented reality technology tools  coming our way including something called Sway (video). As part of this effort, OneNote is also being expanded and will be integrated with Sway.
Other Microsoft news includes a biggie (though not unexpected)...Windows 10 will be coming out this summer. But here is the big news: This will be the last Windows with a number. Everything after this will be just additions to Windows 10 which will all be free from now on. Many stupid things about Windows 8 will be deleted. Windows 10 is going to be taking the best of Windows 7 and 8 and combining them.
What else? Well, Internet Explorer will be junked/killed off. Microsoft will have some new browser which right now has a code name of “Spartan.” I use IE so was particularly interesting in this information.
Now for the really cool stuff. There were many more product announcements and demonstrations at the conference. Augmented reality called “HoloLens” (video demo; reflection video) seems to be a key item (and with Disney as a partner, kids will be seeing strange new creatures at the theme parks). Another short augmented reality video is this commercial from Pepsi which Corrine showed (Watch it!).
Of course, there is always more announcements or casual comments at such conference events. For instance, Microsoft Office will soon be updated. As part of this effort, Excel is getting a huge makeover in Microsoft Office 2016. More importantly for Mac users, Microsoft Office 2016 will be nearly 100 percent identical for Mac and PC.
That's it for now. Hope you found it beneficial. I am sure that they talked about other cool things coming our way but this is all the notes that I have.
By the way, it is always great to go to Phoenix in March and see my friends at ASU like my long-time colleague, Dr. Jim Middleton, who I went to graduate school with long ago,. It is especially great to go to Arizona when in the midst of a long winter. Woke up to 24 degree today and saw some light snow on Friday here in Bloomington. Spring is starting though...I can feel it.


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Adding Some TEC-VARIETY Book is Now Free in Chinese...Thank you BNU!
Friday, March 27, 2015
Well, my "Adding Some TEC-VARIETY: 100+ Activities for Motivating and Retaining Learners Online" book with Dr. Elaine Khoo has now been downloaded over 40,000 times. This is awesome news. Many wonderful reader reactions and book endorsements have been received. The book came out in early May of 2014 so, if you do the math, there have been more than 4,000 people downloading it each month. Wow! And people ask me why I made it free to the world. This is why! Impact. Use. New friends. Connections. Feedback. Etc.

But even more significant is that my friends at Beijing Normal University (BNU) have finished translating it to Chinese a few weeks ago and so it is available for free in both English and Chinese. Already more than 1,200 people have downloaded the Chinese version. I will visit BNU at the end of my six city speaking tour of China (including Hong Kong) in June. I am looking forward to seeing many places and meeting many old friends and making loads of new ones.

Feel free to share the news about the free e-book with others. Remember that each chapter is also available to download in English and you can get paperback copies from Amazon. I am in discussions to have a print version in Chinese. Hopefully, I can make an announcement soon.

Spanish will hopefully be coming soon thanks to my friends at Universidad Da Vinci in Mexico. I think one of my doctoral students will be translating a chapter or two or three to Arabic this semester. Let's see what other languages come out in the coming year.

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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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