Faculty Focus


'The World is Open' Captures the Transformative Powers of Web Technologies

At its heart, The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education is based on the premise that “anyone can now learn anything from anyone at anytime.” (p. 7)

Authored by Dr. Curtis J. Bonk, professor of instructional systems technology at Indiana University, The World is Open provides an enthusiastic and in-depth look at how the convergence of free web content and courses, increasingly fast access to content, and the creation of a participatory learning culture are causing a dramatic shift in how people learn.

In the book, Professor Bonk outlines 10 key technology trends to show how technology has transformed educational opportunities for learners of every age and at every location around the world.

Organized under the acronym WE-ALL-LEARN, Professor Bonk explores how the following technology trends are contributing to the open learning world:
W – Web searching in the world of e-books
E – e-Learning and blended learning

A – Availability of open source and free software
L – Leveraged resources and OpenCourseWare
L – Learning object repositories and portals

L – Learner participation in open information communities
E – Electronic collaboration
A – Alternate reality learning
R – Real-time mobility and portability
N – Networks of personalized learning

“What was accomplished previously with textbooks and classroom lectures has shifted to other resources and learning technologies. This shift effectively frees up face-to-face classroom time for addressing personal needs. With such personalization, it is truly the age of learner-centered and empowered learning.” (p. 11)

The World is Open is the result of more than two decades of research on e-learning, blended learning and technology in education, but it’s far from dry. Quite the contrary, the book is packed with descriptive anecdotes, insightful interviews, and compelling commentary that will keep readers fully engaged.

Bonk, Curtis. 2009. The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education. Jossey-Bass.