Reader Reactions

"I wanted to personally thank you for your research and work. It has been an inspiration to me as an educator that utilizes technology in the classroom. I have witnessed firsthand the power of technology on a wide variety of learners. Thank you for being a wise voice in the sometimes convoluted world of educational reform. Your work has had a major impact on me. For that, I am very grateful."

Dennis Martin, Social Studies Department Chair, Bedford North Lawrence High School, Bedford, Indiana, on January 3, 2011


"I ... interviewed Curt a while back about his book, The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education. The book offers the most comprehensive introduction to open education I have found."

Jeff Cobb, Founder, Tagoras Inc. on October 14, 2010 (Tagoras Tagoblog)


"Perhaps the best account I have read of the potential to create entirely new learning venues in the new world of open software and open learning comes from Curtis J. Bonk, professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University and author of, "The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education." ...Bonk identifies ten key technology trends that can directly affect our ability to learn and which offer hope for educating citizens across the planet. He helps us understand how game theory, simulation, or Second Life communities offer new learning strategies, giving examples that come from the halls of the most venerable academic institutions."

Robert (Bob) Kustra, President, Boise State University, State of the University Address on August 18, 2010.   (Full Speech)   (PDF)


"Your new book just arrived! It is a grand publication. Your writing style is so engaging that I have difficulty putting the book down (even though it is past lunch time!). Ride the wave... this is a good one."

Ray Schroeder Professor Emeritus/Director of the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning (OTEL), University of Illinois at Springfield


"Your book arrived just in time for my travel to Florida. Now I have nine hours in the plane to read it. I like your style of writing. It really motivates the reader to read on and on. Good job! I will recommend it to everyone."

Theo Bastiaens is director of the Institute of Educational Science and Media Research and chair of Instructional Technology & Media at the Fernuniversitaet in Hagen (Germany) and professor of educational technology at the Open University of the Netherlands (Netherlands).


"What an interesting concept...and very timely! From the very first page, you weave an interesting story full of wit, humor and a deep practical knowledge of teaching and learning. Your book reminds me of a phrase I.m borrowing from Ann Hill Duin of the University of Minnesota...Green, Global, and Google (GGG). It's a powerful read and I can.t wait to explore every page!"

Valorie F. McAlpin, Ed.D., Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, UNC Charlotte


"Curt Bonk is one of few individuals I know who thinks like a scientist and writes like a journalist.I took a copy of the 'World Is Flat' to a workshop in Dallas and flaunted it. When we all got back from a coffee break, the book was missing. I am sure the kleptomaniac is enjoying his or her read!"

Sivasailam "Thiagi" Thiagarajan, President, Thiagi Group and author of Design Your Own Games and Training Activities


Your new book arrived today - what a tour de force. It's such a terrific, pacey read."

Professor Brian J. Ford of Cambridge, England


"I've read about 100 pages of your book so far and am enjoying it immensely. Congratulations on putting together an entertaining book which also has so much good information and insights in it. It's led me to a number of websites including Google Book, where I read the entire novel (with a few pages missing of course) of mystery thriller writer, Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher novel, and looked at a few of the Open Courseware sites like MIT and Berkeley. It sure is a new world out there."

Steven Yussen, Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies, and honors, The Institute of Child Development, College of Education & Human Development


"You really do have a compelling writing style, and it is a fascinating topic.

Dr. Jim Flowers, Professor & Director of Online Education, Department of Technology, Ball State University


"It is exciting that I received your book over the weekend. This is a great book for us to learn about the latest trends for education. I remember I took a class of 'Trends in Instructional Technology' back in my PhD program. Everything was so old in that class. Glad you took the time to gather all the latest information. Business school made 'The world is flat' as required reading. School of Ed should do the same with your book. :)."

"Your book makes everybody excited about the future of education. I really like how you look at the changes and new technologies. Your open-mindedness and optimism make me enthusiastic. In reality, there are so many rules and procedures that make adapting changes difficult. I am glad your book communicates your open mindset to others. Just wish that you could publish an audio book. I will be the first one to get your audio book. It will be great if you can narrate your own book."

