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Thu, 26 Apr 2018 18:20:00 EDT
My Indiana University (IU) colleagues, Dr. Brad Wheeler and Dr. Stacy Morrone, held a timely and brilliant Webinar on Tuesday afternoon April 24 with Pearson and the Chronicle of HE on the eTextbook initiative at IU. (If interested, Click here to sign in and access the recording).

During the event, they announced and launched a free open access book from Creative Commons on the topic from IU: “eTexts 101: A Practical Guide.” Want a copy? Just go here to Download or read online. If interested, below is the Table of Contents (TOC). Have a look.

Brad Wheeler just noted to me that with the launching of this book, IU has "opened the door and put the model [that IU is using] in place as another option" for IU faculty to have "another option for their course materials, and they are choosing it with greater frequency." Perhaps other institutions will follow it as well or tweak it for their own purposes. As a new and emerging area, there is much need for such models in the eTextbook field. People need to understand what is required to undertake such an initiative, what is possible with book publishers, how to negotiate contracts, the potential benefits, the road ahead (i.e., the timeline or multiple timelines), and so on.

Here at IU, it is a proven success story. As shown below, there are 9 times as many eText adoptions in terms of course sections and 7-8 times as many student users of eTexts at IU now then there was just 5 short years ago. Faculty members are also jumping on board with 6-7 times as many unique faculty in 2017 compared to 2012. Wow...that is some growth.

The savings are literally amazing! See below for a depiction of the cost savings for IU students from 2012-2017.

Oh...how about a quick snapshot on eTexts at IU for 2017-2018. Brad Wheeler just sent me the image below to share. It is very telling. As he notes, IU faculty have driven this overwhelmingly positive response. IU faculty have been quite progressive when it comes to adapting technology for their instruction for a long time. When I got here in August of 1992, there were many interesting learning technology-related initiatives taking place.

 Write me an email if you want a PDF of their talk slides or the book (or see the link above).

As shown by the data above, IU continues to lead the academic technology world. Last week Wednesday April 18th may have been IU Day. But when it comes to eTexts, every day is IU day! Go IU!


Thu, 18 Jan 2018 16:47:00 EST
Capturing and then Taming the Monster...
The famed monster syllabus for my emerging learning technologies class came out two weeks ago and I updated it earlier this week. This is the 20th time that I am teaching this course since it was designed and taught at West Virginia University. My esteemed colleague Dr. Mike Reed and I had a very short syllabus back in 1990 when we first designed this course and called it "New Technologies in Education from a Cognitive Perspective." I miss my wonderful friend and mentor Mike; hard to believe that he passed away back in 2009. Since MIke and I originally taught it, the course has had many other names including "Interactive Tools for Learning and Collaboration" and "The Web 2.0 and Participatory E-Learning." Links to all 20 syllabi from all previous versions of this course from 1990 to 2018 can be found in the current syllabus.(Sidenote: 6-7 years ago, I blogged on the evolution of this class.)

The monster takes weeks to prepare. Can you imagine what it is like updating such a 78 page beast. I try to create a balance between main articles and news articles or tidbits as I call them. I want to inspire my students through those more practical tidbits. I want the content to come alive for them.

This semester, I am blending the course with 14 online students and 16 face-to-face or 30 total which is too many for a 600 level course. I also have 2 Fulbright scholars from Afghanistan sitting in and about a dozen visiting scholars from China (mostly English professors) sitting in as well. A few people from the USA are also in and out. So the room is packed once again. And it is tricky connecting everything in the room since I am combining two videoconferencing systems (i.e., Zoom and the old Cisco Crestron system already in the room)...long story. Not easy.

Use the monster syllabus as you like. Steal as many resources and ideas as you need or want. I hope that many people can use part or all of it. It can be a resources to find recent research on OER, MOOCs, AR, VR, AI, open textbooks, blended learning, flipped classrooms, mobile learning, etc. For a brief moment in time, it may be one of the most up-to-date and comprehensive documents on emerging learning technologies available on this planet. But that moment in time goes by pretty fast unfortunately. And so, I will have to revise and contract and expand this monster again next winter. Total ug!


There is new content on most (if not all) of the topics listed below including special journal issues on open textbooks, social networking, MOOCs, open education, etc. Here are some of the topics. Explore. Enjoy.

