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The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education

, Indiana University


Building on Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat, in his book, The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education, Curt Bonk offers an intriguing look at ten technology trends which he called educational openers. When combined, the first letter of each opener spells the acronym: "WE-ALL-LEARN." This model helps make sense of the role of various technologies in open education, including online content in the form of e-books, podcasts, streamed videos, opencourseware, and online learning portals as well as participatory environments such as social networking tools like Facebook and Ning, YouTube videos, wikis, and virtual worlds. Clearly, technology-based learning continues to open new learning pathways for all the connected learners of this planet. At the same time, thousands of organizations and scholars are sharing their course materials, expertise, and teaching ideas globally, thereby expanding learning opportunities and resources even further. As this occurs, members of the media, politicians, educators, students, parents, and others are asking important questions about the quality of such contents. Some want to know if personally selected content might lead to school or college credits or even degrees. Bonk provides some answers. Bonk also addresses questions related to the digital divide and how, from a learning perspective, those without Internet access still benefit immensely and in interesting ways. The economic world of Friedman may be flatter, but the educational world is definitely more open than is was a decade or even a few years ago. Open up and enjoy it!


Bonk, C.J. (2009). The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education. Presented at EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2023 from .


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