Baiyun Chen, Ph.D., Instructional Designer, Course Development and Web Services, University of Central Florida


"I've been privileged to work with Curt Bonk for over a dozen years, and his perspectives on educational technology have strongly influenced my work in educational psychology and education policy. I especially appreciate his insistence that technology for technology.s sake should be avoided, and that educational technology should be primarily used to help students learn. In 'The World is Open', Curt provides an exceptionally comprehensive overview of how educators and students all over the world are using modern, cutting-edge technology to transform learning. 'The World is Open' is required reading for anyone interested in how technology can transform - indeed, how it is already transforming - learning and teaching around the globe."

Jonathan Plucker, Professor of Educational Psychology and Cognitive Science, Director, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Indiana University


"It is a great read and I am recommending it to several colleagues - one of whom has already ordered it! There are lots of interesting examples and I'm going to follow up several of the virtual schools initiatives you flag, for our UK work on new models of schools e-learning. I feel the book is a wonderful resource for graduate students as a jumping-off point for term papers, assignments and even Master.s dissertations (in the UK, all Masters students have to do dissertations). Almost makes me want to get back to teaching again! It's particularly good for international use - there is plenty of scope for almost every country to adapt the recommendations and examples to their own situations."

Professor Paul Bacsich, Visiting Professor, Middlesex University and Director of Research, Re.ViCa project


"I just started to read you newest book, The World is Open. I thought that I was pretty knowledgeable about on-line learning, that is, until I read your book. I must say that this is an excellent, excellent book which has introduced me to techniques and resources that I was not aware of. I am halfway through reading it and it has made me think, and re-consider how I might do on-line learning better by taking advantage of many of the approaches mentioned in the book."

"In fact, more than just the content, I find your writing style very engaging. You capture the excitement and overall possibilities of what on-line learning can offer. So much of what I currently read on this topic addresses the technology, but somehow fails to convey the passion and the potential."

"Based on your book, I am seriously considering accepting a job in an on-line charter high school here in Arizona. Your book has affected me in a very positive way and is making me re-consider why I initially got into the on-line world (many years ago)."

"This is an outstanding effort. Congratulations!."

Dr. Ron Berman, Scottsdale, Az.


"I think it is terrific book describing the huge volume of activity all over the world and the many ways the Web and digital media are harnessing the power of technology to level the playing field and advance teaching and learning.

Catherine M. Casserly, Ph.D., Senior Partner, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching


"I can't remember if I told you that I received your book and I loved it! It.s a great resource and a fun account of so many stories, it was an honor for me to be part of it. Thanks so much for sending it along, and my mom really appreciated the extra copy!.

Cassandra Brooks, Science Communication Program, University of California, Santa Cruz


"We have spoken at conferences and at other occasions in the past, and I just wanted to drop you note that I am about half-way through your book and really enjoying it! It is engaging, informative, thoughtful, and well written. I am currently working on a book chapter about FOSS and will be referencing your book quite a bit. You also have love any book that sprinkles in the occasional Star Trek reference as well."

"I am also thinking about using it in my Introduction to Distance Education or Issues in IT course next term. Well done Sir! It is an important work. Hope to catch you on the Daily Show or the Colbert Report with it."

"I know Friedman.s book got a lot of press and was a huge seller, but for what I do (training future teachers), this is a more important work. I hope you get your due."

Jason B. Huett, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Program Coordinator, Ed.S. in IT, Media and Instructional Technology, University of West Georgia


"I just got back from a weeklong trip to Barbados. I was asked to be external PhD examiner at the University of the West Indies. I also brought along The World is Open for beachside reading. Like you said in the book people rarely have time to read a book cover to cover, but this was an exception as I read every single page over a few days. I was totally impressed with the content, your writing style, the accuracy, and the international perspective (which is so refreshing from an American author). I think it's a landmark book on par with Tapscot's first Net Generation book and Wikinomics. Your ability to tell stories about the encounters with the people you've met around the world is amazing and captivating. It reminds me of the Soul of a New Machine.

Ron Owston, Professor of Education and Director of the Institute for Research in Learning Technologies (IRLT) and co-director of the Technology Enhanced Learning Institute (TELi) at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


"What a wonderful surprise to receive a copy of "The World is Open" in the mail recently! I've already devoured it, and it is a stunning piece of work. I particularly enjoy your narrative style of writing -- at once accessible and substantial. Very cool; I really must learn how you do that!"

Richard Schwier, Acting Director, Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness and University Learning Centre Professor, Educational Communications & Technology, University of Saskatchewan

"I finished the book yesterday and it is a really great read - many thanks for sending it to me, your enthusiasm is really catching and I enjoyed it immensely - the resources and online back-up are great and really are a good example of practicing what you preach - it really is an eye-opener as well as every other sort of opener!"