Navigation Links:
Skip to Week 1. (January 8) Introduction to the Open World: Visionaries and Visions
Skip to Week 2. (January 15) Alternate Reality Learning: AR, VR, Gaming, and Simulations
Skip to Week 3. (January 22) Open Textbooks, E-Books, and Digitally Enhanced Books
Skip to Week 4. (January 29) The Expansion of Blended and Fully Online Learning
Skip to Week 5. (February 5) Extreme, Nontraditional, and Adventure Learning
Skip to Week 6. (February 12) Open Educational Resources (OER) and OpenCourseWare (OCW)
Skip to Week 7. (February 19) Open Education and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Skip to Week 8 (February 26) More MOOCs and Open Education Around the World
Skip to Week 9. (March 5) Motivation in Informal and Self-Directed Online Learning Environments (including online language learning)
Skip to Week 10. (March 19) Connectivism, Social Media, and Participatory Learning
Skip to Week 11. (March 26) Interactive, Global, and Collaborative Learning (including wikis and learning spaces)
Skip to Week 12. (April 2) Shared Online Video and Audio
Skip to Week 13. (April 9) Flipping the Classroom
Skip to Week 14. (April 16) Mobile, Wireless, and Ubiquitous Learning
Skip to Week 15. (April 23) The Future: Networks of Personalized Learning and AI Agents

Here is a direct link to the online "monster" syllabus:

Till next year...

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:35:00 EDT
Vanity? Security? Simplicity? Change? Timing? Or just because I can? Perhaps it is just time for a change. But after more than two decades with the same homepage, I thought we should try it and see if it worked. And so, Curtbonk.com (and CurtisBonk.com) now exist: Due to security changes at IU (blame the North Koreans and the Russians), I finally asked my assistant Seth to port it all my stuff to “CurtBonk.com” and “CurtisBonk.com.” There are new security rules and systems in place at IU called Duo. The Duo system requires a two-step login and hence limited who could update my homepage. In effect, it forced me to create a new homepage

I bought these URLs two or so years ago for my homepage http://curtbonk.com/. Now you can tell people to find my stuff there. You can find all my open access papers in PublicationShare, PowerPoints of all my talks in TrainingShare, my free videos in YouTube on how to teach online, my free book, Adding Some TEC-VARIETY, all my other book projects, my course syllabi, and so much more. As part of these changes, my 8 pack learning theory video lectures are now in my SuperTravelinEdMan YouTube channel (long and boring and 9 years old).

My old homepage at IU will still work and point to CurtBonk.com (at least until the day I leave). Please check out my new homepage and let me know what you think. It is not flashy. In fact, it will look exactly the same. But now the URL will be easier to remember. It does the job for now. 

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 14:24:00 EDT
Friends in MOOCs
My SOLE (Self-directed Online Learning Environments) research team (Meina Zhu, Minkyoung Kim, Shuya Xu, Najia Sabir, and Annisa Sari) and I just submitted a paper for review last week related to instructor personalization of MOOCs. In terms of the data for the study, we sent a survey to over 1,000 MOOC instructors last summer and received about 152 responses. Here is the title of that paper (unfortunately, I cannot share the paper at this point since it is in review...email me if you want a copy.):

Bonk, C. J., Zhu, M., Kim, M., Xu, S., Sabir, N., & Sari, A. (in review). Pushing toward a more personalized MOOC: Exploring instructor selected activities, resources, and technologies for MOOC design and implementation.

One question that we asked was the following:

1.      How many of the participants from your most recent MOOC would you now consider a personal friend?
a.       None
b.      1-5
c.       6-10
d.      11-20
e.       More than 20

I was interested in this question since I taught a MOOC for Blackboard (catalog) related to how to teach online exactly 5 years ago (wow...it has been 5 years already? Yes!). It was called "Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success." We used CourseSites from Blackboard. You still can enroll 5 years later.

In that course, I made many new friends, including people from Scotland, Belgium, Ukraine, Italy, Australia, South Africa, the United States, the UAE, Sweden, Macedonia, and other parts of the world. Friends in the USA included those from Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts, Texas, Kentucky, and so on. One of my MOOC participants, Paul Beaudoin, is an American composer, theorist, and author who was at Fitchburg State University at the time.

Paul performed extremely well in the course and got to know and support many of his global peers. In fact, despite nearly 4,000 people enrolled, he and I became good friends. Paul was among my favorite students in the course. During the course, Paul sent me an email asking me to look "under the hood" at one of his own courses and give him some feedback. And so I quickly explored it and found his activities to be highly impressive. Not surprisingly, Paul later recognized by Blackboard with an award for his unique and engaging online course ideas and activities.

Suffice to say, we became good friends. I have recommended him for a couple of awards and recognitions since then including a Fulbright experience a year later in Estonia which he was awarded. His proposal was titled:
The Changing Face of Music and Education: Technology, Creativity, and Inspiration,”

At the end of the MOOC, Paul said to me (which I have permission to share...see my testimonials):
           “Many thanks for the work you have been sharing with us these last 4 weeks. While I was hesitant at first, I have come to love this MOOC and look forward to it. Even better, is that I am implementing some of the ideas I've learned these past few weeks in my Summer Survey of Music class. I am now working on implementing other TEC-VARIETY ideas to bring into the fold.

I have much better expectations for the outcomes of this class and with the new techniques/strategies I have learned in the Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Learning MOOC. I am inspired and open to bringing my students a more engaging learning experience. Participating in the Instructional Ideas and Technology Tools for Online Success has made it clear to me that my focus in life is one who is passionate about teaching.”

