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Announcing a Breeze Session with Stephen Downes...Thursday April 8, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Thursday night (tonight) April 8, 2010 at 7 pm EST, the one and only Stephen Downes will speak in my Web 2.0 seminar class which I am teaching online this semester. Stephen was gracious to accept my late request to speak in my class. We decided to make this session open for others to sit in on. The details are below.

Time and Date: Thursday April 8th at 7 pm EST, 6 pm Central

Your Time (per the World Clock):

Course: R685 on the Web 2.0 (The World Is Open With Web Technology); see syllabus:

Department and Instructor: Instructional Systems Technology, Curt Bonk, Indiana University

Guest: Stephen Downes, National Research Council. Institute for Information Technology, in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. He specializes in online learning, content syndication, and new media.

Location: Adobe/Breeze link (date now passed).

Audience: My Web 2.0 class though anyone is welcome—students, faculty, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends, etc.

Quote from Stephen's Homepage: “I want and visualize and aspire toward a system of society and learning where each person is able to rise to his or her fullest potential without social or financial encumberance, where they may express themselves fully and without reservation through art, writing, athletics, invention, or even through their avocations or lifestyle. Where they are able to form networks of meaningful and rewarding relationships with their peers, with people who share the same interests or hobbies, the same political or religious affiliations - or different interests or affiliations, as the case may be. This to me is a society where knowledge and learning are public goods, freely created and shared, not hoarded or withheld in order to extract wealth or influence. This is what I aspire toward, this is what I work toward.”

Topics to Perhaps be Discussed: Stephen will cover Open Educational Resources (OER), OER models, Edupunks, DIYU (Do It Yourself Universities), and perhaps educational blogging and Personalized Learning Environments (PLEs), among other things.

My Personal Praise for Stephen: I met Stephen nearly 10 years ago on a very bad day (November 8, 2000). That was the day George Bush was elected president over Al Gore (though technically that did not come for another 40-50 days). I was in downtown Toronto and had to absentee ballot. Expensive to do but important. I remember telling some people during break time that the election would all come down to Florida. So when I got home later that evening and found out that Gore had (supposedly) won Florida, I was relieved. I did not anticipate the shenanigans of the next few weeks and of course was unaware of what had already transpired that day.

Anyway, Stephen was on a panel with me that was addressing adoption of Web-based learning (or lack thereof) at the TeleLearning Centres of Excellence conference. It was supposed to be a Everett Rogers link--diffusion of innovation. It was a wonderful group to be on a panel with. I think Ron Owston from York University was also on it as were people from the University of Waterloo. Stephen does not likely remember my talk (nor does anyone else) but I fondly remember his. Stephen has an highly unique persona when presenting and it definitely showed that day. Perhaps he was mindful of the election since he was not in a particularly happy mood if I recall.

Since that time, I have realized that Stephen Downes reads pretty much every article written around the world on educational technology and e-learning and attends nearly every ed tech conference humanly possible. He is a man on a mission. Later tonight you can listen in on his talk find out what that mission actually is.

You can read more about him at his Website.

His Old Daily blog where he summarizes events in the field is read by millions of people each year (if not each month). Hec, that might be per day. Suffice to say, his writings and reflections are highly thought of and sought after. His ability to distill the mammoth amount of daily news related to learning technology is a skill few have and one that is highly prized this century. His consumption capacity is at a ridiculously high level. He should perhaps be studied by Carnegie Mellon memory researchers. The Canadians should be proud to have him. Of course, after the election of 2000, they were not worrried...there was little doubt he was there to stay.

Here is the link for the session on Thursday:
Reminder of Adobe/Breeze link: (anyone is welcome).

Hope to see you online with us. Please share the link with your friends and colleagues.

I head to Saudi Arabia Saturday for a few days followed by 2 day trips to Monterrey. Mexico and San Francisco. I will present at the ISPI (International Society of Performance Improvement conference at the downtown Marriott in San Fran at 4 pm on April 21st followed by a presentation at San Jose State University from 10:30 to 12 noon on Thursday the 22nd and Stanford University from 3:15 to 4:30 (in CERAS 100B, Center for Educational Research at Stanford) that same day. Perhaps I will see some of you there.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 10:23 PM   3 comments
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Verbal-Visual...Take Your Pick: 30 Academic Writing Tips or 40 Shared Online Video Sites
Friday, April 02, 2010
This is a two-part blog post. It was much longer but I am getting an error message from Blogger and lost half of this blog post. I do not have time to repost it. Sorry about that. I am not happy.

