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Monday, August 29, 2011

The Education Revolution - The World is Open

You've probably heard of the national bestseller The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman, but have you heard The World is Open by Curtis J. Bonk?  While Friedman's book was more about politics and economics, Bonk's is revolutionizing education.  Just use technology and you change education - plain and simple, right?  Not so.  It is not about purchasing a new gadget, its about how you use it.

Take smart phones for example.  If one has, say, an iPhone or an iPad, he or she can download apps from iTunes University to help him/her learn.  One can have classes from Stanford, Yale, MIT or Harvard for free.  Yes, you heard it - FREE!  Maybe I didn't have the scores to get me accepted into these fine universities, but I can access the knowledge without having to pay or leave the house.  I can learn from YouTube, Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare, and many others without having to relocate or pay a single dime. 

An interesting framework is Professor Bonk's WE-ALL-LEARN:

Web Searching in the World of e-Books
E-Learning and Blended Learning

Availability of Open Source and Free Software
Leveraged Resources and OpenCourseWare
Learning Object Repositories and Portals

Learner Participation in Open Info Communities
Electronic Collaboration and Interaction
Alternate Reality Learning
Real-Time Mobility and Portability
Networks of Personalized Learning

Having waited a whole year to take this class, R685 The World is Open with Web Technology, I was not disappointed!  I look forward to every week and what it has to offer.  I'm on the road to being a learning expert!

For a sense of what the future holds, go to Professor Bonk's YouTube video "Trends on the Horizon":