Sally Reynolds, ATiT Audiovisual Technologies, Informatics and Telecommunications, Belgium


"Hey Curt, Thanks zillions for the copy of The World is Open! You deserve mad Kudos for this one!! It's really great!!! :-)"

"You really hit it with this one. Congrats!"

Michael K. Thomas, Ph.D., Educational Communications & Technology, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison


"I have called this Curt Bonk's Wall of Sound in the past because of its massively parallel layers of rapidly presented information with barely a pause that you feel more than absorb. I've also called him a human hypertext because there is so much information there that you tend to pick out snippets and link them with others that come seconds or minutes later rather than following the linear narrative that runs too fast to completely absorb."

"This is not a view from the edge: Curt is right in the thick of the revolution and makes an extremely persuasive point that the changes wrought by technologies that emerged just a few years ago are not something to think about tomorrow, but that affect and profoundly influence what's happening today. For the mass of educators stuck in a model of teaching and learning that has barely changed since the nineteenth century, this should be a wake-up call. The world of learning has radically changed and, as Curt rightly says, it is open and accessible to all. This is a very detailed snapshot of the world of learning and education on the cusp of change and a guidemap for those who have either not realised that things are different now or who see the changes but are confused about what to do."

"He's preaching to the converted here but, after a while, I was swept along with it anyway and, as is the nature of such things, there's plenty in it that was unfamiliar to me. However, the real joy of the book is that it reminds me at every turn of the page of why I love this job of teaching, how the things we do can really make a difference, how big change is possible, how amazing it all is. It's refreshing and revitalising. This is a cornucopia of ideas, examples, inspirations and explanations about how to help everyone learn more, learn better, learn more enjoyably. I really enjoyed the book: some really inspiring stuff that reminded me why we go through the hassles and fights to make things better."

"The book left me energised and enthused, excited afresh by the many extraordinary possibilities latent in technological affordances, inspired to try anew to make things different, make things better. If you are an educator who has been wondering about how to make sense of all this gushing surge of new and scary technologies that we might use in education, someone who is interested, perhaps a little skeptical but open to exploring new directions, this book is a must-read. It is packed from head to toe with inspiring ideas and very practical guidelines about how to get real and lasting value from social, open, ubiquitous, mobile, immersive and many other modern technologies, not just in the future but now. A particularly appealing aspect is that it is firmly focused on human connections and enhancing, not replacing, interactions with real people in real places."

Jon Dron, Associate Professor, Athabasca University, School of Computing and Information Systems


"I am very much moved by the book and I feel the work you have done for publishing the book is very important. As I mentioned in my last email, I will send one of the books to Addis Ababa so that it will be kept in our e-learning lab for reference. It will be an important resource for staffs and students interested in the area."

Mesfin Getachew, Lecturer, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia


"One thing about your latest book. Well done Curtis. Finished it last week, it is great. Inspiring! I read many books about emerging technologies in education, how to enhance lectures, or spreading material on the Internet. But none is getting to the point and breaks it down to 10 perfect openers for Internet-based education."

Torsten Reiners, Ph.D., Post-doc, University of Hamburg, Adjunct Research Fellow, Curtin University of Technology, Australia


"I'm in the midst of reading 'The World is Open' and am downright amazed at how you keep on top of all the factors in play that will influence our learning going forward. My head is spinning already."

"I've been particularly impressed by how readily you were able to adopt a Friedmanesque conversational style for this book; us academics aren't supposed to be able to do that (I seriously doubt that Tom Friedman could put together something like The Handbook of Blended Learning). Considering that you're a recovering accountant (which I didn't know until I read this book), this is all the more impressive. ;-)"

"Hope you're able to breathe just a little before undertaking your next big adventure."

J. B. (Ben) Arbaugh, Ph.D., Editor, Academy of Management Learning & Education College of Business, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh


"For the people who worry that web-based learning is either a passing fancy or a second-rate distraction to the real issues facing higher education, Curtis Bonk.s The World Is Open is the proof they have been waiting for. Bonk takes us across the entire horizon of web-based education and then dives down to compelling detail as he makes the case for this revolutionary change in the circumstances that drive learning. The World Is Open is a seminal contribution to the research and advocacy that this new ecology of learning needs as it evolves from a phenomenon on the margins to main stream practice."

