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).

Dr. Bonk's Home Page

Bonk's Emerging Learning Technologies course

Video Primers in an Online Repository for e-Teaching and Learning (V-PORTAL)

Click here for information about my recent book, MOOCs and Open Education Around the World.

Bloggers I follow
My reading list
Send me just a Pew more Today: Online learning reports this week from the USA Today and the Pew Internet & American Life Project
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Lots of reports related to educational technology and online learning this week in the USA Today (my primary source of news--smile). Monday they featured a story on 3 students at Carlton College in Northfield, MN who gave up computers for a few weeks. Not sure if Jessie and Frank James pulled off another great Northfield raid and stole all their computers, but I was curious to read what happened. Seems some of them could actually go offline for 3-4 weeks. And the rest of their class produced a documentary about it. They even asked the student body to abstain from computers for 24 hours.

They were forced to use typewriters of all things. Wow, now here's a technology that I want to forget (typing was my lowest grade (C) in high school--and perhaps lowest grade in my life). Despite that wondrous class, I still hunt and peck for keys. Still to give up computers and I assume online access via phones as well, is quite difficult today. I gave up TV in August in a $10 bet with my son and I think that is much easier to give up than computers. If my son was smart, he would have bet me $10 that I could not give up computers or the Internet for a few months. Hec, I can catch up with everything online--who needs stinking TV anyway? Not me! But I could not do the opposite--I could not get all my news, communication, and information needs from TV if I gave up computers instead of TV. Typewriters and TV are history in my book. Computers, mobile devices, and online communication are all I need. For more, read

The next day (December 18th), the USA Today ran yet another article the trend toward using digital textbooks (see Have we not seen this before? 2000? 2001? 2002? 2003? 2004? 2005? 2006? And now late in 2007. Having been on the board of a digital book company called Metatext from 2000-2002 (now part of Xanadu), I can say that I have heard this story before. Every year we hear about the great boon toward digital textbooks, only to also hear about the bust a few months later due to problems in pricing, acceptability, usability, portability, trust, etc.

I think this time is really different, however. The article expand (albeit briefly) on how these can better address student learning styles and preferences. I just finished an article with Dr. Ke Zhang yesterday on how online technologies marry well today with theories of human intelligence, learning styles and preferences, and cognitive styles. Our upcoming R2D2 (Read, Reflect, Display, and Do) book with Jossey Bass has many examples related to how tools such as digital textbooks can address verbal and visual learners (as well as reflective and hands-on ones). However, Ke and I do not believe in learning styles per say. Still it interesting that companies like Pearson are once again making a push in this area (and perhaps no longer simply plodding along).

Wednesday was a slower day at the USA Today in terms of online and distance learning but today (Thursday the 20th) it picked pack up again (see This USA Today article notes that according to a new Pew Internet & American Life Project report called "Teens and Social Media" (see
According to this report, Web-savvy teens still use the telephone to communicate with their friends (39%); in fact, they use it more often than using their cell phones (35%), relying on face-to-face meetings (31%), sending instant messages (28%) or text messages (27%), using social networking tools to send messages (21%), and email (14%). Wow, I guess email is old school. And I guess the telephone is still ok.

There is also a report from the Pew Internet & American Life project called "Digital Footprints Online identity management and search in the age of transparency," by Mary Madden, Susannah Fox, Aaron Smith, and Jessica Vitak (see

This report is about how we have become content creators and expose masses of personal information about ourselves online. And then we Google our own names to see what appears. Is Google now our identity? There is much data in each report that you might want to read.

Humm, to recap, then, Carleton College kids are going back to typewriters and shunning computers, teens are still using landline phones to contact their friends more than cell phones (the data must be wrong here), publishers are yet again pushing digital supplements and e-books, and I am giving up TV. So, the world keeps turning--am I pushing ahead and everyone else pushing back or vice versa?
Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 10:05 AM   3 comments
Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to my RSS feed  
"Wired for Learning": A call for a new Web 2.0 book
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Whether it is a good or bad sign I do not know, but as with any trend in education there seems to be a ton of attention related to the Web 2.0 lately. There apparently was a debate between Andrew Keene and Graham Attwell at the big e-learning conference called Online Educa in Berlin (see Keene is the outspoken critique of the Web 2.0 and apparently at the conference, Attwell responded by saying that “I am Andrew Keen’s nightmare!” I did not get to Online Educa this year, but you can read more from the link above.

This enamoration with the Web 2.0 has translated into many books, Webinars, classes, and institutes on it. One such book, "Wired for Learning: An Educator's Guide to Web 2.0," I was informed of yesterday is below. The "Wired for Learning" book will be edited by Terry Kidd of the University of Texas Health Science Center and Irene Chen of the University of Houston-Downtown campus. I met Terry when giving a keynote at the University of Houston in November of 2006 (he won a copy of my Handbook of Blended Learning at the end of my keynote). A few months later (March 2007), I briefly met Irene at the SITE conference in San Antonio.

As noted below, I have chapters in 2 of their other books; one in press and one recently released.

Lin, M.-F., Bonk, C. J., & Sajjapanroj, S. (in press). Twin wiki wonders?: Wikipedia and Wikibooks as powerful tools for online collaborative writing. To appear in I. Chen & T. Kidd (Eds.), Social information technology: Connecting society and cultural issues. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Liu, X., Lee, S. H., Bonk, C. J., Magjuka, R. J., & Liu, S. (2008). Technology use in an online MBA program: Issues, trends and opportunities. In Kidd, T. & Song, H (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Instructional Systems and Technology (pp.614-630). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

If anyone wants a preprint of either of the above chapters, let me know. But this causes me to reflect. Sure seems to me that Information Age Publishing as well as Information Science Reference (formerly The Idea Group Publishing) both are producing many edited volumes and encyclopedias related to educational technology and e-learning lately (though Info Science Reference definitely has more). I wonder to myself how they can market them all and how people can pick and choose between them given all the books that they churn out in this fashion. The titles often look extremely tempting, but how can all of these books be of high quality? I also wonder who can afford them. What might they do to help the customer?

