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"This poses a series of really important
questions," says Jerry Hanley, '65.
Hanley experienced firsthand the challenges
and conflicting issues student-learners and
teacher-mentors must confront to find their
learning path and to achieve personal mas-
tery. He is a former member of California
Governor's Commission on the Uses of IT for
K-12 Instruction while he was the AT&T Re-
gional VP and during which period he was
also assigned oversight review of the Los An-
geles Unified School District.
As a result of this experience he co-
founded Edulink, an early Internet-based
company that enabled the development of
instructional and interactive development
tools and practices for K-12 learning commu-
nities (AOL was a key partner). He sold his in-
terest in Edulink to become the chief
information officer for Cal Poly in the Cal
State University System.
As you might have guessed, Hanley has
quite a bit to say about Richardson's "top
five" transformations, online learning's place,
MOOCs, and the transformation of teaching
and learning paradigms. With his tongue
only partially in cheek, he asked:
"If you think about Richardson's assertions
in terms of Thomas Jefferson's vision of
American Democracy and the essential imper-
ative of having an educated, and discerning
electorate, you have to ask yourself, Are we
unthinkingly subscribing to the Joseph
Goebbels school of the Big Truth (or Lie?) and
the media cum Twitter feeds that follow? Or
is it Google who now becomes its guardian
and purveyor. And what will be the inevitable
outcomes of this march?"
Hanley wonders who validates the informa-
tion and accredits the learning in Richardson's
vision of the transformed learning environ-
Submit your 500-word essay or think
piece on the future of education by Oct.
1, 2014, to
The top three most provocative pieces
will be published in the Winter 2014-15
edition of Bonaventure: The Magazine
of St. Bonaventure University.
With the advice of Sheehan and his colleagues at edX,
and at the urging of a particularly innovative and motivated
consultant to Franciscan Institute Publications, Dr. Daniel
"Danny" Michaels, St. Bonaventure will launch its first
MOOC on the edX platform this fall. The lead faculty for the
course are Dr. Jay Hammond of the Department of Theologi-
cal Studies at Saint Louis University in cooperation with
renowned Franciscan scholar Dr. J.A. Wayne Hellmann,
Through their efforts, the world will have access to "The
Gospel Life of St. Francis." Michaels is president and CEO of
the technology firm KEYPOPPY, LLC.
"By participating in MOOCs, you are telling students and
prospects that you understand the power of social, online
learning and that you are an innovative, forward-thinking in-
stitution of higher learning," said Sheehan. "Alumni are
hearing about online education and interested in this newest
development in education, and they really appreciate institu-
tions that are investigating future learning methods and cut-
ting-edge technologies. MOOCs help engage alumni, further
connect them with their alma mater and allow them to inter-
act with current students and the learning process."
Sheehan said by putting leading teachers, theologians and
courses online, St. Bonaventure is showing the world what
the university stands for and highlighting its commitment to
excellent academics.
"MOOCs help you extend the university's reach and high-
light what makes the St. Bonaventure experience unique
while helping to transform lives around the globe through
content and instruction," he said.
Will Richardson, publisher of the on-
line journal Educating Modern Learn-
ers, asserts there are five major ways in
which learning is being transformed:
Content is everywhere -- The
sources of learning are everywhere;
knowledge is readily available through
digital means.
Teachers are everywhere -- Expert-
ise is king.
Learning is more individualized
and personalized -- Because of the
wide distribution of sources of learn-
ing and types of teachers, learning will
become more personalized.
Networks are the new classroom
-- Learning environments are created
with networks of people with com-
mon interests, unconstrained by time
and space.
Learning occurs everywhere -- It
will still occur in formally bounded
schools and classrooms, but this is no
longer a requirement.
St. Bonaventure Gets in the Game
WHAT'S NEXT? Navigating in a New Knowledge Environment
What Do You Think?
Fr. J.A. Wayne Hellmann, O.F.M., Conv., is a professor of Medieval Christi-
anity at Saint Louis University. His editorial work has included serving as a
senior editor of the Franciscan Institute's scholarly journal Franciscan Stud-
. For additional information on St. Bonaventure's MOOC, "The Gospel
Life of St. Francis," visit
Photo by Danny Bush