Dr. Melinda Dooly is a professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She was a founding member and one of the leaders of the INTENT project that has brought universities from around Europe together in online collaboration. She has written extensively on virtual exchange and is a leader in the field of education through virtual exchange. APVEA is extremely fortunate to have her as a keynote speaker.
Telecollaboration and Language Learning: Present Trends and Future Tendencies
The use of technologies in teaching and learning-including blended learning, telecollaboration and social networking-are no longer 'news' in the world of education. This is attested by the number of articles, books, journals and conferences which are focused on this theme. We are now at a point which Lamy and Hampel (2007) have called "integrative CALL” (p. 9) where multimodal, multimedia is used to promote online collaborative interaction aimed at shared socio-cognition. These exchanges can also underscore awareness and development of intercultural competence in an increasingly 'interconnected world'.
Considering that upcoming generations will carry out a good part of their work, leisure and daily life through virtual interaction, the ability to cope personally and professionally with the conditions and challenges of working and 'living' with others online is patent. Moreover, being able to communicate with others through diverse online tools in different languages will not be enough to be interculturally competent. Just as individuals need the inter- and intra-personal skills of face-to-face interaction, they will need to be communicatively effective persons in virtual interaction. Both teacher and student competences must be interrogated in light of growing opportunities for literally 'opening up' the classroom to seemingly infinite learning possibilities.
Along these lines, this presentation will a) consider the role that telecollaboration can play in promoting knowledge for today and tomorrow's world; b) provide various examples of telecollaboration in education as means of delineating parameters and features of this type of learning exchange and c) reflect on emerging critical issues related to telecollaboration 2.0.
Lamy, M-N., & Hampel, R. (2007). Online communication in language learning and teaching. Houndmills, UK/New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Thom Rawson is a Senior Assistant Professor at Nagasaki International University, Sasebo, Japan. He, along with his team, recently was awarded the New Technology research award at the 2014 Japan e-Learning Awards in Tokyo. The 5-member team has spent the last few years working together on networking LMS sites together for collaborative projects between universities. He has been instrumental in developing virtual exchanges for both his students and other practitioners around the world. APVEA welcomes Thom Rawson and is grateful he is able to offer his expertise at the inaugural conference.
Borderless Life in the Digital Age of Education
Virtual exchange is no longer the dream of technical entrepreneurs, researchers, and moviegoers. Physical borders fade as the connected masses move online to collaborate and communicate. What was once so fascinating and amazing about being online has now reached a sense of normalization in the Internet Age. How did we get here? What is happening now? What will the future bring? What are the implications for modern education as we know it? Information is no longer trickled down to users but flows steadily and near-instantaneously. Social media has revolutionized the way people connect and communicate in real time online. When the answer to each new question that arises is "Google it”, how do educators remain relevant in such an environment? Open-source and proprietary systems have combined to create a dynamic online landscape which stands in stark contrast with traditional classroom education. The divide between teacher and student grows smaller as information is no longer the institution of the few imparted to the many. Where some borders have all but disappeared, new ones have sprung up. How do educators continue to bring down the borders inhibiting learning while avoiding their own obsolescence? In this plenary talk, the speaker's experiences and observations will be presented for the purpose of promoting digital age acceptance and integration. Challenges that have been overcome, challenges currently being faced, and potential future challenges for online collaboration are shared in a manner which the presenter hopes will stimulate discussion and generate new ideas in the ways which educators collaborate across borders and bring education to the masses.