Compiling a "best of" book is one option of weeding through mass of edited volumes that companies such as Information Science Reference produces. My first book back when in graduate school in 1988 with Donna Rae Clasen was, in fact, a compiled book on critical thinking. Clasen, D. R., & Bonk, C. J. (Compilers). (1988). Teachers tackle thinking: Critical thinking in the classroom. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Extension. (Note: this was created for nationally distributed telecourse on critical thinking).

Perhaps one way to do something with all these books is to compile a set of best articles from all the books. In fact, I had four old chapters of mine reprinted in a huge multi-volume book, Online and distance learning: Concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications, compiled by L. Tomei for Information Science Reference. Compiling newer books based on older articles in e-learning and distance learning is one way to gain attention to articles that were once thought gone to the scrapheap of old articles. I got notice this week that "Online and distance learning" is the #2 selling book this year from Information Science Reference. Unfortunately, the price is well over $1,000!!! Just who in the field of education can afford it?

Terry asked that I pass this information on so I am. Perhaps some of you might want to submit a proposal to him. Perhaps others will wait for books on the Web 3.0 or 4.0 or for some other trend or buzzword. More information on Terry and Irene's Web 2.0 book effort is below. (Do see an earlier blog post of mine about another Web 2.0 book (see that Catherine McLoughlin and her colleague are doing (for my blog post, see

Call for Chapters for the
Wired for Learning: An Educator's Guide to Web 2.0
Editors: Terry T. Kidd
University of Texas Health Science Center, USA
Irene Chen, Ed.D
University of Houston-Downtown, USA

"Web 2.0" (O'Reilly, 2005) is a term used to describe an apparent second generation or improved form of the World Wide Web that emphasizes collaboration and sharing of knowledge and content among users. There has been a burgeoning interest in Web 2.0, both in mainstream society as well as in education, with tools such as blogs, wikis, RSS, social networking sites, tag-based folksonomies, and peer-to-peer (P2P) media sharing applications are gaining popularity and traction in all sectors of the education industry.

Web 2.0's inevitable arrival within the education system is likely to follow the pattern set by the first generation of the Web, only to become more pervasive and essential. With Web 2.0, students can be actively involved with creating content and accessing mass amounts of information, but educators need to determine how to embrace and focus the activities on teaching and learning. Wired for Learning: An Educator's Guide to Web 2.0 holds tremendous potential for addressing the growing interest in mainstream society and in education. The purpose of Wired for Learning: An Educator's Guide to Web 2.0 is to present a realistic framework of Web 2.0 to educators for teaching and learning practices aimed to meet the educational challenges of learners in diverse settings.

Wired for Learning: An Educator's Guide to Web 2.0 will provide a compendium of terms, definitions and explanations of concepts, processes and acronyms. Additionally, this book will feature chapters (3000-5000 words) authored by leading experts offering an in-depth description of key terms and concepts related to various areas, issues and trends in Web 2.0.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following :
(We will solicit research-oriented as well as practitioner-oriented chapters. Case studies will also be solicited.)

• Introduction and Historical Background Information: What is Web 2.0?
• Philosophy of Web 2.0
• Legal, Cultural, Social, and Political Issues in the Web 2.0
• Nontraditional, Alternative, and Informal Learning with the Web 2.0
• Global and International Education and Interaction
• Overcoming the Digital Divide with Web 2.0
• Socio-cultural Aspects of Web 2.0
• Web 2.0 Learning Styles
• Instructional Design and Pedagogical Issues with Web 2.0
• Web 2.0 Tools: Virtual Worlds, Language Learning, Podcasting, Wikis, Blogs, Social Networking, and Online Communities
• Instructional uses of blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasting, P2P media sharing in an education setting
• Instructional uses of blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasting, P2P media sharing in a corporate business and industry settings
• Web 2.0 and mobile technologies / mobile collaborative learning
• Massively-Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and networked learning
• Institutional issues related to Web 2.0 and social informatics (e.g. strategy, policy, and infrastructure)
• Web 2.0 and learning management systems
• Web 2.0 and Human Performance Technology
• Success factors and pitfalls in the implementation of Web 2.0 teaching and learning
• The Future of Web 2.0
• Real world case studies and exemplars of Web 2.0 in university and K-12 teaching and learning (need a number of good proposals in this category)

Invited Submissions: Individuals interested in submitting chapters (3,000-5000 words) on the above-suggested topics or other related topics in their area of interest should submit via e-mail a 1-2 page manuscript proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of the proposed chapter by February 1, 2008. We strongly encourage other Web 2.0 topics that have not been listed in our suggested list, particularly if the topic is related to the research area in which you have expertise. Upon acceptance of your proposal, you will have until June 1, 2008, to prepare your chapter of 3,000-5000 words and 5-7 related terms and their appropriate definitions for the glossary section. Guidelines for preparing your paper and terms and definitions will be sent to you upon acceptance of your proposal. Full chapters will be submitted to a double-blind peer review. Authors are allowed to submit no more than three single chapters for this publication.

You will be notified about the status of your proposed topics by March 1, 2008. This book is scheduled for publishing by Information Age Publishing, in 2009. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit

Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document) or by mail to:
Editors, Terry T. Kidd and Irene Chen
Terry T. Kidd
University of Texas Health Science Center
School of Public Health
1200 Herman Pressler Office: West-220
Houston, TX 77030

About the Editors:
Terry T. Kidd is a PhD candidate from the Texas A&M University and is the Director of the Office of Instructional Development & Support Services at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health. Kidd has presented at international conferences on designing technology rich learning environments, web based instruction, and issues dealing with training and development. His research interests include technology adoption, instructional design strategies for eLearning and the socio-cultural aspect of information communication and technology. He has published the Handbook of Research on Instructional Systems & Technology and Social Information Technology: Connecting Society and Cultural Issues with Information Science Reference an imprint of IGI Global, Inc.

