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Integrating Telecollaborative Exchange in different
Educational Contexts:
Identifying and Overcoming Challenges
Robert O'D...
Background issues: 1
•

European schools & universities are not keeping pace with digital
revolution:
– 63% of 9-year olds...
Background issues: 2
•

“Much, if not all, of the debate in higher education seems to be focussed
these days on massive op...
Background issues: 3
In 2020, at least 20% of those graduating in the European Higher Education
Area should have had a stu...
Background issues: 4
• European Commission Report: “European Higher
Education in the world”:
– “…internationalisation shou...
Telecollaboration: Intercultural Online Collaborative
Learning in the classroom
Telecollaboration involves virtual
intercu...
Telecollaboration –
Online Intercultural
Exchange

Simple
Integration of ICT into
the classroom

Collaborative &
Interacti...
A collaborative alternative to MOOCs
Collaborative online international
learning – COIL – offers an alternative to
the muc...
Different set-ups which Telecollaboration can take
1. A Class of learners in Germany carry out collaborative tasks online
...
Why integrate Telecollaboration into
your classrooms?
• Watch some
telecollaborative teachers
on UNICollaboration.eu
talki...
A practical example of
Telecollaborative Exchange
•

Future ‘Primary school teachers’ in ULE (B1 level) work with Students...
Web 2.0 Tool: www.ning.com
Task 1: Representing your culture through photos…

13
Task 2: Discussion forums on issues related to culture and the
relationship between the two countries

14
Task 3: Making videos for their partners on
aspects of the language…

15
Task 4: Writing and presenting blogs about
their local culture for a foreign audience

16
1: The Cultura Model
http://cultura.mit.edu/
Questionnaires for both groups in mother tongue
Answers to the Questionnaires
Written Discussion Forums
•

http://www.cisi.unito.it/tandem/etandem/

•

•

•
•

Two native speakers of different
languages communicate together
wi...
•
•

[American-Spanish eTandem]
Hey Pablo!
It was great to receive your letter. I was so happy to see that you responded
t...
3: The e-Twinning schools model
http://www.etwinning.net/

“Direct interaction with pupils
in partner schools is still not...
4: The Soliya Model – East-West Negotiations
http://www.soliya.net/

• Soliya connects over 200
students from over 30
diff...
5: Sharing Perspectives: A content & Exchange Model
http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/
Your opinions…
What model would best suit your teaching context?
INTENT : Integrating Telecollaborative Networks Into Higher Education
Financed By The European Commission - Lifelong Learn...
Study of Telecollaboration in European Universities


Three surveys:
 Experienced teacher telecollaborators (102 respons...
“Telecollaboration Is worthwhile”: Experienced university
practitioners give their feedback on telecollaboration
Lecturers’ opinions regarding telecollaboration and
physical mobility
What students learn from
Telecollaboration
Students’ comments on what they learned…
•

I've been practising a lot of English. I know how an email conversation is lik...
So why isn’t everyone doing it?


In your opinion, what are the reasons why telecollaborative
exchange is not more popula...
So why isn’t everyone doing it?


In your opinion, what are the reasons why telecollaborative exchange is not
more popula...
Educators’ comments:
•

•
•

“From my perspective, having done 5 different telecollaboration projects, I
feel now that the...
• Read the INTENT Report on
Telecollaboration in European
Universities:
– http://www.scoop.it/t/intentproject-news

37
What are the challenges for teachers?
A Practical Example: Connecting classes in Spain,
UK, Germany and Israel

Coventry
Koblenz

León

Tel Aviv
Connecting classes in Spain, UK, Germany and Israel
Number of students participating:
Spain: 90-100
Germany: 160
Israel: 6...
Task 1: Create a blog to present aspects of your local
culture and provide feedback
Task 2: Carrying out group interviews based on cross-cultural
themes of interest
Task 3: Use online content to create academic essays and
presentations
Your thoughts….
• What are the particular skills and attitudes which a teacher will
need to take part in such an exchange?...
The Challenges of Telecollaboration for TeachersCritical Incident 1
• E-mail from a coordinating teacher during the blog t...
The Challenges of Telecollaboration for Teachers- Critical
Incident 2
•

E-mail from the Israeli teacher when the Israeli-...
The Challenges of Telecollaboration for TeachersCritical Incident 3 (intercultural faux pas)