Given the admittedly shaky start to my MOOC as the suite of tools Blackboard used were not designed for a MOOC, I was grateful for with all the positive comments when the MOOC was over. In fact, I was a tad overwhelmed. I now had dozens more people to connect to and share my research  reports with. At the time, i promised the participants that my next book would be free and so it is. My "Adding Some TEC-VARIETY: 100+ Activities for Motivating and Retaining Learners Online" is now free. It has had more than 100,000 downloads since it came out in 2014.

Giving away one's writing is one way to generate new friendships. Giving course design feedback is another. So is offering a free massive course. In terms of MOOCs, I think that the number of friendships made relate to the type or form of MOOC that you design. Is it an xMOOC (more traditional instructor led) or a cMOOC (more community and participant driven) or pMOOC (more project or product based) or some other type? One's goals and teaching approach or philosophy will certainly impact the number of new friendships made. As per the title of this blog post, "Making friends in MOOCs: It is No Fluke!"

Here is what we found in our survey research:
While the type of MOOC taught was deemed important, we were also curious whether these instructors felt like they made new friends as a result of teaching their MOOC(s) as it might be an indirect sign of MOOC personalization and enhanced interaction with the participants. However, when asked how many of the participants from their most recent MOOC that they would now consider a friend, 115 (76.7%) of the 150 MOOC instructors who responded to this question indicated none. Nearly one in five respondents (n=29; 19.3%) made between one and five new friends. Only 6 respondents (2.4%) made more than six friends from teaching their MOOC. In effect, despite the huge enrollments, delivering a MOOC typically led to few new personal friendships; a sign that they were more often taught as xMOOCs or self-paced MOOCs and not more participant or community driven types of cMOOCs.

See figure above (we are using a line graph in our journal article). Over three-quarters of MOOC instructors make no friends at all when teaching the massive courses with tens of thousands of people. How can this be? Perhaps I have a more loose definition of friendship than most MOOC instructor. But clearly, most MOOC instructors are not involved in teaching such a massive class to make new friends. They are likely more focused on delivering content. We need to do some follow-up interviews to find out more. But it is an open area of research. Perhaps others will want to focus on the possible links between friendships made and retention, learning, satisfaction, or enrollment in additional MOOCs.

I am curious what others think. I am also interested if anyone knows of any additional research on this topic. Perhaps one of my MOOC friends knows.

Sun, 4 Jun 2017 3:47:00 EDT
Introduction to MOOCs and Open Ed Book Interview:
Just like being a guest on a radio shows, as discussed in my last blog post from two days ago, interviews are always fun to do and I tend to learn a lot when responding to the interviewer questions and comments. Over the years, I have found recorded oral interviews to be more spontaneous and easier to do than written ones; however, written ones, while they take much more time, tend to come out better and are more thoughtful. Such was the case a few months ago when my book editing team and I responded to interviewer questions in writing.

As indicated, this time it was a joint interview. More specifically, the interviewees were myself, Mimi Lee from the University of Houston, Tom Reeves from The University of Georgia, and Tom Reynolds from National University. Two years ago, we had co-edited the book "MOOCs and Open Education Around the World," which was published by Routledge in late June 2015. The excellent interviewer questions came from my doctoral student Meina Zhu and her colleague in Beijing, Yunjian Zhao. We initially received their questions back in January and February, and, then, after a first draft was completed, there were several follow-up questions and expansions in March and April. The article appeared shortly after that in May 2017. My that was quick and most welcome!

I should point out that Yunjian Zhao is the editor of the journal in which this was published, China Educational Technology. It apparently is a top educational technology journal in China (if not the top one). So my team and I felt fortunate to have been selected for this interview. About a decade ago, I was interviewed for this same journal regarding my book, The Handbook of Blended Learning: Global Perspectives, Local Designs, which had come out in 2006. Given the feedback that I have received since that time about that particular interview on blended learning, I think it was widely read. In a roundabout way, that one interview (which I almost did not do) later led to the translation of my book, the World is Open, to Chinese. The current interview is highly timely since the MOOCs and Open Ed book has just just been translated to Chinese by a team led by Dr. Jianli Jiao (blog) at South China Normal University (SCNU) in Guangzhou and will soon be available from East China Normal University (ECNU) Press in Shanghai. It will be my third book in Chinese. Cool! The other one is a free book in English and Chinese on online motivation and retention using my TEC-VARIETY framework.

Back to the interview...there were 25 questions in this particular interview, which is a tad more than usual. As a result, we address a wide gamut of topics including the role of MOOCs and open education, MOOC pedagogy, quality issues concerning MOOCs and open education, issues related to MOOCs and open education in developing parts of the world, ways to perhaps address cultural sensitivity and personalization of MOOCs, MOOC research, design and development issue, and future trends. We also discuss the book writing process and our various collaborative efforts. Hence, it ended up being a rather long document of nearly 10,000 words counting references and bios.

Link to Article Publication in China (and reprint in English):

The reference to this interview is below. Note the links to both English as well as Chinese versions of this article.