Irene Chen received her Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology from University of Houston . She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Education at the University of Houston Downtown. Dr. Chen has diverse professional experiences. Previously, she is instructional technology specialist, learning technology coordinator, and computer programmer/analyst. She has taught numerous graduate and undergraduate courses in instructional technology and curriculum & instruction, and delivered a number of K-12 in-service training and professional development activities for school staff and faculty members. She has recently published Technology Application Competencies for K-12 Teachers and Social Information Technology: Connecting Society and Cultural Issues with Information Science Reference an imprint of IGI Global, Inc.
Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 9:58 AM   2 comments
Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to my RSS feed  
Packer backer bday travels of TravelinEdMan
Monday, December 17, 2007
After giving 104 talks on e-learning and related topics in 2005 and 107 in 2006 (only 82 in 2007), during the past year or two, I have tried to spend less time away from home when traveling. I have done day trips to DC, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Lafayette, Dayton, Athens, Ohio, etc. If it is within 6 or 7 hours, I try to drive and I often see if I can get back to Bloomington (Indiana) the same day. And there are many US cities within 6-7 hours of my home. That was true this weekend in a journey to St. Louis and back.

Normally TravelEdMan blogs on e-learning, but yesterday was Sunday and so not a lot of e-learning things happening though I will sneak a few points into this post. Yesterday was my birthday. To celebrate, TravelEdMan went on an adventure from Bloomington, Indiana to St. Louis, Missouri to see his favorite football team, the Green Bay Packers.

My father took me to such a game for my birthday decades ago back when I was a young lad. I remember that freezing cold (icicles forming from your nose) day at the old Milwaukee County Stadium. I think we beat the Los Angeles Rams that day 28-7 with Bart Starr at quarterback and some keen passing to Carole Dale in the NFC championship game right before the Super Bowl. Well, now it was too many years later and they were to play the St. Louis Rams (the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995) with Brett Farve at quarterback. Sure enough, we won again! Score was 33-14. Many Wisconsin fans made it to Green Bay. They were dressed in green shirts, green hair, and cheeseheads. It was crazy. Felt sorta like a home game for the Packers though they were the away team. No one from St. Louis stayed for the end of the game and most did not come early like us Packer fans!

I got 4 tickets on eBay a few weeks before—one for me, one for my daughter Nicki, and one for her boyfriend, Corbin. Unfortunately, I did not know that the weather would be so bad!!! Fortunately, I think my daughter and her boyfriend had a blast though they got to sleep on the way there and back and I could not. The 4th ticket was for my Thai friend from the University of Missouri, Ta Boonseng. TA is a great guy. He took me to Bangkok for my birthday last year to keynote a conference and then had bands from 6 pubs sing happy birthday to me. This year was different--a football game in America.

Driving to St, Louis was quite a painful experience yesterday for my bday (many cars, trucks, etc, in the ditches or in accidents; some major semi-truck accidents and one car flipped totally over). We made it though-- I drive carefully. Little plowing on I-70 when got to Illinois—I now officially hate the State of Illinois highway road crew people and the politicians who apparently underfund them. Very scary when big trucks pass you and you cannot see where the road is. That was so-so bad. Left at 4 am St. Louis time and got there at 10 am (normally 4 hour drive took 6 hours—so not too bad). Looking back, we probably should not have gone but once you are in it, you just go.

At least I did get to listen to part of an old book I have been wanting to read, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." I complete roughly one book each month this way. Speaking of e-learning (smile); perhaps there is a way to get people to listen to books that they are assigned in class. I think there is a serious need to translate articles and books to audio.

Anyway, the game was great. One new record for passing was set by my favorite player, Brett Farve of the Packers. The Edward Jones Dome was easy to find and great to watch a game inside. And you can make phone calls when inside. Both my brothers called me while I was in the stadium to wish me happy bday which was great. My son too. TravelinEdMan was happy!

After the game, we spent over an hour just trying to get out of the parking structure. And by the time we passed by “the Arch” and departed from STL, it became dark and I took a wrong turn onto Highway 55 and ended up in Springfield, Illinois before I realized it (60 miles off my route-- I simply missed the sign since in Illinois they give you 1 sign and no warning) so it took 2 hours extra to get home. In retrospect, at least we did not go on same I-70 which was bad in the morning (took I-74 instead--so perhaps 2 extra hours was good for us). Spent 12-13 hours driving on my bday. Still wearing those clothes today. I smell bad I bet! Oh well, I get to wear my bday pin one more day (I got this pin when former and current Korean students had a surprise bday party for me Saturday at a great restaurant here in Bloomington with Chinese food, gifts, singing, etc). So my bday celebration now in its 3rd day. Or perhaps the fourth since it is now the morning of the 18th!!!

My next post, I promise to be back on e-learning stuff.
Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 10:25 PM   1 comments
Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to my RSS feed  
I Ustreamed your Ustream: Tha's a twitter of an idea!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
TravelinEdMan has not done any international traveling the past six months but I have been to DC a few times and to Atlanta and Milwaukee for conferences. When I was presenting at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference last month in Atlanta (see something unusual happened which I finally have time to reflect on below. First, I must point out that this conference asked me to do 4 invited 1 hour talks back to back to back to back on Wednesday afternoon November 14th. That was tiring to say the least. Keep in mind that I flew to Atlanta and back to Indianapolis the same day (Yes, the SAME DAY--I am stupid and insane at times) and this was after presenting a few times in Washington DC on Monday November 12th and flying home on Tuesday. It was quite a crazy week. And somehow I was able to teach my Minday and Tuesday night classes at IU that week (Monday using videoconferencing from DC).

When I got home from DC on Tuesday, I was plain old out of gas. AND, I still had the 4 talks in Atlanta to prepare for (I was about 60-70 percent done). Needless to say, Atlanta was a grueling experience. By the time I got to my final talk in Atlanta, I was pretty beat. And, compared to all my other talks that week, this crowd was the smallest one. I was attempting to synthesize across the 3 one hour talks I did earlier in the afternoon in just 1 hour (a "Best of Bonk" type of talk). Relatively small crowd, tired, feet sore from wearing new shoes, voice going, etc. I think I had a 15 minute break to catch my breath.

