Teaching With Technology Conference Keynote

The Perfect Storm: Emerging Technology, Enormous Learner Demands, Enhanced Pedagogy, and Erased Budgets

Curtis Bonk, PhD

Professor of Educational Psycholoogy and Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University


Emerging Technologies— such as electronic portfolios, computer games and simulations, digital books, and wireless and mobile computing— are generating waves of new opportunities in higher education. However, the effective use of teaching technology involves far more than simply shoveling classroom content onto a web site. Instructors must be trained how to motivate online students and address their individual learning styles and needs. As enrollments in online courses surge, today's students— immersed in an increasingly digital world— are seeking richer and more engaging learning experiences.

Amid the rising tide of expectations, instructors are exploring innovative ways to use technology to foster interaction, collaboration, and excitement for learning. While we may not realize it, we have entered the perfect electrical storm, where technology, the art of teaching, and the needs of learners are converging. Now add to that a fourth storm, erased budgets, that stands in the way of expensive technology purchases and risky program initiatives surrounding the other three storms. Given these monetary constraints, we need to think carefully about the speed and direction in which we are headed, before venturing farther into these uncharted waters.

Dr. Bonk is also a Senior Research Fellow with the Advanced Distributed Learning Lab within the U.S Department of Defense and a founding member of the Center for Research on Learning and Technology at Indiana University.

He has received numerous teaching and mentoring awards from IU as well as the CyberStar Award from the Indiana Information Technology Association, the Most Outstanding Achievement Award from the U.S. Distance Learning Association, and the Most Innovative Teaching in a Distance Education Program Award from the State of Indiana.

Dr. Bonk has more than 100 publications on topics such as online learning pedagogy, massive multiplayer online gaming, collaborative technologies, synchronous and asynchronous computer conferencing, and frameworks for Web-based instruction and evaluation. Currently, he is working on the "Handbook of Blended Learning Environments: Global Perspectives, Local Designs," to be published by Pfeiffer Publishing in early 2005.

Curtis Bonk personal home page.

Last modified 03/15/05
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2004 University of Maryland

University of Maryland

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