Citation #1:

Zhu, M., & Zhao, Y. (2017). MOOCs and open education: Possible roles, pedagogical practices, personalization, and pending trends. China Educational Technology-conversation with Drs. Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi Miyoung Lee, Thomas C. Reeves, and Thomas H. Reynolds, China Educational Technology, (5), 30-39.

Note: China Educational Technology is normally only published in Chinese (website of our article in China). However, I wanted the interview to be widely read and shared. Hence, my assistant, Seth White, and I worked hard to get an English version of this article that used the China Educational Technology journal formatting. That took some time and patience. We have been told that this is the first time that they have one of their publications available in English. Check it out. I think it looks splendid. The abstract from this interview is below.

Article Abstract:
In this article, Professors Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi Miyoung Lee, Thomas C. Reeves, and Thomas H. Reynolds discuss the events that led to their recently edited book on “MOOCs and Open Education Around the World” as well as a special journal issue on this same topic. They reflect on the role of MOOCs and open education in the developing world as well as how content from MOOCs might be creatively and effectively be used in any course. In addition, they offer timely guidelines on the design and delivery of MOOCs. Suggestions are also made concerning cultural sensitivity and personalization of MOOCs as well as possible resources and perspectives addressing MOOC quality. Near the end of this interview, Bonk, Lee, Reeves, and Reynolds point to research methods that might help close the many gaps or unknowns related to the effectiveness of MOOCs, important challenges facing MOOC researchers and instructors, and future directions and societal changes that those involved with MOOCs and open education need to take into consideration. They end with a discussion of where their research is headed and possible new directions and advancements in the field as a whole. As part of that discussion, they offer advice for working as a team on such complicated projects as an edited book. They also detail the topics and goals of an upcoming symposium on “MOOCs and Open Education in the Developing World” which they will coordinate in October 2017 at the E-Learn Conference in Vancouver.

Keywords: MOOCs, open education resources (OER), OpenCourseWare (OCW), cultural sensitivity, personalized learning, developing countries

Dr. Yanxia (i.e., Sophie) Sun is thanked for her help in reviewing the Chinese translation of this document. She is one of my current visiting scholars from China. Of course, that is not her in the picture below. That picture comes courtesy of Dr. Eunbae Lee, formerly of Georgia Southern University and now living back in Seoul, Korea and working at Catholic University of Korea. It is her daughter, Leanne Park, who is so conscientiously reading our book. A budding scholar!

What is Coming Next (A Preconference Symposium at E-Learn!):

Near the end of the interview, we discuss what is coming next. Tom Reeves, Tom Reynolds, Mimi Lee, and I have our separate research and scholarly projects underway now. But, one key event on the horizon is a preconference symposium at the annual E-Learn international conference in Vancouver October 17-20 (Note: the first call for proposals has a due date of June 10th; there will most likely be a second call after that if you miss the June 10th proposal date).

I should point out that we have already coordinated two such preconference symposia for this conference back in 2008 and 2013 in Las Vegas. In addition, the four of us are all board members of E-Learn so Tom, Tom, and I asked if we could coordinate another such event; this time on "MOOCs and Open Education in the Developing World" at the E-Learn conference in Vancouver this coming October. If you cannot make it, there will be a FREE online panel in Zoom (actually 2 one hour panels) at 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) the night before (i.e., October 16). We have special guests coming from Figi, the Philippines, Antigua in the Bahamas, Kenya (the African Virtual University), Thailand, China, Brazil, and Malaysia. These are 8 super great panelists! Keep in mind that the night of October the 16th in North and South America would would equate to the morning of the 17th in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand; see preset World Clock for the exact times around the world.

The main part of this exciting symposium will be all day on October the 17th in Vancouver with 3 keynote and 4 invited speakers, a special panel, a couple of breakout sessions, interactive discussions, Q&A, and more! The speakers will be fantabulous (see the program link below)! They come from places like the World Bank, UNESCO, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Inter-American Development Bank, and Stanford University. It will be like a conference within a conference. Don't miss it! The conference flier just came out. The preconference symposium will cost $99 (including lunch) to register for the full day and $65 for half the day (also including lunch). For more info, see this link (download PDF of program). Registration (direct).

Excerpt In Innovate Learning Review from AACE:
Note: an excerpt of the interview mentioned above that was published last month in China Educational Technology (May 2017) appeared shortly afterward in Innovate Learning Review (portions of the original interview were republished in English with the permission and encouragement of the editor). Innovate Learning Review (ILR) is a relatively recent publication from AACE which happens to run the E-Learn Conference as well as Ed Media, SITE, and Global Learn. We asked for this simultaneous publication in ILR in order to have part of the interview available in English. We did not realize that China Educational Technology journal would allow the English format (see earlier links to the full interview).