Guess what? Vicky Davis (alias Cool Cat Teacher; see decides to sit near the front and ask if she could use her Webcam and Ustream it (in addition, she was also going to Twitter it and blog on it). Oh no, I said to myself. I am not ready for this. So, I said to Vicky, "What is Ustream?" Well, she replied, it is fabulous--you can can let others watch a presentation who might not be able to attend. I then said something like, "sure, go for it." Now keep in mind that I was extremely tired at this point. But knowing that I was going to be Ustreamed to the world, it perked me back up and I was glad that it did. Soon people around the world who got Vicky's announcement in Twitter or Blogger were logging in. Amazingly, my friend, Dr. Bernie Dodge at San Diego State University was saying hello and asking questions. When I heard that Bernie was online it was like a shot of adrenalene. I reached back and found some previously unused reserve energy and gave it my best shot.

I also found out that one of the students in my program back at IU, Jennifer Maddrell, got wind of it while attending a conference in New York City and sent a message for me to Vicky as well. After the event, Jennifer sent me an email titled, "You Ustreamer!" Then she said, "I was ustreaming from a conference in New York, when I saw a tweet from Vicki Davis in Twitter that she was ustreaming YOU! So, at my conference we ustreamed us watching your ustream. Cool ..." Now, how cool is that? One of my students watching me present on a topic she was interested in, but not during a class at IU, but, instead, from a conference talk of mine and she was in session at a different conference from the one in which I was presenting. (I should point out that Jennifer is one of our distance students so she is rarely found live in Bloomington, Indiana anyway.)

I was worried that I looked terrible at that point in the day, but Jennifer assured me that I did not. Whew! But what is Ustream you ask? Well, Jennifer informed me that Ustream (see "is a free 3rd party host for live streaming video and audio. Think Breeze, but Web 2.0 style. They offer a chat room and will host the video after you are done streaming so you can create your own "channel." All you need to do is sign up for free, hook up any old webcam, and you are off to the races!" Ok, this surely sounded wonderful, so I have been checking it out since then.

But now what is possible when people Ustream a Ustream and bring their friends to the e-party with Twitter, Blogger, Facebook Groups, and the rest of their online suite of tools? What is now possible educationally? What learning might happen? As per usual, here are ten ideas off the top of my head:

1. Conference to Conference Connections: As Jennifer did, now one can send a plenary or keynote speaker (or anyone of interest) from a conference to another conference. If a conference was too poor to bring someone in or if a person was unable to be at 2 conferences at the same time, someone might be sent to where the person decides to keynote and then Ustream him or her to the other conference. This could be done with permissions of all interested parties or perhaps more sneakily. You must determine what ethically works for you.

2. Conference to World Connections: You can now Ustream someone of interest at a conference to the world. Is there any legal liability you ask? Get permission from the speaker for one. I am no attorney nor do I claim to be. When I was an unhappy CPA/accountant, I almost turned to the dark side, but held off. When in doubt, ASK!

3. Ustream Podcast Shows: Now activities like EdTechTalk (see at World Bridges are using Ustream to add video to their audio broadcasts. Consequently, you can meet and hear people for free online.

4. Ustream Instructors: You can create educational channels in Ustream for others to watch (just like in YouTube, Splashcast, TeacherTube, etc.). Might someone create a video bank of best educational videos someday and repackage them? Is there a list of best 100 online instructors?

5. Ustream to Ustream to Ustream: Might popular Ustreamers in the field of education band together and syndicate some of the best shows or performances that they anticipate? What if there was a once-in-a-lifetime performance from someone famous in a discipline? What if someone well known was giving a last lecture before retiring or changing fields? These can now be Ustreamed by someone in the audience for anyone in the world to see.

6. Student Ustream Competitions: You might ask students to find and rank the top 2-3 educational Ustreamed sites on a particular topic or content area and then have the class vote on them. The person who selected the one with the top votes might get bonus points. He or she might also introduce that video (or set of videos) to the class. (Now you might have a problem with this as some of the content is not educational; then, perhaps do the same at TeacherTube or some other educational portal or channel of videos).

7. Student Ustream Creations: Ask students to create a channel in Ustream as a class project. They might be the presenters, filmers, or both.

8. "Live Ed": During the 1980s and 1990s in the USA, there were Farm Aid and Live Aid concerts to help farmers keep their farms or to provide food for those in third world countries that needed it--some of these concerts appeared for a day or two on TV and eventually into the Internet. Since that time, there have been been online days for various things like International Internet Day, International Earth Day, Live Earth day, etc. Well, what about Live Ed? Perhaps with tools like Ustream, people from around the planet could be sharing educational content of the best of best thinkers and ideas around the clock; perhaps starting with someone in New Zealand and then Australia and then Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and China and then Russia and India and so on working westward around the planet. You could hear from different people maybe on the theme for that day or on different themes that intersect. Perhaps pose a key question related to educational change or reform and let people in different countries and regions of the world attempt to answer it in a celebrated experience of everyone on this planet. That is quite ambitious I know! perhaps on a smaller scale, what about conference event for the world to participate in. For instance, in my own field, I realize that no one can attend all the conferences on e-learning or educational technology, but with Ustream, one might be able to gleem some of the best ideas and meet some of the biggest stars. It is worth a thought. Ok, who will start "Live Ed?"

9. Ustream the Ustreamers!: Have students interview someone with a Ustream channel or a popular show. These interviews might even be Ustreamed! I think that would be unique. Ustreams of ustreamers (akin to blogging on bloggers or doing podcasts on or with well known podcasters).

10. Side by Sides: What if 2 people giving similar talks at the same time at 2 different conference somewhere in the world were juxtaposed against each other? Wht might you look for? How might an instructor use this to pan back and forth between presenters? And what about speeches of politician being Ustreamed and compared during an election year? Or perhaps find 2 Ustreamed presentations on the same topic and compare and contrast them. (For higher level students perhaps in higher education, you might have the students find the video content.) You don't need Ustream for this--it is also possible with YouTube, TeacherTube, CNN videos, Google Videos, etc.

