New Era, New Media, and New Strategies for Cross-Cultural Collaborative Learning

New Era, New Media, and New Strategies for Cross-Cultural Collaborative Learning

Chun-Min Wang (National Hsinchu University of Education, Taiwan), Jinn-Wei Tsao (University of Georgia, USA) and Gretchen Bourdeau Thomas (University of Georgia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-833-0.ch024
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The purpose of this chapter is to share a cross-cultural project between Taiwan and the United States for educational practitioners. Taking advantage of Web 2.0 applications as facilitators, the project served as action research to discover better strategies for conducting online cross-cultural collaboration. Specifically, the authors describe the evolution of the instructional design of the project and the difficulties encountered during the cross-cultural collaboration.
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Although culture has been acknowledged as an important factor to be considered during the process of instructional design (Henderson, 1996; McLoughlin, 1999; Reeves & Reeves, 1997; Wang, 2004), a need exists to translate these cultural considerations into practice (Rose, 2005). In the cross-cultural setting of this project, cultural differences actually became learning materials for nurturing intercultural competence related to a range of activities (Byram, 1995).

Interestingly, for almost 20 years, educators have been exploring the application of technology to connect students and teachers from different nations and cultures (Davis, Cho, & Hagenson, 2005). As Davis (1999) pointed out, the motivation for making such connections was the belief that education was now operating in a global context, and technology could increase access to education on an international scale. As a result, providing pre-service teachers with an opportunity to learn from peers in other cultures could equip those teachers with the skills needed to become effective educators within global contexts. These same experiences could be used to provide students with similar kinds of experiences in order to make them more effective global citizens.

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