About the Book

Discover the dramatic changes that are affecting all learners

Technological development and the Internet have opened up learning to the point where anyone can learn anything from anyone else at any time. To help explain this highly complex situation and its implications for education, both formal and informal, Curtis J. Bonk outlines ten key technology and learning trends. Using a model called "WE-ALL-LEARN," Dr. Bonk shows how technology has transformed educational opportunities for learners as well as of innovators from the worlds of technology and education that reveal the power of opening up the world of learning.


The 10 openers of the WE-ALL-LEARN model are outlined below. They are discussed in detail in Chapters 2-11. The Introduction plus Chapter 1 kick off the journey into the Web of Learning and unveils the WE-ALL-LEARN model. Chapter 12 recaps the book and push toward future visions as well as reflect on the past century of distance learning.

Ten Openers: (WE-ALL-LEARN)

  1. Web Searching in the World of e-Books
  2. E-Learning and Blended Learning
  3. Availability of Open Source and Free Software
  4. Leveraged Resources and OpenCourseWare
  5. Learning Object Repositories and Portals
  6. Learner Participation in Open Information Communities
  7. Electronic Collaboration
  8. Alternate Reality Learning
  9. Real-Time Mobility and Portability
  10. Networks of Personalized Learning
  • Introduction to the Open Learning World
  • Chapter 1: WE-ALL-LEARN
  • Chapter 2: To Search and to Scan (Opener #1: Web Searching in the World of e-Books)
  • Chapter 3: E-Demand around the Globe (Opener #2: E-Learning and Blended Learning)
  • Chapter 4: It's a Free Software World After All (Opener #3: Availability of Open Source and Free Software)
  • Chapter 5: MIT in Every Home (Opener #4: Leveraged Resources and OpenCourseWare)
  • Chapter 6: Portals for the People (Opener #5: Learning Object Repositories and Portals)
  • Chapter 7: Making a Contribution (Opener #6: Learner Participation in Open Information Communities)
  • Chapter 8: Collaborate or Die! (Opener #7: Electronic Collaboration and Interaction)
  • Chapter 9: Who are you? (Opener #8: Alternative Reality Learning)
  • Chapter 10: U-Learning? (Opener #9: Real-Time Mobility and Portability)
  • Chapter 11: Learning at Your Service (Opener #10: Networks of Personalized Learning)
  • Chapter 12: The Treasures and Traps of this Open Learning World
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes

Book Synopsis

If this book could be shortened to its narrowest point, it would exist as a one line proclamation that states, "Anyone can now learn anything from anyone at anytime."

A few years back, Thomas Friedman (2005) argued that our world had been flattened by myriad technologies, most significant of which is the Internet and the ability to find nearly any piece of information one might seek in the exact moment of need. As he showed, the implications of this premise are enormous. However, Friedman focused on social and economic flatteners brought about by technology, changing organizational structures, and business practices. In contrast, this book explores territory which Friedman only touched upon a few times or left uncharted.

The basis of this book,and the model upon which it is built,concerns how such technology offers new hope for educating the citizens of this planet. It is the opening up of education that ultimately makes a flatter or a more robust economic world possible. In the twenty-first century, education trumps economy as the key card to participation in the world. It is education, after all, from which robust economies are built. So when there are momentous shifts occurring in education, they must be explored, documented, grasped, and exploited. This book will reveal and document 10 learning technology trends that are revolutionizing education and transforming life in the twenty-first century. Instead of Friedman.s .flatteners. or the highly touted .megatrends. mantra of John Naisbitt, however, Dr. Bonk calls these .openers,. as in the door opening to untold learning opportunities for billions of people. In education, we hear of open source software, open access journals, open educational resources, and open courseware from MIT and hundreds of other universities. .Open. is the buzzword in education today. Hence, this book.

Instead of emphasizing the new economic players, playing fields, and processes, as Friedman eloquently detailed, this triple convergence brings us a new set of .Ps.: namely, pages of free Web content and courses, pipes for accessing and searching such online content, and a participatory learning culture that freely shares and collaborates on the information and knowledge found there. With these three factors arising in unison, education is elevated to heights never before seen or even imagined. And with that arises a human spirit of optimism, opportunity, and hope.