Those are just some ideas off the top of my head. I am sure that there are hundreds more and many that do not require Ustream and that were possible long before Ustream. And when you combine technologies such as adding Twitter notifications or a posting in a Facebook Group or in MySpace or within one's blog, the experience is appropriately amplified and extended. I think for a while the notion of someone "Ustreaming my Ustream" will be unique enough to motivate me when speaking on an empty tank! Try it!

As I said at the start, I have not done much international travel lately. Note that TravelinEdMan was in Thailand a year ago for my birthday (December the 16th) and to keynote an e-learning conference (I was in Taiwan the previous week last year). To celebrate it this year, TravelinEdman (me) will be in St. Louis tomorrow/Sunday to see the Green Bay Packers play (beat we hope) the St. Louis Rams in a dome stadium. Hope the snow and ice hold off as I got some tickets on eBay I need to use!
Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 4:47 PM   6 comments
Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to my RSS feed  
Multi-pedagogies meeting Multi-technologies, Looking Back 20 Years and then Forward to Today!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
There many famous quotes and expressions related to change and innovation that imply that what we see around us everyday is basically what we already have seen; i.e., today is the same as yesterday. For instance, the obvious one is “the more things change, the more things stay the same.” Another is “Yesterday comes like today.” How about this one that I found in Wikiquote ( “They made two thousand years ago seem like yesterday, and yesterday looked like today, just as today would, in time, look like tomorrow” by Geoff Dyer. In contrast, the 9th president of Turkey, Süleyman Demirel said “Yesterday is yesterday, today is today” (see

Well, some of what I see happening in relation to the use of technology in education reminds me of the past. However, much of it has some freshness that is worth writing about. Let’s see if you agree.

Twenty Years Back:. Back in the late 1980s when I was just a wee young lad studying collaborative reading and writing back at the University of Wisconsin (age 7 or 8), there were numerous methods that were developed and researched and dozens more that were likely never researched. For example, there were generic cooperative learning methods such as student Team Learning techniques like Student Teams Achievement Divisions (STAD) and Teams-Games-Tournaments (TGT) from Robert Slavin and others at Johns Hopkins University which were more behaviorally based. At the same time, there was the Learning Together method as well as Structured Controversy from David and Roger Johnson at the Cooperative Learning Center the University of Minnesota which were both more humanistically based. There were several other generic cooperative learning methods that could also be used for reading and writing.

At some point there was a flurry of techniques developed specific to the reading and writing area. Much of this flurry paralleled the rise in meacognitive strategy research in the cognitive psychology camp. I do not have the time nor the space to detail each method here but I have a really old and never officially published paper on this if anyone wants. For instance, around 1988 many people were talking about the success of the Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC) method which Robert Stevens researched when at Johns Hopkins. There was also research on Reciprocal Teaching which Anne Marie Palincsar and Anne Brown made highly popular when at the University of Illinois; it is popular today. Then there was the MURDER/Cooperative Scripts technique which Don Dansereau and his colleagues at Texas Christian University designed and researched for helping with the comprehension of text in pairs. Note that back when I was at West Virginia University, Deb Clarke and I developed a similar technique called READERS, but that is another story for another day. In contrast to these peer-based and cooperative methods, other techniques that took a more personalized or individualized stance including Reading Recovery (Pinnell, 1989), and Success for All (Slavin et al., 1990). Interestingly, these two methods you still here about today!

For all you Web 2.0 and e-learning geeks, there were technology-based approaches for collaboratively developing reading, writing, and other skills such as Computer-Supported Intentional Learning Environments (CSILE) from my friends at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) (Scardamalia, Bereiter, McLean, Swallow, & Woodruff, 1989). CSILE morphed into the Knowledge Forum about a decade ago. Also interesting to me was the Reading Partner and Writing Partner approaches wherein, like my dissertation, technology was used as a tool or collaborative partner operating in the zone of proximal development of the learner (see work of Salomon, Globerson, and Guterman, 1989 as well as Zellermayer, Salomon, Globerson, & Givon, 1991). Then there was the work of John Bransford and his colleagues at the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (Bransford, Sherwood, & Hasselbring, 1988) which designed numerous instructionally "anchoring" situations called "macrocontexts." Macrocontexts are a shared knowledge or experience base (back in those days they were typically films adapted to video) that help learners focus on collaborative meaning making activities, small group dialogue, and the building of multiple perspectives. With the explosion of online video during the past few years, macrocontexts and anchoring instruction is definitely alive and well in the twenty-first century. Now you can anchor your instruction in a common YouTube, TeacherTube, CNN, or Yahoo video which your class can watch (or potentially create).

In addition to macrocontexts and anchoring instruction, what does this have to do with today? Well every single method mentioned above were multicomponent strategies. They were called “kitchen sink” approaches to instruction since everything was thrown in (e.g., discussion, peer feedback, modeling, questioning, reflection, debate, etc.). In fact, the research at the time on cooperative scripts and reciprocal teaching was highly focused on determining which strategy or feature was vital to making any of them work. However, that was the kicker—there was no one key strategy. Everything was needed!

Back to Today: And that, my friends, leads me to this reflection on my own teaching the past few weeks and this entire fall. I have been trying out things that involve many pedagogical ideas meshed and intertwined with each other. For the most part, they have worked great. But, just like those cooperative reading and collaborative writing methods that I studied in the 1980s, none of these would have worked so well if I had forgotten a piece. Perhaps that is why teaching is an art and a science. Here are ten of these pedagogical ideas and inventions (all briefly stated):

Ten Ideas Where Multi-Pedagogies Meet Multi-Technologies:
1. Synchronous Webinar plus Asynchronous Discussion: Three weeks ago, my students in my learning theories class (see syllabus at had a Breeze (now Adobe Connect Pro) meeting with the famous instructional design professor from Utah State, Dr. David Merrill. He was marvelous and the session was as well (we recorded the final 53 minutes of it; you can find it here:; ignore the first few minutes with feedback in the system). But this was a capstone event. Before meeting Dr. Merrill in Breeze, my students read and discussed some of his articles online and watched a videostreamed lecture he gave at Florida State University last April (see; go to page 2). Combining such pedagogical approaches was highly powerful. They read, discussed and debated, watched, brainstormed about, and then met Dr. David Merrill. Along the way, they used at least four different technologies.

