The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education

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Thought Leaders Webinar Series - February 15, 2010

Curtis Bonk

Professor and President
Indiana University

Building on Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat, in his book, The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education, Curt Bonk offers an intriguing look at ten technology trends which he calls "educational openers." When combined, the first letter of each opener spells the acronym: "WE-ALL-LEARN." This model helps make sense of the role of various technologies in open education, including online content in the form of e-books, podcasts, streamed videos, open courseware, and online learning portals, as well as participatory environments such as social networking tools like Facebook and Ning, YouTube videos, wikis, and virtual worlds. Clearly, technology-based learning continues to open new learning pathways for all the connected learners of this planet. At the same time, thousands of organizations and scholars are sharing their course materials, expertise, and teaching ideas globally, thereby expanding learning opportunities and resources even further. As this occurs, members of the media, politicians, educators, students, parents, and others are asking important questions about the quality of such contents. Some want to know if personally selected content might lead to school or college credits or even degrees. Bonk provides some answers. Bonk also addresses questions related to the digital divide and how, from a learning perspective, those without Internet access still benefit immensely and in interesting ways.

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