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The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is…
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The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education

by Curtis J. Bonk

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English (8)  French (1)  All (9)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
brief mention excellent
  davidloertscher | May 8, 2010 |
Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book as part of the Member Giveaway program. Also, I'm not neutral on the subject matter; one of my friends works for MIT's OCW project and another has been a media representative for WikiMedia.

I wish this book had been better. As it stands, I can primarily recommend it for people who aren't really inclined to read it straight through anyway. It's full of anecdotes and one incessantly repeated acronym, has almost no serious analysis, and doesn't appear to have any real direction. And, for someone who's already familiar with the material, it says very little they haven't heard before.

While the book was competently written, I have to say I agree with the reviewer who said it seemed like the author is more used to presenting this stuff in front of audiences. The book reads more like a series of related lectures than a coherent piece.

I'm probably going to suggest it to seemingly open-minded, non-techie friends in high places, preferably in the education sector. ( )
1 vote lloannna | Mar 14, 2010 |
Right off I have to agree with 'Ig4154' that this a "hefty book". I am still working my way through it (I use the word 'working' with emphasis). 'Bridget3420' speaks for me a little when she suggests that Bonk offers to us "about the things which may terrify you". Getting into the upper strata of age might reflect a shade of terror to me, but that may also be because I am not an educator, per se. The younger aged individuals might see this book as a good stepping stone in their research of e-education.

Some reviews speak of disappointment for various reasons, not the least being an anticipation that did not meet their perceived hope. Although I am still plodding along in my reading I suspect that Bonk is not attempting to re-invent something but rather offering us a window into new and limitless(?) possibility of an education paradigm which could become the norm for future generations of students of K-12 and way beyond, even to older codgers like myself.

This whole topic speaks of a creature in the early years of formulation. How does one assess such a creature? It is akin to suggesting, (to me anyway), that Alexander Graham Bell's early steps in the field of telephone communications over distances for the first time was the last word. (Excuse the pun!) Bell might well be aghast at what THAT particular creature has become were he able to be around today!

Even Bonk admits that this new Open World concept has barely got off the ground. Check his website, as he encourages us to do. There you will see the most up-to-date developments in all this new dynamic.

I am still a student of life and a book such as this offers me new directions to help increase my life knowledge, however my mind might be directed. For that reason I am satisfied that I had the opportunity to read such a book as this. ( )
  breeks | Dec 22, 2009 |
This book covers the 10 principles of the We All Learn module. It took me a really long time to read the book; it is very long and is very detailed. I really liked this book and found some great resources in it. I especially like that the author references Library Thing. I think this book is not meant to be read straight thru, but to keep it and refer back to it sections at a time. I am grateful that I won a copy of it and I plane to keep it in my permanent library. ( )
  lg4154 | Nov 23, 2009 |
This hefty book looks like it's aimed at people in the "education sector", with all the sector's deeply embedded structures and concerns. However, almost all mention of the big issues that tend to block discussions about open learning, and web education in that sector are herded into the books' final chapter, which gives the unfortunate impression that Bonk - and by extension the open education movement - has no strong answers to issues of quality, cost, and accreditation.

The issue of education as an industry is not directly addressed - free online projects carry costs, but the benefits are rarely described in terms of profit. The closure of Utah State's OCW program for lack of funds while I was reading this book serves as a blunt reminder of that. Maybe the HE model does move towards freely available world-class lectures shared by all, with small-group tutoring and structuring provided at a cost by local institutions, but this book doesn't explore that in any depth.

Thinking about education as in learning - again, I was hoping for more depth of coverage on the impact of technologies on the process of learning, the development and testing of pedagogy, and of learning styles. The references did lead me to some work on this, but the book itself doesn't foreground the issue. But those are problems with my expectations, rather than the book.

What Bonk does foreground is the myriad of ways that the ways we think about learning, and about teaching, are changing in the 21st century. Changes that are both supported by, and driven by, web technologies and the broader social changes created by and supported by web technologies. Language learning by text message, vocabulary building through games, the changes in higher education demand around the globe, and the incredible resources available to motivated self-directed learners are all show cased here.

The authors' slogan WE-ALL-LEARN may be a poor mnemonic, but it's a wonderful rallying cry and does provide a useful structure for the book. Given the scale of the topic, such a structure is essential as the author seeks to explain the common ties between his many, sometimes disparate, examples of web-influenced learning.

Bonk's own practice is a lesson in its own right: he walks the walk here, with his involvement with some of the book's projects, and with his active engagement with the web to find a broad audience for his book.

The book is enthusiastic, warm, practical, anecdotal, passionate, and optimistic. The case studies are well chosen to highlight the dizzying range and reach of online activities, and well referenced.

Above all the book is energizing, motivating the reader to get out there and experiment, to research further and ask more - and what more could you ask for from a teacher? ( )
  AlexDraven | Oct 29, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0470461306, Hardcover)

Discover the dramatic changes that are affecting all learners

Web-based technology has opened up education around the world to the point where anyone can learn anything from anyone else at any time. To help educators and others understand what's possible, Curt Bonk employs his groundbreaking "WE-ALL-LEARN" model to outline ten key technology and learning trends, demonstrating how technology has transformed educational opportunities for learners of every age in every corner of the globe. The book is filled with inspiring stories of ordinary learners as well as interviews with technology and education leaders that reveal the power of this new way of learning. Captures the global nature of open education from those who are creating and using new learning technologiesIncludes a new Preface and Postscript with the latest updatesA free companion web site provides additional stories and information

Using the dynamic "WE-ALL-LEARN" model, learners, educators, executives, administrators, instructors, and parents can discover how to tap into the power of Web technology and unleash a world of information.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:44 -0400)

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