2. Improvisation: After the Breeze session, I had my students do some improvisation of their learning theories (in a similar fashion to a performance I merrily witnessed at the Comedy Store in London last year); I am always on the lookout for ideas to enhance my teaching. Here I had students read ideas from their reflections on their learning and teaching philosophies. Some of these were on paper and others came from posts in our online discussion forum. If I liked what they were saying, I blew a train whistle at random moments and they went to the end of the line and stayed in the competition. If I did not like it or they hemmed and hawed or repeated themselves, I rang a bell and they had to sit down. I did this in groups of 4 students. The ones left standing at the end got a trophy. The train whistle and the bell were the main technologies used here though they might have posted their philosophies to Oncourse. Improv is fun and cool.

3. Wikibook Critiquing, Editing, and Creating: At the same time, this class was creating a Wikibook on the “Practice of Learning Theories” (the POLT; see with students from the University of Houston. But first this class critiqued an existing wikibook on learning theories from Michael Orey’s class at the University of Georgia (see critiques at and Mike's Wikibook at Then they edited an existing Wikibook on learning theories and learning theorists from Dale Fowler’s class at Indiana Wesleyan. In effect, this is likely the first class to ever critique a wikibook, edit a wikibook, and produce one of their own. We ended with a capstone videoconference between Indiana and Houston students. Again, there were many things combined in here. Student chapter drafts were edited by their instructors and peers before posting.

4. Wikibook Global Collaboration: In my other class on the Web 2.0 and Participatory e-Learning (see, during the past few weeks, my students and I designed a Wikibook on “The Web 2.0 and Emerging Learning Technologies” or “The WELT”). Peers from the Open University of Malaysia, Beijing Normal University, National Chiao Tung University, and Indiana State have all been involved in this wikibook project. Individual work plus peer feedback from around the world and now anyone can edit it! This is so cool. Check it out: Perhaps you can make a contribution! Note that students also reflected on their learning from their wikibook chapter.

5. Second Life from the Source: In the Web 2.0 and Participatory e-Learning class (i.e., R685), two weeks ago we had a guest lecture from Sarah Robbins (alias “Intellagirl” in Second Life; see I had her make an appearance only my students read about Second Life (SL) and watched educational videos in YouTube related to it. During my class, Sarah talked about her upcoming book, “Second Life for Dummies” which I recommend some of you check out. My students were amazed with her presentation style. So, in this approach, we had a live demonstration of SL after watching SL videos and reading about SL.

6. Wiki Research Panel: In the previous week, we had a wiki research panel of graduate students and faculty members (wherein I participated). First we read articles on wikis, then they heard research on wikipedia and wikibooks, and then, as stated earlier, they wrote their own wikibooks. Multi-pedagogical approaches and multi-technologies.

7. Blogging Plus: The R685 class also did blogging for a class assignment and had an option to create a YouTube video, video podcast (i.e., vodcast), or video blog (i.e., vlog) in place of one of their other assignments. This worked pretty well. Some students did not look forward to critical friend feedback but they grew to liking it. Some students received feedback from the author of the articles they were reflecting on. Now that is cool and something that was much more rare or impossible previously. With the blog assignment was a reflection paper and peer feedback from an assigned critical friend on each blog. Multiple levels of reflection!

8. Online Explorations for Class Role Plays: The Web 2.0 class also engaged in role play during the semester related to the free and open source software movement. First they had to find out as much information as they could about the person whom they were to role play (most of it online). Then they were to read his or her assigned articles (which were all online). It was quite fun and fascinating.

9. Podcast Explorations: I also had my students listen to a podcast and critique it during the week we were reading about podcasts (again all online articles). And three times during the semester, we had a podcast made in iTunes of the lecture. We experienced podcast then in multiple ways—listened, created, and read about them.

10. YouTube Anchors and Enders: Finally, I had my P540 (learning theory) students sign up to be the cool resource provider for the class one week during the semester. In addition to online articles and portals, they had to find online videos such as YouTube videos to show that relates to the weekly assigned readings. These videos can anchor their instruction at the beginning of class as well as end the class meeting. As they found out, there are thousands of educational videos you can use. We post these to our course management system to watch later if they want. One day, we watched short online videos from George Siemens about Connectivism and then we brainstormed questions to ask him. George replied via email to the class. How cool was that! We all should be using short online videos in our teaching at least a couple of times per course. They are free, they are available in many formats and from many sources, and they are at your fingertips (no longer do you need to complete a silly form to get the video from an AV department). In addition, you can feel less guilty not showing the entire video. Hec, you can always show it again later on or students can access it on their own before or after class. Video in instruction is now on demand and highly flexible AND it can be the anchor of your lectures. Dual coding theory in action--your verbal lectures or course readings plus a few short YouTube or CNN videos. Wow--this is so cool!

So, combining pedagogies and combining technologies was my approach this fall. Like the strategies from the 1980s, mentioned earlier, I tried multicomponent methods. I threw in the kitchen sink! I am not sure what worked best or why it worked, but, as a whole, it worked and that is the important thing. Increasingly instructors will be relying on teaching techniques which are multicomponent. There is so much to do and so many opportunities. Time to turn on the juice!