47
The Challenges of Telecollaboration for Teachers- Critical
Incident 4 (intercultural faux pas)

48
The Challenges of Telecollaboration for TeachersCritical Incident 5
• E-mail from a coordinating teacher explaining lack o...
What differentiates Telecollaborative Competence
from ‘Traditional’ Online Competence for FL
Teachers?
•Telecollaboration ...
The Telecollaborative Teacher…
Can negotiate effectively with the partnerteacher the structure and organisational
technica...
52
Read more about telecollaboration…
• Contact:
– robert.odowd@unileon.es
– Publications: http://unileon.academia.edu/Robert...
Interested in involving your institution? Join UNICollaboration.eu:
the Home of Telecollaborative Exchange for University ...
Start here to find databanks of classes, institutions and
practitioners who are interested in establishing contacts…
If you choose ‘classes’ then you’ll be able to search or browse a list of
classes which are interested in taking part in o...
Create a new class and let other practitioners read about your group
and the type of exchange you’d like to have…
In the ‘Tasks’ tab in the top menu bar, you’ll find collections of tasks,
task sequences (i.e. collections of interconnect...
To learn more about how online exchanges work:
Click on the ‘Training’ tab in the top menu bar. Here you’ll find accounts ...
When you choose a sample project, click on the different tabs to read
about the project, the tasks it used and how educato...
To discuss issues related to telecollaboration with colleagues: Click on
‘community’ in the top menu bar and participate i...
Integrating Telecollaboration in different educational contexts – identifying and overcoming challenges
Integrating Telecollaboration in different educational contexts – identifying and overcoming challenges
Integrating Telecollaboration in different educational contexts – identifying and overcoming challenges
Integrating Telecollaboration in different educational contexts – identifying and overcoming challenges
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Integrating Telecollaboration in different educational contexts – identifying and overcoming challenges

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In the context of foreign language education, ‘telecollaboration’ refers to the application of online communication tools to bring together classes of language learners in geographically distant locations to develop their foreign language skills and intercultural competence through collaborative tasks and project work. The interaction has traditionally been text-based and asynchronous, however, the recent advances of Web 2.0 online communication have meant that synchronous oral communication as
well as multimodal exchanges involving combinations of different media are becoming increasingly popular. This presentation and workshop will review the different models or configurations of online intercultural exchange which have been employed in the foreign language classroom to date and also explores the new options and opportunities which are emerging from Web 2.0 contexts. We will outline the main research findings related to the barriers and challenges to integrating this activity into educational curricula and we will also its key contributions to foreign language learning. Finally, in our workshop we will explore how telecollaboration can be integrated into teacher training in Germany and also in vocational training.

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Integrating Telecollaboration in different educational contexts – identifying and overcoming challenges

