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UK was a Trip
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Ok, back from a week in the UK. Yesterday, I experienced a bomb scare in the express train terminal heading to Gatwick airport and they made us all exit the station...and then when I got to Gatwick the computers were down and the place was a zoo. Last week when flying to Gatwick, our plane had multiple engine and power system problems and we sat on the runway for 3 hours while our plane engine got a new starter. Suffice to say, it was a strange trip and I am happy to be safely home.

When in the UK, I presented on learning style and motivational ideas online at London South Bank University. It was an all day seminar with people from Australia and the UK presenting before and after me. Rick Bennett was among them and he presented on his art and design project online. The people at London South Bank were not heavy users of e-learning but it was definitely growing. There was a wonderful view of the London Eye from the lunch meeting room.

Rick and I also spent 2 days at the University of Leicester where Dr. Gilly Salmon was running an e-learning conference. About 60-70 people came for the first day which was focused on e-learning research. I gave the keynote with 10 stories for 10+ years of e-learning research at IU. When someone picked a story they got a CD of my work and an "I love New York" t-shirt. Day 2 was on potential partnerships. It seems the University of Leicester wants to be known for e-learning research. The hiring of Gilly Salmon from the Open University is a start. She is now hiring many people to support her and her multmedia zoo. Faculty and staff from all over the UK and beyond can for this event. Many potential e-learning partnerships were formed on Day 2 related to emerging technologies, online moderation, Wikis and blogs, online professional development, etc. I think the hope is for some jointly written research. More such partnerships are possible in the UK than in the USA since people can just jump in a train and meet up.

The following day, I had a chance to speak both at Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford. The Oxford Brookes presentations on blended learning and on how the learning world have become flat were well attended with about 50 or so people. Many good questions asked. The University of Oxford talk on blended learning was fun to do as well. Very bright students there, of course. I just got there in time as I had to wait 45 minutes for a taxi and the taxi driver I had was in training. Dr. Chris Davies from Oxford would like to put it on the e-learning map. They have a new master's in e-learning there in fact. I may spend a week of my sabbatical there. Would be an exciting week to do so.

Took the train back to London that night and met my old friend, Bob Craig, who had took me around New Zealand and also the United Arab Emirates in the past. this was our 3rd country to meet in. He is now working in Africa in Ethiopia and Somalia on educational programs.

So, lots seems to be happening in the UK in e-learning. Some of the focus is on research and also on digital repositories, blended learning, problem-based learning online, staff and instructor training, and retention and motivation online. The UK is a hotbed for e-learning in terms of my travel during the past year and Canada is the other.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 6:10 PM   3 comments
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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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