We live in a time when people talk about multi-tasking and multi-literacies. I think we have to start discussing multi-pedagogies and multi-technologies. Yesterday is yesterday, and today is today; so let’s find more ways to live in today and take advantage of what is here now or in front of us.
Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 11:30 PM   3 comments
Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to my RSS feed  
New blog layout and e-learning in Thailand (can you say "Oum"?)
Sunday, December 09, 2007
1. New blog look and feel: Ok, whatcha all think of my new blog layout? I tightened it up a bit and adopted the style of Cool Cat Teacher, Vicky Davis (see

I got her blessing and approval before doing this, of course. And she asked to post a link to my new Facebook group “Bonkian YouTubian Researchian” for my YouTube research: If you are not into Facebook, just go here to participate:

2. E-Learning Conference in Bangkok: I was in Bangkok almost exactly a year ago for an e-learning conference. It was a fabulous time there! My friend, Ta Boonseng, a doctoral student from the University of Missouri, brought me there. I will see Ta in St. Louis next Sunday for my birthday and the Packers-Rams football game. I have been a Green Bay Packer fan since I will a little kid. St. Louis is only 4 hours away so not too bad. That will be a ton of fun! Ta, is great--he had bands from 6 pubs sing happy birthday to me last year on December 16th on my bday. He also had the entire conference sing happy bday to me. The previous week I was in Taiwan, so it was quite the trip! If you want to read more about that TravelinEdMan adventure, go to this blog post:

I love Thailand--they sing very nicely there! Smile. Yesterday, my friend, Oum, in Bangkok, Thailand asked me to mention her great e-learning conference and workshop coming up in March in Bangkok as well as Pattaya, Thailand. Oum, also known as Dr. Amornvan Limsommut is the Director of e-Learning Center at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University in Bangkok. She is a wonderful coordinator of this conference with much passion, energy, and creative marketing for the field of e-learning. If you want more information, just contact Oum; her email is:

More details are provided below. It will be a great time of year to go to Thailand! Bring your swimsuits...ok! I may go. Not yet determined. Here is the information you need:

“International conference and workshop on e-Learning strategies: Edutainment & Exhibition on e-Learning product and service providers” March 7th–11th, 2008* Bangkok and Pattaya, Thailand

* Conference date 7th and 9th March 2008 in Bangkok
* Workshop date 10th – 11th March 2008 in Pattaya

organized by e-Learning Center, Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, Thailand

The theme of the event serves a multi-disciplinary forum for the discussion and exchange of information on both research, development, and applications related to e-Learning in both theoretical and technological perspectives, edutainment, hardware, software development, digital content, instructional design, LMS, LCMS, Mobile Learning, system integration Standard, Communication and collaboration etc.
***All topics about e-Learning are welcome***

- International Conference on e-Learning strategies: Edutainment
-Exhibition and Showcase on e-Learning product and service providers both freeware and commercial
- e- Learning Network Building Workshop on collaborative and teamwork building in beautiful Koh Larn, Pattaya which has so far been a traveler paradise. It is truly a sought-after island for enthusiasts of coral snorkeling, sheer white sandy beaches and cerulean blue sea - an image of Andaman Sea.


Call for papers and participations:
* Abstract submission deadline: 13th January 2008
* Full-paper submission deadline: 3rd February 2008

Registration: Deadline: 29th Feb 2008.
Registration can be made online or download the form to complete offline at

Fees: Type Early-bird Registration fee
Activity A USD 120 (until 31st January 2008) USD 150(since 1st February 2008)
Activity B USD 400 (until 31st January 2008) USD 500 (since 1st February 2008)

Activity A (3 days Conference in Bangkok, Thailand):
Fee includes Conference registration fee, 3 lunches, 5 coffee breaks, a welcome cruise dinner, Bangkok sightseeing tour and a conference proceedings.

Activity B (2 days Workshop at Pattaya: Kho Larn Island, Thailand):
Fee includes 1 Night 5 star hotel with Breakfast, lunch and dinner, all transportations, all sessions of workshop.

Note: The organizer reserves the right to cancel Activity B if the number of registered participants for Activity B is less than 25. In such case, full refund will be provided.

Program Activities:
* Keynote Speakers
* Invited Panels/Speakers
* Papers
* Panels
* Demonstrations/Posters
* Corporate Showcases & Demonstrations
* Workshops on e-Learning network building (at Kho Larn, Pattaya)
* Executive meeting on sharing e-Learning Products and services

Recommended Accommodation for the Conference:
Suan Dusit Place Hotel (right at the conference venue):
** We offer reservation service at this hotel upon your registration **
Register now at

Further information:
Please visit the conference site at

Organized by:
e-Learning Center, Suan Dusit Rajabhat University,
295 Ratchasima Rd.
Dusit, Bangkok, Thailand, 10300
Tel: +(66 2) 244-5315
Mobile: +(66 8) 9814-1020
Fax: +(66 2) 244-5315

Enjoy the conference and Bangkok if you go.
Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 1:23 PM   3 comments
Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to my RSS feed  
Join My New Facebook Group for YouTube Research Project: "Bonkian YouTubian Researchian" Need 1,000 Respondents by New Years!
Friday, December 07, 2007
My research team and I are conducting research on the motivational and educational aspects of YouTube and have created a Facebook group for it. We need 1,000 respondents by January 1st. Please join this new Facebook group and participate in this research or pass this email on to your friends.

New Facebook Group: “Bonkian YouTubian Researchian”:

Or, if you want to skip Facebook and still participate, just go to and click on the video or the link.

Purpose of Research: What motivates people to watch, create, share, or comment on YouTube videos? Participate in this survey research on YouTube by Dr. Curt Bonk and his colleagues at Indiana University: click to Take a survey on one of 60 of the most popular YouTube videos of all time. Some are educational, some in arts and entertainment, some political and environmental, some sports related, some comedy, and some are on emerging technologies. Take a random survey and get a chance to win an iPhone and an iPod. This research study just started and you can help by taking a few minutes to complete one of the surveys. Goal: 1,000 respondents by New Years! You can be one of them! You too can be a YouTubian research participant.

For those that love YouTube, here is a link to a list of all 60 popular videos used in this research project that you can watch or share:

The above link also explains this project in a bit more detail.

Holiday cheers and thanks!

Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 11:18 AM   0 comments
Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to my RSS feed  
Hearing your words via computer: Podcasted research is a whole new teaching tool!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
It was a good day to publish today. Three research articles got out--2 in the International Review of Research of Research on Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL); see and 1 in the Journal of Interactive Online Learning (JIOL); see These are listed below.