Dr. Bonk starts the book off with the Summer Digs project from UCLA; a story of an archaeological dig field program in a dozen sites around the planet during the summer of 2008. Students in Chile, Peru, Albania, Canada, etc. rely on blogging to communicate daily events with anyone who is interested. Individuals involved in this project also use GPS to locate and archive what they find. Other stories included in the book are based on interviews with people from IBM, Sun Microsystems, and the WikiMedia Foundation (Wikipedia), as well as scholars from MIT, Oxford, Stanford, and many other places. In addition, Dr. Bonk has documented new forms of learning that occurs in ships, trains, subway cars, sailboats, and virtual worlds. He has stories from YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook, and many online learning programs, including the University of Phoenix, University of Maryland, and the African Virtual University. The YouTube section of the book, for example, presents the stories of people whose videos have attracted the attention of millions of viewers.

TWiO book is not simply about the present or the future, but also the past. Dr. Bonk has information related to online resources on Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Florence Nightingale, Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Her Majesty, the Queen. This book is not just about what is happening in the U.S., the UK, or other parts Europe. Dr. Bonk has covered events in Korea, Ghana, China, India, Nepal, Mexico, Japan, and dozens more countries that have opened up the learning world. Further, he has documented innovative technology projects the British Library, Google, Microsoft, the Smithsonian, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, Deloitte, the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense, Saudi Aramco, Intel, Cisco, etc. Other things highlighted include Web-based learning of colossal and gigantic squids, Grimm.s Fairy Tales, CurrentTV (Al Gore.s network), and online tutors from India. While many of these educational initiatives have positive outcomes, Dr. Bonk also cautions people as to the dangers of all this technology including stories of those who die while gaming in Korea.

Research conducted: This book is the product of more than two decades of research on e-learning, blended learning, and technology in education to support this project (including YouTube, wikis, collaborative technologies, simulations and gaming, and online language learning). Dr. Bonk interviewed dozens of business leaders and educators for this book, including the presidents/chairmen of Livemocha, Chinswing, Textbook Revolution, Wikipedia, Sun Microsystems, Scribd, and Chinesepod. He features companies like IBM, Deloitte, Microsoft, Linden Labs, Google, NetLibrary, Facebook, Stumble-Upon, the University of Phoenix, Jones International University, and FriendsAbroad as well as non-profit and government organizations like the British Library, the Internet Archive, the Michigan State University Confucius Institute, the Department of Defense, the WikiMedia Foundation, and the African Virtual University.

Audience: Parents, students, business leaders, technology administrators, technology companies, government agencies and politicians, librarians, media, informal learners, bloggers, podcasters, etc.

An Experiment in Open Educational Resources

This book will show that the world is truly open for learning. In effect, anyone with an Internet connection can now learn about the more open learning world! As proof, there will be a companion online e-book available for free, which will document the same 10 trends as in the hardcover book. You will have a choice of reading the hardcopy book or the e-book or both. While they will follow the same outline of chapters and trends, different content will be in each one. Dr. Bonk will post 1,000 words per day of the free e-book in the spring of 2009 to the WorldisOpen.com website until the hardcover book is released in June.

An Experiment in the Web 2.0

Many Web 2.0 technologies will serve as a framework for this book. Dr. Bonk plans to post supplementary e-learn links and resources on the "WorldisOpen.com. website. In addition, he will create a daily blog post of 1,000 words from the free e-book for approximately four-to-five months during February to June, 2009. He plans to blog the entire e-book. The last post will coincide with the release of the World is Open (TWiO) book in hardcover as well as the launch of the e-book companion. The free e-book will be made available at this site as a PDF. In addition, it will be posted as iPaper in Scribd which is a technology discussed in the book. A YouTube video will be created around the facts of the book. And a series of podcasts will appear related to each chapter of the book. Of course, "WorldIsOpen" groups will be created in Ning and Facebook.