A Schematic Description of the Nature of Video-Conferencing and Internet Exchange: Enhancing Global Understanding

A Schematic Description of the Nature of Video-Conferencing and Internet Exchange: Enhancing Global Understanding

Mambo Mupepi (Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijwltt.2014010103
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The world is becoming increasingly one multicultural Global village and business and education transnational, which implies that students will need to recognize accept and adjust to cultural differences in communications to succeed in their studies as well as in their future careers. This presentation is fundamentally about a niftier way of intercultural learning and knowledge-acquisition that adapts video-conferencing and Internet technology to build Web-based successful learning communities. Students can meet on interactive camera at least twice per week and thereafter at any time using Google-mail during the semester effectively forming a knowledge community. The learning community can collaborate to develop the capacity to create diffuse and distribute experiential knowledge in boundary-less and Global-campuses in virtual environments. Students from different universities will cohere to understand each other's culture without leaving their own countries. The method is cost-effective as compared to similar costly semester abroad and hiked out-of-state tuition rates. Students can access additional resources to enhance cultural competencies from the virtual libraries and faculty facilitating in the program without leaving their campuses.
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There is very little information about Video-conferencing (VC), Internet exchange and how that applies to experiential learning. The main goal of this paper is an attempt to close the gap by creating the knowledge that can be applied in successful experiential learning. Video-conferencing and Internet based learning is one of the techniques available to advance student multicultural competences acquisition using hi-tech learning technologies. Kolb (1995) suggests that experiential learning occurs when students exchange face-to-face in real time cultural information. Experiential learning is the awareness that arises as a direct participation in the events of life. In VC and Internet sessions learning becomes live when the participating campuses connect to each other. Learning is not sponsored by the instructors but by students themselves. Instructors may provide guidelines on questioning techniques, and rules of engagement that also protect individual privacy.

The Nature of VC Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is the scholarship that is achieved through reflection upon everyday experience and is the way most people learn. In Mupepi (2010) students from the participating campuses coalesce into dyads or partnerships. In those groups they exchange information about what their instructors want them to do. This information exchange includes self-introductions of each student, stating their names, where they come from, their majors and what they expect to learn from the program. Each instructor will provide his/her group of students with a syllabus that may also include rules of engagement, the institution’s policy on attendance, grades, and start and end of the course. The students will exchange email addresses, and will share rules of engagement. Learning begins when the inter-campuses begin to appreciate each other’s experience and can change their own behavior in the light of this knowledge. In Mupepi (2011), the inquiring student learns out of curiosity, and admiration of each other’s situation.

A Statement about the Literature

There is scant literature pertaining to students exchange using video-conferencing and Internet dialogue technology. However there is a variety of state-of-the-art VC equipment available competitively priced on the market. Video-conferencing technology has been in use in the broadcasting industry for decades. In Nixon and Frost (2008), David Frost produced the Nixon interview reports resulting from the Watergate Scandal in 1974. The interviews were recorded for television and used satellite technology in 1974 then to broadcast live throughout Europe the famous interviews. Nixon and Frost (2008) illustrate how the same technology could have been developed further for use in business and education and social communications.

Humble Beginnings

Leiner (2012) suggests that the Internet had its debut in the USA in 1969 and when it was then known as ARPANET. Engineers such as Charles Herzfeld and Bob Taylor among many other information technology champions were involved in the beginning of the Internet. The term “Internet” then evolved as a project run by four computers at Stanford University, University of Utah, Massachusetts Institutes of Technology and Harvard University and coordinated by Bob Kahn of BBN of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Leiner recognizes other universities such as Stanford, Case Western Reserve, and Carnegie-Melon joining the research effort later on. New words and phrases such as Ethernet, a protocol for many local networks appeared in the vocabulary in 1974, were coined as the Internet developed. The VC technique and the Internet are now part of international business organization strategy.

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