But what is amazing is not the free downloadable PDF files (i.e., text) but the audio or MP3 files with the IRRODL articles. I know that this journal has had this audio feature in for 2 years now, but I never noticed it before. Of course, the journal is using open source software and not paying for AT&T voices, but it still sounds very cool (better than I remember writing them). And they are being used by people in several countries in Africa. Now that is way cool. Why doesn't every journal do this? Or at least every open access journal? We could then be working on resolving some of our serious digital divide problems. Ok, I will admit that this idea requires Internet access by someone to download the files.

What about others? Imagine if my graduate students (or your students) had all their articles in audio format! They could listen to research while attending their son's swim meets or daughter's soccer games. They could listen to them when driving to class and have them fresh in their minds. They could listen them when running during lunch or after work. They could share them with other students, colleagues at work, or even friends and relatives. Imagine if your mother could ask you questions about some new model, method, or idea she heard on her iPod or MP3 player when listening to your article during the holiday season? Imagine speaking to an audience in Africa, China, or India which heard your article or many of your articles; not simply heard about you.

Text is great and journals provide us with increasing access to text. But, let me tell you, when you hear your article (even when read my a stale robotic voice), it is a highly pleasurable experience. It takes weeks or months (and sometimes years) to think through your ideas and put them to paper in a publishable manner. But what happens when they are played back to you in 30 minutes or perhaps an hour. You hear your ideas pressing up against other ideas that you had. And when it is a collaborative effort (as most of mine are), you see how you were able to weave your distinct voices together. That is really the coolest part. You certainly can see the voices come together in text. However, that is not anywhere near the joy I felt when hearing one of my articles tonight; even if the computer voice pronounced "reification" as "rife-ication." I can read, save, and print out the text file; but to listen to it is refreshing. It is like having someone in the room with you present your ideas back to you.

How else to use? Here are 10 ideas off the top of my head (took 5-10 minutes to generate these so there must be tons more!)
1. Idea Rehearsals Via Audio: Perhaps as a way of thinking or rehearsing through a presentation on an article. You can hear the computer voice and know you can do better. Maybe have the audio file play for 20 or 30 seconds and then pause it and you repeat it or summarize the points made.
2. Audio Quote Summaries: Perhaps use it for short quotes--cue up the audio to the right spot and have the computer read the article aloud to the class and then have student reflections on each quote or story.
3. Random Audio Snippets: Play random 15 to 30 second sections of the MP3 file and ask the class to make sense of them. Simply click on different parts of the audio--you never know what you will play, nor do they.
4. Stump the Class Idea Audios: Play a 5 or 10 or 15 minute chunk of a popular article that your students have not read and ask them to figure out the author without looking it up online. Figure it out through discussion.
5. Post Audio Expert Interviews: Ask the original authors to comment on a particular audio snippet from the article that you play for them.
6. Audio Splicing: Have students find a way to splice sections of audio recordings of different articles and have them try to create a theme or pattern. See if the class can determine where it was spliced in.
7. Audio Learning Alternatives: Have students download the audio and listen to it in a place where they never have studied in the past. Ask them to reflect on their learning.
8. Multi-Sensory Experiences: Have students listen to one article from an author, read another one, and also watch him or her deliver a speech or presentation in an online streamed video or conference presentation. Ask them to compare and contrast the three formats--read, see, and hear.
9. Multi-Sensory Experiences with Author Capstone: After #8, brainstorm questions about the articles, podcast, or video and then invite that person (or persons if joint efforts) into class and discuss these questions with him or her.
10. Best of Article Audio Creations: Create your own audio or MP3 file of articles your class is reading from a particular journal. Maybe read or listen to a special journal issue and have your students pull out he key concepts and create an MP3 file of them and then share this with the journal editors. Perhaps they will publish this "best of" podcast.

Those are just a few ideas I had in 5-10 minutes of thinking about this. I am sure you all can come out with dozens more. For more ideas, you can order this book (coming out next July):
Bonk, C. J., & Zhang, K. (in press). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Ok, here are the three articles published I had today. The first publication is research with two University of Houston colleagues, Dr. Mimi Lee and Dr. Grace Lin, while helping analyze the community of practice of global translators at the OOPS (Opensource Opencourseware Prototype System). OOPS is helping translating MIT courses to traditional and simplified Chinese. It is a fascinating story.

Lee, M., Lin, M.-F., & Bonk, C. J. (2007, November). OOPS, turning MIT OpenCourseWare into Chinese: An analysis of a community of practice of global translators. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 8(3). Available: (HTML) and (PDF) (audio file)

The second article is a following or Part 2 of an article on open source in China.

Pan, G., & Bonk, C. J. (2007, November). The emergence of open-source software in North America. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 8(3). Available: (HTML) and (PDF) (audio file)

Here is the orignal (this was is highly popular in IRRODL or so we have been told):

Pan, G., & Bonk, C. J. (2007, March). The emergence of open-source software in China. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 8(1). Available: (HTML) and (PDF) (audio file)

The third article of mine published today explores the use of Breeze (Adobe Connect Pro) in an instructional design class wherein residential and distance students are doing critiques of online designs:

Park, Y. J., & Bonk, C. J. (2007). Synchronous learning experiences: Distance and residential learners’ perspectives in a blended graduate course. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 6(3) 245-264. Available:

Here is the sister article to that one that came out a couple of months ago:

Park, Y. J., & Bonk, C. J. (2007). Is life a Breeze?: A case study for promoting synchronous learning in a blended graduate course. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT), 3(3), 307-323; see or

Finally, for those not wanting to read research but, insted, needing some entertainment related to the Web 2.0? Watch this YouTube video:

"Here Comes Another Bubble - The Richter Scales"

It came out 2-3 days ago and already has had 231,548 views!!!!!! If you like Billy Joel the singer, you will like this one.

Subscribe to the TravelinEdMan podcast
  posted by Curt Bonk @ 8:41 PM   0 comments
Enjoy this blog? Subscribe to my RSS feed  
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.

Recent Posts
Popular Posts
Powered by

Free Blogger Templates