This is the blog of Dr. Curt Bonk, Professor at Indiana University and President of CourseShare (there are NO Guest Blogs and NO advertisements permitted).

Dr. Bonk's Home Page

Bonk's Emerging Learning Technologies course

Video Primers in an Online Repository for e-Teaching and Learning (V-PORTAL)

Click here for information about my recent book, MOOCs and Open Education Around the World.

Bloggers I follow
My reading list
Finding my inner public radio voice in this sometimes scary age of scrolling screens
Friday, June 02, 2017
Do you like radio? Me too! I love a chance to be on the radio. I remember being on the radio in Adelaide, Australia back in November 2012 and listening to it later and saying to myself, "Wow, they really can do wonders with one's voice." Have a listen to this 7 minute show with Angus Randall on "Learnin’ How to Teach? I have been on dozens of radio shows over the years, including NPR in San Diego, LA, Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison (my home state), Chicago (on Navy Pier), and Indiana (here in Bloomington) as well as programs from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, The USA Radio Network, Tech Tech, Voice America Women's Network, and many more. Each time I come away with new ideas and perspectives and a sense of accomplishment, It is such a highly enjoyable experience (we just won't talk about my experiences on television). Here's an old pic from Chicago Public Radio on Navy Per and one from WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio; both are from October 15, 2009 when I was on a promo tour of my World Is Open book. I think I did 4 radio shows that day (Racine, Wisconsin was also included). What fun! But that was back when I had a publicist for my book, The World is Open.

However, it has been a while since I was last on a live radio show a little over a year ago (on April 18, 2016 to be exact) when I was in Hamilton, New Zealand for a distance learning conference. I was on Radio New Zealand with Jessi Mulligan for an 11 minute reflection on emerging technologies. I should also note that a month ago, my friend Patrick O'Shea interviewed me for an upcoming Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) conference that I will keynote in Coimbra, Portugal on June 27th. You might have a listen to the Versatilist with Curt Bonk with Patrick O’Shea, April 24, 2017. Available:
But finally I was once again on live radio. As Gene Wilder shouted in the 1974 movie classic, Young Frankenstein: "Alive. It's alive. It's alive!!!" This time I was alive as part of a panel at noon earlier today. More specifically, I was a guest on Indiana public radio (WFIU) show called "Noon Edition" here in the IU Radio and TV Building. One key topic we discussed was the appropriate amount of computer screen time for young children (i.e., using technology like smartphones and computers). The reason that this topic came up is that according to at least one recent research report, the more screen time for those under 18 months, the more developmentally delayed they are in terms of their speech and the less sleep that they tend to get. Caveat--this is just one or two early studies---correlational types of stuff; nothing causal yet. Too few studies to make any conclusions (Sidenote: I am not an expert in this area. See the resources below for more information on this topic, if interested).

In the show today, we discussed many other technology topics as well. We discussed Indiana funding for K-12 technology. Other technology topics included trends in other countries at the K-12 level, informal learning with technology, self-directed learning online, teacher support, guidelines for parents, digital learning skills, alternative delivery mechanisms like flipping the classroom, and the need for creative expression as opposed to drill and kill technology. It seems that there is a new preschool program in several states (e.g.,Utah, South Carolina, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc.) including here in Indiana, called UPSTART, which was developed by the Waterford Institute in Utah. The program requires students to spend about 15 minutes per day in certain lessons. According to a May 15, 2017 report, Indiana has kicked in $1 million for it. As the UPSTART website states: "UPSTART is an in-home, technology-delivered kindergarten readiness program that gives preschool-aged children individualized reading, math and science instruction with a focus on reading." Hence, as with any preschool program involving technology, the concern about screen time.

In the end, it was a really fun hour that went by too fast. A link to the 54 minute recording from today's session is below if interested. A list of the panelists is included. Below that, you can find some resources related to the issue of screen time and its impact or effects on young children.

The hosts of the show were Bob Zaltsberg and Becka Costello, Topic: “Digital Technology’s Impact On Education, Cognitive Development” (53:58). June 2, 2017. Producer: Ryan DeBattista.

Guests/Panelists: (1) Shannon Riley-Ayers, Associate Research Professor, National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), Rutgers University, (2) ErikWeitnauer, Founder and CEO, Graspable Math and postdoctoral research at Indiana University, and (3) Curt Bonk, Professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University.

Finally, listed below are some resources that I found and watched or read in prepping for this radio program:

Screen Time Article and Video Resources:

2. January 3, 2017, How Dropping Screen Time Rules Can Fuel Extraordinary Learning, Cognitive Development, Mimi Ito, Connected Camps.

3. October 21, 2016, American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children’s Media Use, The American Academy of Pediatrics. Video #1 (short); Video #2 (long panel).

6. Screen Time for Kids: Finding the Right Balance, April 6, 2017. Digital Media + Learning Central.

As you can see from the dates, this is a highly current topic. I learned a lot from reading these articles and blog posts late last night. But, as expected, I particularly enjoyed the perspective of Dr. Mimi Ito at the University of California, Irvine (Wikipedia; blog). I assign some of her articles and videos in Week 10 of my R678 Emerging Learning Technologies class. The video embedded in her article about screen time makes a great point about allowing kids to explore and be creative with media. I would concur. I also agree with her that screen time is an outdated concept, and that we must find a sense of balance when it comes to issues such as these in fast-changing times. I especially resonated with her ending paragraph of her January 3, 2017 blog post in "Connected Camps." As Dr. Ito states:

       “Finding a groove isn’t easy, and not every kid will dive into something with a singular passion. But the potential is there for online media and digital games to support just about every interest and curiosity under the sun. Even if it is just an amusing meme, a factoid, or a coding with Minecraft, without exposure and parental support, kids will not have the freedom, wisdom, or courage to explore and savor the vastness of the networked world. So let go of fear and join the hunt for extraordinary learning.”

Let's find ways to encourage experimentation, exploration, self-expression, design, innovation, and collaboration and sharing with global peers; not just the regimentation of a required and strictly sequenced schedule. Perhaps UPSTART does this. Let's see what happens in the coming years here in Indiana and other states. But if the technology programs of the past 4-5 decades are any indication of what may result, I am not holding my breath.

I will be curious what you think of today's radio show. Did I get my radio voice back? Did any of the points that I or any of the other panelists made strike a chord? Were your questions answered? Send me an email if you like to cjbonk at

Happy listening. And stay off the screen if you can. And remember, "The World IS Open" despite any news that you may hear otherwise.

(Note: Wish that I had taken a picture today in the studio with my pink suit and pink baseball hat time! In any event, I hope that you can listen to yesterday's show: “Digital Technology’s Impact On Education, Cognitive Development”).

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 9:44 PM  
Post a Comment
<< Home
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.

Recent Posts
Popular Posts
Powered by

Free Blogger Templates