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From iSMART to ELI to Fargo to the Gates Foundation to Sloan-C to EdNews to to AARP to Cisco Telepresence to the eLearning Guild
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Houston and Austin for iSMART and ELI: What a week or two. Last week, I was in Houston to hear about the iSMART project and then jumped on a plane to Austin for the Educause Learning Initiatives conference where I was a featured speaker. On the way back, I had a long walk across the concourse in Houston. A very long walk. And then I ended up at the wrong gate. Oh well...let's walk some mre.

Fargo: This week I was in Fargo to present at North Dakota State University. As with the movie Fargo, Monday was a nightmare flying to get there. De-iced my plane 3 times in Indy and then sat on the runway only to get to Minneapolis and first have no groundcrew to bring us to the gate and then an inoperable jetbridge. Once inside, I found out that my flight was canceled going to Fargo so I had to take a United flight to Denver and Frontier flight to Fargo. Yikes! So please do not be jealous of my traveledman ways and days. Sometimes flying sucks. This week was a case in point. But I made it. Many people from NDSU were in Minneapolis still trying the next day. I think it was 10 below without windchill Wednesday morning (yesterday) when I left.

You might ask about iSMART which I mentioned above. The “Integration of Science, Mathematics, and Reflective Teaching (iSMART) is a 2-year online graduate program for middle school science and mathematics teachers in Texas.” And it is a FREE master's degree paid for with a $3 million grant from the Texas Education Foundation. There are some press releases on this from last spring. My colleague Mimi Lee at the University of Houston is helping design some of the courses and conduct research on the program. Mimi and her colleague Dr. Jennifer Chauvot and several others are heading this up.

I had heard about iSMART some time ago and was immediately energized about the purpose and scope. So it was great to chat and consult a bit with the iSMART team last week over lunch at the Zaza Hotel in Houston near Rice University. You can read more about iSMART at the iSMART project homepage. Cool stuff! Combine the open educational resources (OER), OpenCourseWare (OCW), and online learning movement.

The first iSMART cohort begins in the fall of 2010. They are about to begin recruiting 25 teachers for the first cohort.

Ok, that is enough on my travels. My body is still recovering from the trip to Fargo (no woodchippers encountered fortunately). Next week I go the University of Minnesota for 4 talks.

Lots of technology news this week. Yes, Apple released the iPad, but there is much other interesting news in the learning technology space this week. See below:

1. Bill Gates and Gates Foundation Committed to Online Learning: Bill Gates is blogging on the importance of online learning and going to fund more from the Gates Foundation. Mark Parry from the Chronicle of Higher Education has a short summary of this post in the Wired Campus today and tells higher ed folks to start writing grants! Some of the ideas he discusses are mentioned in my World is Open book.

In the Chronicle article, Parry highlights this quote from Bill Gates: "The foundation has made a few grants to drive online learning, but we are just at the start of this work," Gates writes. "So far, technology has hardly changed formal education at all. But a lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the Internet will surprise people in how it can improve things—especially in combination with face-to-face learning." Ah, blended learning! Aha. Has he seen my Handbook of Blended Learning? Not likely.

2. Sloan-C: The Sloan Consortium just released a brand new report (January 2010) showing a 17 percent jump in online enrollments in the USA in 2009 (now up to 4.6 million college students taking at least one online class). Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009 (Release Date: January 2010), Sloan Consortium. Interesting one. Read it! If you want the overview, the Chronicle did a nice job of that 1-2 days ago. Again, it was Marc Parry.

Some great charts and data in the Sloan-C report as always.

Here is some news where my work is recently featured or I am interviewed:

1. EducationNews: An interview on a recent print-on-demand book of mine and special journal issue came out.

January 27, 2010:
Interviewed for EdNews (, "An Interview with Curt Bonk from Indiana University, Mimi Miyoung Lee from the University of Houston, and Tom Reynolds from National University on E-Learning in Asia," by Michael Shaughnessy, January 27, 2010, EducationNews; Available:

Bonk, C. J., Lee, M. M., & Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.) (2009). A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. (see or and

Note: this was also a special journal issue of the International Journal of E-Learning:
Bonk, C. J., Lee, M. M., & Reynolds, T. H. (Eds.) (2009). International Journal on E-Learning. 8(4). Special issue: A Special Passage through Asia E-Learning.

Note: EducationNews is a top online education site with millions of readers.

2. AARP Quote: I was also quoted in article for AARP Bulletin, January-February, 2010, January 1, 2010, “FreE-Learning.” by Bill Hogan, The New U: How to Learn Just About Anything Online…For Free. This is a really interesting article with many useful links in the free and open learning space (though it is somewhat basic as Stephen Downes recently pointed out).

Note: No one contacted me on this one…it just appeared.

3. Telepresence Interview: I was also interviewed via Cisco Telepresence for Education Thought Leaders from which is owned by Cisco . Apparently, it was also shown on Cisco Employee TV network; Interview with Jenny House, San Jose, CA, Topic: The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education, December 7, 2009 (posted January 2010, 32 minutes). There was a blog post in Curriki on this as well.

Note: I was in Indianapolis for this interview. The interviewer was in San Jose. This telepresence experience was cool.

4. eLearning Guild: Finally, on Monday February 15th, I will be presenting a free Webinar on my World is Open book. To attend for free, you must register. This will be for 1 hour from 1:30 to 2:30 pm EST or 10:30 to 11:30 am PST. They are using a tool called GoToWebinar.

Ok, enough news for now. My spring is loaded with such travel.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 3:26 PM  
  • At 6:28 PM, Blogger MW (My Wish) said…

    Thanks for keeping us posted on your whereabout. Hope the rest of your spring trips are much nicer than the Fargo one. I am sure they will as the weather is getting nicer, hopefully.

  • At 10:25 PM, Blogger TravelinEdMan said…

    Let's hope Lori...let's hope. I really did like Fargo. People talk like me (same twang). It was just cold there this week.

  • At 3:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 11:18 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

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  • At 4:23 PM, Blogger Curt Bonk said…

    I wish spammers would stay away from my blog.

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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.

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.

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