This is the blog of Dr. Curt Bonk, Professor at Indiana University and President of CourseShare, LLC.

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Recapping Oz and Sharing World is Open Syllabus With an "Open Syllabus"
Monday, August 09, 2010
Australia in July: This was my third trip to Australia and each time it has been July or "winter" there. Fortuantely, it was pretty warm the whole time. Wow, it has been 3 weeks since I got back from Australia and I am still having difficulties adjusting to North American time zones. Had a wonderful time in Oz, not just at the Moodlemoot conference in Melbourne and the DET conference in Sydney (i.e., "The Office of Schools conference Engaging learners through innovative practice"), but every stop along the way.

Melbourne: Saw many wonderful people during my 6 days in Melbourne. Saw around 9-10 old friends in Melbourne and another 9-10 in Sydney (see prior blog post for names and links to some of them). For instance, my old friend Clint Smith took me for a ride down part of the Great Ocean Road about an hour out of Melbourne. Got to see a humpback whale at the beginning of the journey and got nearly face-to-face with a wild wallaby in the bush near the end of it. Clint took a turn up through some rugged terrain on the way back. Pretty amazing. My old friend, Dr. SuJin Son (now back in Korea) and one of Clint's friends, Jacqueline Bates from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales joined us in the trip. I always wanted to say Wagga Wagga in one of my blog posts and here is my chance. Jacque is manager of New Learning Technologies for TAFE (Technical and Further Education) there in Wagga Wagga. I better Wagga Wagga on now.

Among the key people I had a chance to tour around with in Mebourne were Siew-Mee and Greg Barton. Siew-Mee got me off the plane and nearly immediately had me speaking on her campus at Deakin University. A couple of days later, her husband Greg took me around in his Mazda Miata sports car. Lovely. He and I saw the Tim Burton exhibit at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Federation Square. This too was exciting and highly recommended (the historical timeline of his work pretty much matched many of my own life stories). The Tim Burton exhibit will be there until October 10th, 2010.

Suffice to say that Siew-mee and Greg are great hosts. They are also going to helping with the newly announced Global Learn 2011 conference which will be in Melbourne March 28-April 1, 2011. More on that in another blog post in a few days perhaps.

Some of the other Melbourne memorable moments included seeing Geelong defeat Hawthorn (Hawks) in an Australian Rules Football game (footie) 85-82. Additional highlights included receiving a caricature of myself after my keynote at the Moodemoot. A few hours after that was a scheduled "Great Debate" with Martin Dougiamas, the original developer of Moodle. Of course, since we hold much in common, it was more of a conversation and perhaps a bit of a history lesson for some of the audience. His advisor influenced my early work on a social constructivism scale over 20 years ago and my 1998 book chapter with Don Cunningham on social constructivism in my Electronic Collaborators book apparently inflluenced aspects of his design of Moodle. (Side note: That chapter, by the way, is one of my most cited articles ever due, primarily I think, to the fact that it is open access. I had to convince my editor at Lawrence Erlbaum to make 1 chapter of the book open access at the time. I am glad that we selected that one. Back in 1998, that was not so commmon, of course. Today it is.)

Both sessions were packed which made the long flight over to the land down under much more enjoyable. Moodlemoot was fabulous. The day before the conference start, I got to do an all-day "Masterclass" session with Julian Ridden, who apparently has become the "Moodleman" in Australia (in addition to Martin, of course). This too was oversubscribed. Color PDF copies of my slides from that 4 part session and all my sessions in Australia can be found in my archived talks page.