Citation #2:
Zhu, M., & Zhao, Y. (2017, May 16). MOOCs and open education: Possible roles, pedagogical practices, personalization, and pending trends. China Educational Technology-conversation with Drs. Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi Miyoung Lee, Thomas C. Reeves, and Thomas H. Reynolds, Innovate Learning Review. Available HTML and PDF: http://publicationshare.com/12(Note: This is an excerpt of interview in China Educational Technology, May 2017)

An Earlier Interview: I should mention that an earlier interview related to this book can be found in the July-August issue of Educational Technology magazine. I am delighted that we were interviewed for this issue since the editor of Educational Technology, Larry Lipsitz, passed away a few months later in November 2016. Fortunately, Larry gave permission to post this article online before he passed away. He was an amazing guy (here is a link to my tribute to Larry). I will wait for another blog post to explain more about him and perhaps post my entire tribute to him. My most excellent colleague Tom Reeves from the University of Georgia faithfully, creatively, and tirelessly organized a special section of the last issue of Educational Technology this past March-April 2017 for Larry. Larry had been edited of this journal since inception in the 1960s. Amazing!

Citation #3:
     Mark Viner, Ellen Gardiner, and Michael F. Shaughnessy (2016, July/August). Q&A with Ed Tech Leaders: Interview with Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi Miyoung Lee, Thomas C. Reeves, and Thomas H. Reynolds, Educational Technology, 56(4), 59-64. Available as PDF: http://publicationshare.com/6

Final Note:
For more information on the MOOCs and Open Education Around the World book (including the preface and various other free materials, nine book reviews, 2-3 author interviews, the slides to several presentations, myriad endorsements, and several reader reactions), see the book homepage at http://moocsbook.com/. You will notice that we also edited a special journal issue on the same topic in the International Journal on E-Learning (IJEL) at the same time. Finally, I should note that my MOOCs book editing team and I were fortunate to receive a top book award at the annual AECT Conference last October in Las Vegas. See picture of the four of us (cropped). Or see below with one of our great editors at Routledge, Daniel Schwartz (who is on the left), following by Mimi Lee, Tom Reeves, myself, and Tom Reynolds. Alex Masulis, our other excellent editor at Routledge, is not in this photo, unfortunately.

We hope you like the interview. And we also hope to see you at the preconference symposium in Vancouver in October...or at least virtually for the free session in Zoom (see the World Clock) the night before the E-Learn conference starts. Info on Symposium, PDF of program, registration (direct). Please tap me on the shoulder if you make it.

Sat, 3 Jun 2017 0:44:00 EDT
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: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/versatilist/episodes/2017-04-24T13_59_48-07_00
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 indiana.edu.

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 on...next time! In any event, I hope that you can listen to yesterday's show: “Digital Technology’s Impact On Education, Cognitive Development”).

Sun, 9 Apr 2017 1:12:00 EDT
Publishing open education in open journals has many advantages. For instance, people are less likely to call you a hypocrite...or so I hope.

Are you interested in the developing world or open education? MOOCs? Are you new in your career? Are you an oldtimer with much wisdom and knowledge? Are you just looking for a journal to publish in? Well, then, try the relatively new journal called the Journal of Learning for Development (JL4D): http://www.jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d. This journal comes from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in Vancouver. My fantabulous friend Sanjaya Mishra from COL is one of the lead people on it. Thanks Sanjaya (see his COL bio)!

My most excellent colleague, Mimi Lee from the University of Houston, and I have a mixed methods research article in the current issue if JL4D that came out last week. It is open access.

             Bonk, C. J., & Lee, M. M. (2017). Motivations, achievements, and challenges of self-directed informal learners in open educational environments and MOOCs. Journal of Learning for Development, 4(1), 36-57. Retrieved from http://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/195/188

The article stems from research on informal and self-directed learning that I conducted with participants to my MOOC with Blackboard several years ago. It is great to have this research published finally. I have informed my friends at Blackboard as well as my former TAs who helped with this project. They are all delighted.

You might want to explore the Table of Contents (TOC) for that entire issue (or here). Below is the title, abstract, and keywords from that article:

Motivations, Achievements, and Challenges of Self-Directed Informal Learners in Open Educational Environments and MOOCs

Abstract: This research targeted the learning preferences, goals and motivations, achievements, challenges, and possibilities for life change of self-directed online learners enrolled in a massive open online course (MOOC) related to online teaching hosted by Blackboard using CourseSites. Data collection included a 40-item survey of which 159 MOOC respondents completed the close-ended survey items and 49 completed the 15 open-ended survey items. Across the data, it is clear that self-directed online learners are internally motivated and appreciate the freedom to learn and choice that open educational resources provide. People were also motivated to learn informally from personal curiosity and interest as well as professional growth needs and goals for self-improvement. Identity as a learner was positively impacted by informal online learning pursuits. Foreign language skills as well as global, cultural, historical, environmental, and health-related information were among the most desired by the survey respondents. The main obstacles to informal online learning were time, costs associated with technology use, difficulty of use, and lack of quality. Qualitative results, embedded in the findings, indicate that self-directed learners take great pleasure in knowing that they do not have to rely on others for their learning needs. Implications for instructional designers are offered.