Dr. Peter Smith, Senior Vice President, Kaplan Higher Education and author of Harnessing America.s Wasted Talent: A New Ecology of Learning, Jossey-Bass, forthcoming.)


"I have only read the introduction of your book and I am already fascinated by it!! There are more than 200 million readers that will highly benefit from what you share here, if they can have it in their own language. I would like to offer myself to put your book into Spanish. If you are interested we can find some time to talk about.I am ready for it!!!"

Oscar A. Rodriguez, CFOI-OFC-MSSC-CERT, Associate Professor, School of Technology, Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington, Indiana


"Thank you so very much for the copy of your new book. I'm only about 1/3 through it but this is great stuff."

Henry Hartman, Executive Producer/Network Director, STARLINK, Dallas, Texas


"It's an awesome and wonderful book. Your writing style is excellent and the content is great, especially your experiences about the conferences and meeting different people."

Dr. Gilsun Song, Associate Professor, College of Education, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China


"Curt, I just received a copy of your book, The World is Open! It's awesome! I'm suggesting it to everyone I know. The many vignettes of e-learning opportunities shared in your book are invaluable. I think you need to create a "We-All-Learn" group on facebook!"

Lealan Zaccone, Assistant Director of Online Learning, Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA


"About your book...it is remarkable. You usually have a plethora of info, but the real power here is the synergy...the view. It rocks, Your rock."

Dr. Steve Schatz, University of Hartford


"Brilliant! I think the book kinda builds up - or 'opens' up! And yes, Intellagirl - inspiring - I was thinking I wish I could be like her, maybe not the hair though! And there's Mr Yu and the toothfish... so many things I didn't know, now I know and didn't think possible, now thinking I could do that! Indeed it opens. Your book is a valuable resource, tool, guide, 'blog' - a gift to the imagination and an opportunity for the possible."

Dr. Judith Enriquez, University of North Texas


"I think it's fantastic. I certainly haven't come across anything that has both the breadth and depth elsewhere."

Jim Hensman, Conventry University


"I like the style of writing, with story-telling, real gurus sharing their views and stories. It's an enjoyable read. Please consider publishing it with audio-- when I read it, I heard your voice in my mind, and I bet many of your readers would want to hear it just as they would enjoy reading"

Dr. Ke Zhang, Wayne State University


"I think it is just amazing...It's unbelievable".

Dr. SuJin Son, University of Illinois


"The book has lots of great info, resources, and descriptions about tools. I really love the titles and headings of each chapter and in each chapter.they are not only fun but give great clues for reading. The different stories of people in the technology worlds throughout the book echo well with the themes of the book. open, collaboration, and sharing. The book also has a lot great perspectives and visionaries about the history, trends and future directions for web learning and the future of learning and teaching".

Dr. Dazhi Yang, Purdue University


"Great book! Actually I'm reading Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat" now and it's perfect timing to read your new book! I like the tone you're writing the book and also the resources at the end of each chapter. It is exciting to envision School 2.0. The stories are very engaging and insights very inspirational"

Dr. Ying Wang, Indiana University


"The We-All-Learn Model is very interesting. I feel my messy room of huge information is neatly organized. I will come back to this book when I want to know more about m-learning and the future".

Yayoi Anzai, Instructor, Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan


"I must say that IT WAS GRRRREAT!!! Why?? Because... I was amazed of your excellent abilities to gather, organize, and analyze information. The information you put in this book is tremendous, huge, multicultural, historical, and contemporary--I've learned a lot!! So We-All-Learn! :-). Your interpersonal relationships were standing out--you mentioned not only famous scholars but also your colleagues, friends, and families, so every reader can be related to your stories!!"

Dr. Lena Lee, Ohio University


"I enjoyed it tremendously. I like the storytelling format, and all the experiences combined with insights and people. I like the way you connected the facts and your experiences of the real world to learning. I liked the way you mentioned people in your travels and how learning occurs everywhere you go, with everyone you meet, and in everything we do. I really liked this part the best. For those thinking of buying this, I say definitely YES!"

Dr. Veronica Acosta-Deprez, Cal State Long Beach


"I love the part that you juxtapose learning from the Web and researching from the Web,it completes the whole statement. This is really a wonderful book with tons of examples. I just hope this can be published soon."

YaTing Teng, University of Illinois