The World is Open

In The World Is Open, educational technologist Curtis Bonk explores ten key trends that together make up the “WE-ALL-LEARN” framework for understanding the potential of technology’s impact on learning in the 21st century:

  • 1. Web Searching in the World of e-Books
  • 2. E-Learning and Blended Learning
  • 3. Availability of Open Source and Free Software
  • 4. Leveraged Resources and OpenCourseWare
  • 5. Learning Object Repositories and Portals
  • 6. Learner Participation in Open Information Communities
  • 7. Electronic Collaboration
  • 8. Alternate Reality Learning
  • 9. Real-Time Mobility and Portability
  • 10. Networks of Personalized Learning

In addition, this book contains a link to a .pdf copy of the book that is in fact different then the hard copy, as Bonk recognizes that the world whilst becoming increasingly open, is definately not on a level playing field economically. The companion website and supplementary .pdf is available to everyone for free at

Bonk states,

“Learning is no longer the boring activity you sat through begrudgingly for a dozen or so years and thankfully left at age 18 or 22. In the 21st century, learning is the essence of being human. If current trends continue, this century will be known as the learning century.”

Bonk’s main idea is that almost everyone now has the ability to learn what they want, when they want, from who they want. He includes many resources and anecdotes that are useful and interesting. He predicts that as we experience huge disruptive societal shifts, learning will become more important than stock market reports, the weather, sports, or the daily news. Those who know how to learn will be the ones who succeed while those who do not, will fall by the wayside.

This book has definately challenged my thinking when it comes to seeing the global inequity to quality education and resources. Whilst I believe that technology will be the great enabler, we are not at that stage yet.

Will we see the digital divide in fact widen before ubiquitous access closes the gap? Something to think about…

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