Keywords: Open educational resources, open education, informal learning, massive open online courses (MOOCs), self-directed learning, intrinsic motivation.

I really appreciate the "Open Access Policy" of this journal:
               "This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. By making all articles available under a CC-BY-SA license, the Journal of Learning for Development allows its authors to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. Readers can copy and distribute the published work in any medium and format; remix, transform, and build upon the work as long as the original author (s) and the Journal of Learning for Development are attributed, and the derivative is released under CC-BY-SA license."

I also like the "Focus and Scope" of the JL4D:

               "The Journal of Learning for Development provides a forum for the publication of research with a focus on innovation in learning, in particular but not exclusively open and distance learning, and its contribution to development. Content includes interventions that change social and/or economic relations, especially in terms of improving equity.

                   JL4D publishes research articles, book reviews and reports from the field from researchers, scholars and practitioners, and seeks to engage a broad audience across that spectrum. It aims to encourage contributors starting their careers, as well as to publish the work of established and senior scholars from the Commonwealth and beyond."

You might give this journal a try. Please let me know if you do. And let me know what you think about the new publication from Mimi and I in the current issue of the JL4D. You might read this article. In it, you will see that lives are being changed by newly open online educational resources, courses, and other exciting initiatives.

Sat, 28 Jan 2017 18:16:00 EST
My daughter Nicki and I will tour southern France, Spain, and Portugal in June (still sorting out our schedule). Ironically, I was just asked to speak at the Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) Conference June 26-29, 2017 in Coimbra, Portugal. So I guess part of the schedule is now determined. I will speak on Day 1 or Day 2. The due date for proposals is extended February 15th.

If you are coming, please let me know. This looks like a great event! More info:

I hope to see you there.

Sat, 31 Dec 2016 0:11:00 EST
As per usual, I've been working a bit during winter break. Good news....I guess. The spring of 2017 version of the famed "Monster Syllabus" for R678 Emerging Learning Technologies has been reawakened, revived, and rejuvenated, is now available for anyone to explore, use, share, expand, debate, etc. While it had expanded to 75 pages a few years ago and then contracted to something much more reasonable last year. Much has been added in from the happenings of the past year and a few things revived from prior semesters. For the spring of 2017, the monster now stands at a mere 63 pages.

I added back in augmented reality, virtual reality, and gaming; which I had deleted a couple of years ago. I also found many new research articles and news items (i.e., tidbits). And I included a bit on artificial intelligence to the end of the course (for possible mainstream addition next time). See below for links to the 16 designated weeks of the course.

Direct Navigation Links:
Skip to Week 1. (January 9) Introduction to the Open World: Visionaries and Visions
Skip to Week 2. Alternate Reality Learning: AR, VR, Gaming, and Simulations (Explore Week #1)
Skip to Week 3. The Sudden Explosion of E-Books and E-Book Readers
Skip to Week 4. The Expansion of Blended and Fully Online Learning
Skip to Week 5. Extreme, Nontraditional, and Adventure Learning
Skip to Week 6. Open Educational Resources (OER) and OpenCourseWare (OCW)
Skip to Week 7. Open Education and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Skip to Week 8. More MOOCs and Open Education Around the World
Skip to Week 9. Motivation in Informal and Self-Directed Online Learning Environments (including online language learning) (Explore Week #2)
Skip to Week 10. Connectivism, Social Media, and Participatory Learning
Skip to Week 11. Wikis, Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Collaborative Writing (Explore Week #3)
Skip to Week 12. Shared Online Video and Audio (Explore Week #4)
Skip to Week 13. Flipping the Classroom
Skip to Week 14. Interactive, Global, and Collaborative Learning (including learning spaces, etc.)
Skip to Week 15. Mobile, Wireless, and Ubiquitous Learning
Skip to Week 16+. Networks of Personalized Learning and AI Agents

I have been teaching this course for more than a quarter century. It has evolved from a course mostly about the psychology of learning with technology to one that discusses a series of prominent technology tools and resources. There are dozens and dozens of articles, videos, websites, technology tools, e-books, etc., just waiting for you to explore in the spring 2017 syllabus. In addition, you can explore every prior syllabus (see the Web links below). Much more is in the monster syllabus itself. See first link below for the latest incarnation of the monster.

Image result for monsters

I look forward the spring class. Anyone is welcome to sit in. It is on Monday nights at 7:00-9:45 pm in Room 2101 of the Indiana University (IU) School of Education. Stop on by. If you do, perhaps you will be seeing monsters in your sleep.