The first resource below came out 3 years back and is being republished. It relates to writing and building a successful academic career. The second one on shared online video I just came out with. There are many ideas for teaching and learning from shared online video in it.

1. 30 Writing Tips for Jump-Starting an Academic Career Revisited:Scott Jaschik from Inside Higher Ed wrote me last week asking to republish a blog post of mine from 3 years ago with 30 writing tips for young academics. I reread much of it...there are actually some solid writing tips in there (in retrospect). Perhaps you can use a couple of them or might want to share with one of your students or colleagues. If so, here is the citation and link:

Bonk, C. J. (2010, April 2). 30 Writing Tips. Inside Higher Ed. Available:

Keep in mind that these were written off-the-cuff. The original blog post, A Quick 30 Writing Tips for the Start of an Academic Career, had pictures with it. I wrote it with recently graduates of my program here at IU in mind. Some of the ideas might be a tad controversial. Not sure. Some might sound a bit egotistical...but I was trying to point out that one can go from a state of having trouble publishing to a state of enjoyment with writing and publishing if you live a life rich with writing opportunities. Perhaps you can now too.

2. 40 Shared Online Video Sites: Some Formal, Some Highly Informal, Some Mixed:
Last night and this morning I created a list of 40 shared online video sites. These range from Academic Earth, Big Think, Link TV (one of my favorites), TV Lesson, Fora TV (another Bonk favorite), and YouTube EDU.

You can find these linked from the Resource list I have created at

Shared Online Video 6a:

Or you can go directly to the list:

Below the list of 40 shared online video sites, you will find 2 more lists: one on 10 ways instructors, trainers, or teachers (or even administrators) might use shared online video in their courses or training experiences and 10 more ways you can get learners to use or create them.

These lists did not come from thin air. I started reflecting on the use of shared online video in an article I wrote 2 years ago for the AERA (American Education Research Association) conference in New York City. I have yet to publish it but I have posted this online. See below.

Reference: Bonk, C. J. (2008, March). YouTube anchors and enders: The use of shared online video content as a macrocontext for learning. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2008 Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Why create such lists of video resources? Well, there are hundreds of such sites. Many people think most of the video on the Web is junk. Perhaps that was true 5 or 10 years back but not today. Today, as the Gates Foundation has noted, higher education can significantly benefit (financially as well as pedagogically) from thinking creative and imaginative uses of all the shared online videos. We must ask how we plan to use such free online content from the world's foremost experts. Never before was it possible to call up a presentation on nearly any topic conceivable and listen the one of the best known experts on the topic discuss it. Cool! As I mention in my World is Open book, this is a learning revolution in learning. This is the learning century and shared online video is a key reason why that will be the case.

Elliot Masie from the Masie Center has published a number of his Learning Trends reports recently on the use of shared online video (report #608, #601, and #584. In the most recent of these three he argues that:

"The introduction of video into almost every aspect of our learning and work tasks is profound and “disrupting”. As designers, we must experiment with these formats, looking for evidence and appropriate use cases and examples of when not to use video. Rising bandwidth, lowered equipment costs, ease of editing and growing expectations of learners will make video a profound component of our learning efforts going forward."

I would agree with Masie. Video is disrupting the state of things in every educational sector. As he notes, so much is possible with video chatting, Skype, telepresence videoconferencing (from Cisco, HP, etc.), video podcasts, video coaching, and synchronous conferencing like Breeze/Adobe Connect Pro. We can stream 5 hour lectures (no questions asked), bring in guests from around the planet online, assign students to summarize their learning in a YouTube-like video, require students to watch 3-5 short videos each week in addition to reading the book and other materials, etc. Video is transforming education and training. Enjoy is not going away anytime soon.

If you are a verbal learner, you will perhaps appreciate list #1 above of writing tips; and if you prefer visuals to text, the second list might be more appealing.

Enjoy this brave, new learning century filled with writing opportunities as well as those related to the visual side of our minds. And enjoy the coming weekend. Go Butler Bulldogs!!! Many great videos to be produced there...
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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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