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).

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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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Sharing . . . the Journey: A Prequel to "The World Is Open"
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I couple of months ago, I rewrote the short prequel to my book, The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Sharing . . . the Journey: A Prequel to The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education

Here is the Citation to the prequal:
Bonk, C. J. (2009). Sharing…the journey: A Prequel to “The World is Open: Now WE-ALL-LEARN with Web Technology.” Updated and available:

In the article, I detail the evolution of the sharing culture in education over the past few decades. I also discuss sharing from the perspetive of different generations of learning technology. A snippet from the end of that article is below. It includes 10 ways in which you can now share. Enjoy.

It does not matter where I travel or with whom I communicate now, the stories I hear are much different and, at times, exceedingly optimistic. The seeds of sharing have successfully grown and ripened into assorted educational fruits. No longer are there mass protest rallies against online learning or the sharing of such resources and learning. Visits to various cities in Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Korea, and Canada since the end of 2006 confirmed this for me. At each stop, people asked me if it was acceptable to videostream my talks. In response, I quickly told them to podcast, videostream, Webcast, pubcast, or do whatever they wanted with it. And feel free to post my slides, my talk abstract, picture, or bio as well. All education should be shared. The more we share educational resources, the more the knowledge of this planet is opened to its learners.
So what can you share to help education around the world?

1. Mentoring: You can sign up to be an online mentor, coach, or tutor in your area of expertise. Many professional organizations today include some type of mentoring services, including engineering, teaching, business, and nursing.

2. Course Content: If in postsecondary education, you can share instructional content you have created in places such as or Connexions. If in K–12 education, perhaps contribute to or use Curriki or one of many online lesson plan sharing sites. Those in corporate, nonprofit, or government positions should talk to your training directors or chief learning officers about what sharing is possible within your organization. And informal learners and citizens of the world can create a course homepage or shell, podcast, or online instructional videos wherein they share educational ideas and experiences.

3. Join the OCW Movement: At an organizational or institu-tional level, you can share entire courses or programs in the OCW movement. Administrators need to consider putting forth proposals and strategic plans for such.

4. Guest Expert: You can be a guest expert in an online chat or Webinar. You might also podcast a lecture on a topic and place it on the Web for others to access for free, such as in iTunes. Along these same lines, you might videostream a lecture you give in a class, at a conference, or in a workshop for free distribution to the world community.

5. Collaboration: You can sign up at ePals or Keypals to engage in online collaboration with another school. You might also share cultural artifacts or lessons for such collaborative activities and events. At the corporate level, you can share software problems and solutions, new product training, and additional intellectual capital in wikis, blogs, podcasts, or other appropriate technological outlets.

6. Translator: You might volunteer to translate open educa-tional resources or OpenCourseWare in your native tongue.

7. Portals: You can create, index, or aggregate educational portals of online content. You can also market or showcase any new or consistently useful portals that you find.

8. Evaluator: You can help in the evaluation or rating of online content. You might also develop the methods and forms of evaluation to be employed.

9. Software Developer: Software developers can offer open source or introductory free versions of their software or special discounts for education.

10. Blogger: You can blog on current events in education, thereby sharing what is happening. At the same time, you can add hyperlinks within your blog, thereby stretching your post to other valuable educational resources, documents, trends, and events.

The list above is only a fraction of what is now possible. Clearly, opportunities for sharing our educational lives are exploding. This is a key part of the giving that Bill Clinton was talking about (in his book on "Giving"). Sharing education is among the most powerful acts of giving that human beings can engage in. And such educational sharing can take place in a wide variety of formats.

Sharing can be casual among friends who teach the same course and want to benefit from what each other has developed or accomplished. Such collegial sharing might involve a new instructional activity to test out, or a video you’ve just found in YouTube, CNN Video, or the BBC News and Videos. Each instance of sharing among these friends and colleagues, casual as it might be, allows for innovations, changes, and new ideas to be piloted and perhaps someday flourish in other disciplines not originally intended. Sure, instructors have always shared their resources with friends, but not at the speed or intensity possible today. Though some share educational ideas using e-mail, text messaging, and comments to online discussion forums or communities, many others now prefer their sharing to be conducted in social networking sites like MySpace, LinkedIn, Digg, Facebook, and Twitter. Still others employ free online phone services such as Skype and Google Talk.

Such sharing is often creative, spontaneous, and somewhat haphazard. As a result, it is virtually untrackable. But as evidenced by the millions of visits to these sites each day, it is happening! Sharing can also be more formally designed and documented in popular news media as in the OCW sites, or in the translations into additional languages as in the OOPS project. What institutional leaders and politicians need to figure out is how to foster and encourage both formal and informal sharing pursuits. How can they perhaps nudge them along, embed recognition for them, and celebrate their successes?