Sample Prior P600/R685/R678 Syllabi:
  1. Spring 2017: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R678_Spring_of_2017.htm
  2. Spring 2016: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R678_Spring_of_2016.htm
  3. Spring 2015:  http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R678_Spring_of_2015.htm
  4. Spring 2013: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R685_Spring_of_2013.htm
  5. Fall 2012:  http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R685_Fall_of_2012.htm
  6. Spring 2012: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R685_Spring_of_2012.htm
  7. Fall 2011: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R685_Fall_of_2011.htm
  8. Fall 2010: http://mypage.iu.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R685_Fall_of_2010.htm
  9. Fall 2009: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus_R685_Fall_of_2009.htm
  10. Fall 2008: http://mypage.iu.edu/~rwadholm/R685/Syllabus_R685_Fall_of_2008.htm
  11. Fall 2007: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/R685-Fall-2007.htm
  12. Fall 2005: http://mypage.iu.edu/~cjbonk/syllabus_p600_and_r685_fall_of_2005.htm
  13. Fall 2003: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/p600syl2.htm
  14. Fall 2002: http://mypage.iu.edu/~cjbonk/Syllabus--2002.html
  15. Fall 2001: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/P600-R685-2001.htm
  16. Fall 1999: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/P600-R685-1999.htm  
  17. Fall 1997: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/P600-R685-1997.htm
  18. Spring 1995: http://php.indiana.edu/~cjbonk/P600-R685-1995.htm
  19. Fall 1990: http://travelinedman.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-evolution-of-monster-22-years-of.html  
Image result for monsters

Final Note:
By the way, back in September 2012 (a little over four years ago), I made a blog post that included more of the history related to this course. Feel free to explore it. If you do, you can see what topics were hot back in 1990…some of which remain important today. Perhaps in three or four more years (i.e., the Year 2020), I will provide another glimpse of the history of this course. Perhaps it will have a another new and improved title. And perhaps someone else will be teaching it. Time will tell.


Mon, 28 Nov 2016 1:11:00 EST

Part 1: Updated “PEERS” Framework
Quality Control for Self-Published TEC-VARIETY book
Free Book: http://tec-variety.com/
Free Chapters: http://tec-variety.com/freestuff.php
Curt Bonk, Professor, Indiana University, cjbonk@indiana.edu
November 2016

Back in May 2014, I self-published a book related to online motivation and retention (see blog post from two years ago). This particular blog post concerns the peer review process (PEERS) that we put the book through. It only took me 2.5 years to finally finding some time to make this post.

It is important to point out that I originally dreamed of this book back in 2000 with my colleague Vanessa Dennen of Florida State University (Vanessa's blog). It only took 14 years to come to fruition. And my co-author was Dr. Elaine Khoo from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, while Vanessa became one of the book editors.

The book title: is “Adding Some TEC-VARIETY: 100+ Activities for Motivating and Retaining Learners Online.” This book offered a new framework for online motivation called TEC-VARIETY.  Each letter of TEC-VARIETY stands for a set of overlapping motivational principles. There are 100 activities in the book (10 for each principle of motivation). Online instructors can learn how to foster curiosity, design a safe climate for learning, give feedback, foster interaction and collaboration, nurture student autonomy and creation of products, and much more. The intent is for higher online learning retention and the development of more self-directed online learners. 

With the 100+ activities, it follows the same format as my Empowering Online Learning book published by Jossey-Bass back in 2008 with a model called Read, Reflect, Display, and Do (R2D2) (Amazon). This new TEC-VARIETY book has a brand new set of 100+ activities and a focus on learner motivation and retention.

Elaine Khoo and I made this book free as an e-book. We used Amazon CreateSpace as our publisher along with OpenWorldBooks (which I own). AmazonCreateSpace were some of the most wonderful people in the world to work with. They were highly polite and customer service oriented.

To date, over 80,000 people have downloaded the entire book in English and tens of thousands more have downloaded individual chapters. Scholars at Beijing Normal University in China have recently translated it to Chinese (also free as an e-book) and the Open University of China has published it in print. Anyone can now download, share, and, with permission, translate it in English or Chinese. By the way, my son Alex produced the book cover.

TEC-VARIETY Book Homepage: (full book download: English and Chinese)
Individual Chaptersand Entire Book, see "Free Stuff": http://tec-variety.com/freestuff.php
Amazon (paperback and Kindle and hardcover by request)

A common question of self-published books relates to quality. See below for the "Peers framework which I designed and used for this book so as to address quality. Others might find it a handy guide when self-publishing their own books.

Reference:  Bonk, C. J., & Khoo, E. (2014). Adding Some TEC-VARIETY: 100+ Activities for Motivating and Retaining Learners Online. OpenWorldBooks.com and Amazon CreateSpace.  Note: Free eBook available at: http://tec-variety.com/