Sydney: Of course, the Sydney Harbor area was fabulous as well. My hotel overlooked Botany Bay where James Cook first landed his HMS Endeavour in Australia (after New Zealand) centuries long ago (April 29, 1770 to be exact). Of course, that also meant that I had a view of the airport. Great running through along the beaches there. Friends like Christine Dennis, recently retired from Australian Catholic University, Gary David of artography fame now (Gary David Images), Michelle Selinger of Cisco (who at the time was about to return home to the UK after 3 years in Oz), John Hedberg of Macquarie University, Rick Bennett from the University of New South Wales and founder of the Omnium project, and others, all made sure I had a great time. Hearing about Rick's work in the Philippines and Africa and other outreach projects was eye opening to say the least. (Note: John Hedberg just agreed to be co-program chair at Global Learn 2011 in Melbourne next March. More on this later in the week.)

I miss Australia already. But now I guess I have to focus on teaching at IU in the fall. Darn. Oh well, at least my syllabi are done or nearly so.

R685 40 Page Syllabus (all hot links): The details on my fall syllabus for my R685 seminar on emerging learning technologies (The title is “R685: The World is Open with Web Technology.” It sorta follows the chapter sequence of my recent World is Open book. It is a Web 2.0 technology and e-learning type of class. It is taught on Monday nights from 7:00-9:45 pm in Bloomington and Indianapolis (via videoconferencing…I will be in Bloomington).

R685 Online Syllabus:

While it the first 40 page syllabus anyone has likely ever seen, every article is a free hot link and there is much choice is what students read and do. The weekly topics are listed below.

Projected R685 Seminar Weekly Topics
Week 1. (August 30) Intro to Open World and Neo Millennial/Web 2.0 Learners
Week 2. (September 6) Digital Literacy Skills
Week 3. (September 13) The Sudden Explosion of E-Books and E-Book Readers
Week 4. (September 20) The Continued Expansion of Blended and Fully Online Learning
Week 5. (September 27) The Movement toward Free and Open Source Software
Week 6. (October 4) Open Educational Resources (OER) and OpenCourseWare (OCW)
Week 7. (October 11) Connectivism, Social Knowledge, and Participatory Learning
Week 8. (October 18) Wikis, Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Collaborative Writing
Week 9. (October 25) YouTube, TeacherTube, and the Future of Shared Online Video
Week 10. (November 1) Interactive and Collaborative Learning
Week 11. (November 8) Alternate Reality Learning: Massive Gaming, Virtual Reality, and Simulations
Week 12. (November 15) Mobile, Wireless, and Ubiquitous Learning
Week 13. (November 22) Educational Blogging
Week 14. (November 29) Podcasting, Webcasting, and Coursecasting
Week 15. (December 6) Networks of Personalized Learning (including online language learning)

Guest speakers will include the following:

1. e-book and mobile learning researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Getya Learn On (Week 3--September 13--both Dr. Michael Mayrath and Priya Nihalani will join us);

2. Kevin Modany, the president of ITT Technical Institute (Week 4--September 20);

3. Paul Kim, Assistant Dean and Chief Technology Officer from Stanford University School of Education and mobile learning guru (Week 12--November 15);

4. Thanomporn Laohajaratsang, Department of Educational Technology in the Faculty of Education at Chiang Mai University (Toh is a visiting scholar at IU this fall and sharing my office).

There will be a few others I think visiting the class. But the R685 syllabus is the main thing. At 40 pages and growing, it is meant as a free resource for the world to share, use, or perhaps modify for their own courses and programs (with appropriate referencing). It was a lot of work, but there is a hec of lot happening to make the world more open for learning (I hope you agree).

The key thing is that students do not have to buy anything since every article or chapter is freely available online. My World is Open book can supplement it if they want but that is totally optional and I am still working on a free version of that book. I hope to get back to it soon and finish it this fall. Anyone with a book called the World is Open needs a free version. Speaking of free, later in the week (or next week), I will have an announcement about a huge set of short, snappy, and free videos for teaching online that I have been working on since last September. Till then.
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 3:22 PM  
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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 adjunct in the School of Informatics at Indiana University and President of CourseShare, LLC (formerly president of SurveyShare). I run around the world training faculty members and instructors to teach online. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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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.

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