Open to Public Talk #1: University of Maryland (Tuesday, Nov 6th, 1:30-2:30)

Dr. Curt Bonk
School of Education & School of Informatics
Indiana University

Tuesday, November 6, 2007, 1:30-2:30 pm (informal social networking to follow) Room 4115 Hornbake Building , South Wing

Research Colloquium Series: College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Ten technology trends have emerged during the past few years that have flattened the world of learning and made it accessible to increasing numbers of learners. The learning world is being flattened by such technologies as Google, Skype, Wikipedia, podcasting, and blogs. Additional flatteners that are transforming the possibilities for learning include online learning portals such as digital libraries, museums, and referenceware, mobile technologies, wireless technologies, cheap computers, free online courses and software, and open source software. There are web sites springing up around the globe related to sharing courses, course materials, resources, and teaching ideas. MERLOT, for example, has more than 34,500 members and 15,000 shared learning objects as well as an annual international conference. Connexions is a similar project for sharing learning resources from Rice University, while the UK has just developed a learning object site called Jorum. And, of course, there is a the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative which is not only sharing MIT course content around the globe in English, but is now being translated into other languages such as Chinese, Spanish, and Portuguese. Interestingly, more than 50 universities around the globe are following the lead of MIT and placing their courses online including those in Vietnam , Japan , and India . Naturally, many questions surround such systems and sites. For example, how can these trends converge to address every potential learner on this planet? How can developing worlds take advantage of these ten trends? For what purpose will people share? Will these knowledge sharing and technology trends bridge the digital divide? Does the importance of knowledge sharing differ by culture? In this humorous, informative, media-rich, and thought provoking session, Curt Bonk will highlight such themes and issues while pushing the audience to think of short- and long-range implications both for their institutions, countries, and regions of the world as well as for themselves.