The scope of online sharing certainly varies. It can occur among just a few individuals or perhaps benefit only a single person for it to have value. At the same time, it can be used by teams, schools, local communities, countries, regions, or the world community. Sharing can be sensed in a fleeting moment in time and then dissipate. It can also be much more lasting and even viral, thereby spreading to people far beyond the originally intended audience and recurring a million times over.

The fourth generation of educational technologies has not only made sharing possible, but also highly encouraged. For millions of people spread far and wide across this lovely planet, these technologies are indispensable; this is how countless individuals today spend the learning-related aspects of their lives. Consequently, stories of sharing in education will be part of teaching and learning lore for decades to come. Teachers will continue to be givers, but everyone involved in education or training, no matter the role or capacity, will be sharers as well as sharing receivers.

There are no shortages of sharing opportunities today, nor will there be in ten, twenty, or a hundred years from now. With each passing generation, sharing will become increasingly synonymous with education, because sharing, like giving, is at the forefront of what it means to be human. Each person walking this planet will be expected to share his or her ideas, talents, expertise, wisdom, products, computing power, bandwidth, scientific discoveries, and educational materials with others using various forms of online technologies. Such is life in the twenty-first century and beyond.

As in Bill Clinton’s documentation of how giving can change the world, through sharing, anyone can make a small dent in solving educational problems and implementing progressive educational reforms. What will you share and where might your journeys in this exciting arena lead? I hope you find time to share your results.

Please let me know what transpires. I look forward to hearing about your innovative sharing pursuits.

Curtis J. Bonk
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Overcoming the Technology Resistance Movement: 10 Ideas
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Over the past decade, we all have heard technology resistance stories. Some might say reticence, reluctance, or hesitancy (sorry this last one is not an "r" word; though we could add "restrained" and "reserved" to the Ok, in any event, K-12 teachers, college instructors, corporate trainers, and so on all feel some tug on them to be cautious or to be a tad resistant to new technology integration ideas or shifting their teaching from face-to-face settings to fully online and blended ones.

Of course, change is hard. Even harder is keeping up with possible changes in front of us or to our sides. Frustration often sets in quickly when one does try to keep up. So resistance is often a natural barrier to said frustrations. Before I proceed any further, let me point out that such feelings of resistance have significantly dropped in the past year or two. I notice this almost everywhere i visit. I think we have moved from the technology awareness (Stage 1) and technology resistance (Stage 2) stages or phases to Technology Understanding (Stage 3) and Technology Use (Stage 4). These are the stages as I see them with Technology Application Sharing and Marketing (Stage 5) and Technology Discussion, Reflection, and Revamping (Stage 6) and so on to come later. I just made some of this up so please do not use it for training just yet...unless you want.

I get the question about faculty resistance so often after speaking about it that I wrote a chapter about how to deal with it in my 2008 book, Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing...also called the "R2D2" book. Here is the reference for the R2D2 book:

Bonk, C. J., & Zhang, K. (2008). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Well, as with many things I do, I wrote too much. So, the publisher decided that it was one of the six chapters that needed to be deleted. Well, fortunately or unfortunately, it is the most popular of "the missing chapters." Seems everywhere I go to speak, those in the audience ultimately ask about administrators, staff, and instructors who are more hesitant and what do to about them. When I get home, I send them the missing chapter titles "Overcoming the Technology Resistant Movement."

I tell them that if you want a copy of it, send me a note at "curt at" You can do so as well. Or, now you can get the shortened version that came out 1-2 days ago in the "Inside the School" newsletter from Magna Publications in Madison, Wisconsin. This article was posted in conjunction with a Webinar I will do for them in a few days (to be honest, the Webinar was taped last month when I visited Madison). Here is the online newletter article citation.

Bonk, C. J. (2010, January 11). Overcoming the Technology Resistance Movement, Inside the School (, Magna Publications, Madison, WI. Available:

Read the 10 ideas in there (e.g., modeling, mentoring, training, sharing, celebrating, etc.) and see what you think. Please note that I was limited to length. It is around 1,100-1,200 words I think. If you have more suggestions, place a comment with them. I have more ideas as well. Keep in mind that Inside the School is for K-12 educational personnel. However, this was originally written with college instructors and corporate trainers in mind as well as K-12 teachers. Hence, the list can be reused and repackaged in many ways and perhaps serve as starter text for a conversation with instructors or instructional designers about technology resistance or hesistancy. Hope you enjoy it.

It is nothing that special but people seem to enjoy having such a list of options to change the culture. There is no one solution. It is a systemic or cultural initiative that needs to take place for true change and progress forward. And on we will most certainly go...hopefully forward. Again, if you want the entire chapter we wrote, just let me know. It will make it in one of my next books.
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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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