PEERS Framework (for review of a self-published book):
1.       Peer Review: Three e-learning and educational technology experts were hired to review the entire book during the summer of 2013 (admittedly, however, this was not a blind review). The authors made their changes and sent the revised manuscript to the copyeditor. In addition, the copyeditor also took on a role of editor throughout the process and made some solid suggestions on deletions, modifications, combinations, additions, etc.
2.       Extensive Planning and Pilot Testing: The book 14 years to plan, 7 years to collect articles, and 3 years to write. In addition, the framework in the book was discussed to large as well as a small audiences at conferences, workshops, institutes, summits, webinars, university classes, etc., for more than a decade. Tens of thousands of people attended those talks. Feedback was received from hundreds, if not thousands, of such people during that time.
3.       Expert Team Approach: As with all book publishers, we contracted with many experts to produce a book of the highest quality. We hired editors, copyeditors, research assistants, website developers, proofreaders, graphic artists, illustrators, indexers, formatters, converters to other formats (e.g., Kindle, hardcover, etc.), computer programmers, book publishers, consultants, etc. Each were paid a fee (not cheap). We also talked about the process with several others who had self-published a book in the past.
4.       Relied on Format of Proven Book: Most importantly, the “Adding Some TEC-VARIETY” book followed the exact same format as the “Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing” book which was published in 2008 by Jossey-Bass. In effect, the format works and was deemed to be high quality by a major publisher. And unlike many activities book, this is a theory to practice with not just 100+ activities but with extensive references and theoretical backing. In addition, this book had the exact same first author as that book who went through the same process in writing this book. As with the earlier book, he partnered with an expert to co-author it.
5.       Sharing Samples: Sample chapters were sent to other experts in the field and other interested scholars, educators, and researchers for the past three years as were the chapter resources, tools references, and citations. Everything was shared as much as possible. The feedback that was received helped us fine tune each chapter.

Part 2: The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing
Curt Bonk, Professor, Indiana University
November 2016

Here is a list 10 advantages and 10 disadvantages of a free self-published book. See what you think of these items. Please enjoy some TEC-VARIETY.

Advantages of Self-Publishing:
  1. Impact: Life impact. The ideas in the book related to teaching and learning can impact others around the world. And perhaps there will be some life impact or personal change from a few of them. There is also the potential for curriculum impact, resource impact, innovation impact, etc.
  2. Longevity: Longevity of ideas. Someone could find or use or modify this book long after the authors are gone. Digital archivists and educators might stumble upon this book centuries from now.
  3. Rural and Disadvantaged: A free book helps people in the developing world learn new content. In addition, teachers and course designers can ramp up online and blended course development.
  4. Control: This IS the big one. The authors can design and change things how they want. Use the book titles and subtitles that they want and the examples that they want. And, yes, 2-3 experts peer reviewed the book just like another publisher (e.g., Jossey-Bass/Wiley) would have done.
  5. Experiment: It is an experiment. The authors can learn what works. We can practice marketing skills. We can share with others about self-publishing. We can start OpenWorldBooks.com. And we can continue the experiment with the next book.
  6. Less to Pack: Less guilt when someone has a request or when you visit a country with no gifts. I can always give people this book (or at least the link to download it).
  7. Fun and Novel Invitations: The authors can trade book royalties for interviews, discussions, invited panels, consultations, and speaking invites.
  8. Parting or Meeting Gift: It is something the authors can give to students, guests, and visiting scholars. I can send to anyone who visits or calls to interview me on the phone.
  9. Growing Network: The network of contacts around the world expands.
  10. Reputation: It brings attention to author reputation or brand and everything else that one does.
Disadvantages of Self-Publishing:
  1. Personal Time and Effort: This project has been my baby for a long time. And I made it free? This was not just 3 years in the making. I had an IST master’s student collect articles 7 years before completion. And Vanessa Dennen and I discussed a possible book on online motivation 14 years prior.
  2. Cost: The authors spent much out of pocket money designing and developing this book. Proofreaders, researcher assistant, Web designer and programmer, copy editor, editors, indexer, formatter, graphic designer, publisher, and website costs. It was not insignificant (I’m happy to share the costs via email).
  3. Potential for Failure and Looking Foolish: It could backfire and no one could find out about the book. If that happens, one could look foolish.
  4. Perceptions of Self-Published Book: People might think that it is low quality since it is being given away for free. The author reputation could take a hit. Some scholars/academics might look down on someone who self-publishes.
  5. Piracy and Plagiarism Battles and Legal Fees: People could more easily plagiarize this book. They could copy it, sell it, and post it online. There could be many moles to whack via attorney letters.
  6. Fairness to Self (i.e., potential for psychological and physical problems): My body could tell me that I am an idiot after expanding so much energy to get this far and not get much in return.
  7. Fairness to Co-Author: My book writing colleague, Dr. Elaine Khoo, deserves some remuneration.
  8. Translation Negotiations: The authors have to negotiate book translations rights and contracts, instead of the publisher. Tough decisions have to be made about selling the book in another language or offering only free versions. It takes time to produce a new version of the book.
  9. Marketing and Dissemination Requirements: The authors have many ways to market the book with organizations that have hundreds of thousands of connections; however, they will lack the connections and networks of a major publisher (e.g., conference exhibits, newsletters, Website promotions, etc.).
  10. Future Expectations: In the future, how can the authors justify charging a fee for any book that takes less than 14 years to produce?

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