  1. 1. Integrating Telecollaborative Exchange in different Educational Contexts: Identifying and Overcoming Challenges Robert O'Dowd, Universidad de León, Spain
  2. 2. Background issues: 1 • European schools & universities are not keeping pace with digital revolution: – 63% of 9-year olds lack digital equipment and broadband – Between 50% & 80% of EU university students never use online or digital resources in their studies – 70% of teachers request more ICT skills training – [‘Opening Up Education’ Memo by the European Commission] What is the situation in Germany?
  3. 3. Background issues: 2 • “Much, if not all, of the debate in higher education seems to be focussed these days on massive open online courses, or MOOCs, which according to several people should be considered nothing less than a revolutionary new model for higher education teaching and learning.” – [‘Virtual Mobility without commericialisation’ by Hans de Wit] • What have been your experiences of MOOCs?
  4. 4. Background issues: 3 In 2020, at least 20% of those graduating in the European Higher Education Area should have had a study or training period abroad. (Communiqué of the Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education, Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve, 28-29 April 2009) http://ec.europa.eu/education/doc/2008/mobilityreport_en.pdf • But what happens to the remaining 80%?
  5. 5. Background issues: 4 • European Commission Report: “European Higher Education in the world”: – “…internationalisation should not benefit only the minority… who spend time abroad….Higher education policies must increasingly focus on the integration of a global dimension in the design and content of all curricula …to ensure that the large majority of learners who are not mobile… are nonetheless able to acquire the international skills required in a globalised world (2013:6)” • But how should this be done?
  6. 6. Telecollaboration: Intercultural Online Collaborative Learning in the classroom Telecollaboration involves virtual intercultural interaction and collaboration projects between classes in geographically distant locations under the guidance of educators. What’s in a name? •Virtual Exchange •COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) •OIE (Online Intercultural Exchange) – •eTandem •eTwinning •ePals
  7. 7. Telecollaboration – Online Intercultural Exchange Simple Integration of ICT into the classroom Collaborative & Interactive Online Learning Authentic Intercultural Experiences for non-mobile students
  8. 8. A collaborative alternative to MOOCs Collaborative online international learning – COIL – offers an alternative to the much-hyped MOOCS, and one that is less commercial and more interactive, with a strong focus on internationalisation of the curriculum and of teaching and learning… While in MOOCs the teaching stays more or less traditional, using modern technology for a global form of delivery, in COIL the technology is used to develop a more interactive and collaborative way of international teaching and learning. [Prof. Hans de Wit on COIL – An interactive alternative to MOOCS]
  9. 9. Different set-ups which Telecollaboration can take 1. A Class of learners in Germany carry out collaborative tasks online 1. A Class of learners in Germany carry out collaborative tasks online with a class of learners in Ireland – using German and English with a class of learners in Ireland – using German and English 2. A class of students in Spain collaborate online with a class in USA. 2. A class of students in Spain collaborate online with a class in USA. This is combined with week-long study visits by both groups to This is combined with week-long study visits by both groups to partner universities. partner universities. 3. Before leaving on mobility programmes to the UK, students from 3. Before leaving on mobility programmes to the UK, students from Italy are ‘matched’ and interact online with British students Italy are ‘matched’ and interact online with British students planning to travel to Italy. planning to travel to Italy. 4. Students on Erasmus mobility contribute to a blog where they 4. Students on Erasmus mobility contribute to a blog where they discuss their experiences abroad. This blog includes quetions and discuss their experiences abroad. This blog includes quetions and comments by ‘pre-mobility’ students at the home university. comments by ‘pre-mobility’ students at the home university.
  10. 10. Why integrate Telecollaboration into your classrooms? • Watch some telecollaborative teachers on UNICollaboration.eu talking about the benefits of online exchange: • http://www.unicollaboration.eu/? q=node/818 • What benefits do they mention?
  11. 11. A practical example of Telecollaborative Exchange • Future ‘Primary school teachers’ in ULE (B1 level) work with Students of Spanish in Missouri, USA: • Task 1: Upload and discuss a photo or video which tells the other group something about your home culture • Task 2: Participate in two discussion forums – one in English and one in Spanish. • Task 3: Make a video presentation, ‘teaching’ their partners expressions in the foreign language • Task 4: In groups of four, create a blog with images, text and links about an aspect of life in Spain/USA. Post your reactions and some language corrections to your American partners’ blogs. • Evaluation: Write an essay reflecting on what you have learned from the exchange.
  12. 12. Web 2.0 Tool: www.ning.com
  13. 13. Task 1: Representing your culture through photos… 13
  14. 14. Task 2: Discussion forums on issues related to culture and the relationship between the two countries 14
  15. 15. Task 3: Making videos for their partners on aspects of the language… 15
  16. 16. Task 4: Writing and presenting blogs about their local culture for a foreign audience 16
  17. 17. 1: The Cultura Model http://cultura.mit.edu/
  18. 18. Questionnaires for both groups in mother tongue
  19. 19. Answers to the Questionnaires
  20. 20. Written Discussion Forums
  21. 21. • http://www.cisi.unito.it/tandem/etandem/ • • • • Two native speakers of different languages communicate together with the aim of learning the other’s language (e.g. GermanEnglish) Based on the principles of autonomy and reciprocity – Responsibility rests mainly with learner Partners provide feedback on content and foreign language performance Teacher’s role is limited – learners keep a diary and/or portfolio of their work • • • • A German student writes this opening message to her new partner in Ireland: Hello, how are you? I study English and history at the University of Essen and I want to become a teacher. This term we do some cultural studies concerning Ireland and I very interested in it because I actuallly do not know much about it. Now I would like to ask you some questions. Do you live in Northern or in Southern Ireland? How many people live in your town? Are you a Catholic or a Protestant? I have heard that regular churchgoing declines more and more in your country-is it true? What are you doing in your free time? Do you often go to pubs? What do you think about Germans? Irish people have the reputation of being very indirect and polite in their speaking style. I have read that there was an enormous economic change in Ireland. How have you or your parents experienced the social and economic change in the past 20 years? That's all for now. I am looking forward to hearing from you!
  22. 22. • • [American-Spanish eTandem] Hey Pablo! It was great to receive your letter. I was so happy to see that you responded to my questions. Thank you. Your responses were very informative and definitely showed me that family life in Spain was not all I'd expected it to be (I was surprised, for example, that your family is not religious. I assumed that most families in Spain are, and I'm sure you have many assumptions about life in America as well). Your English is very good. There are only a few suggestions that I have to correct it. Some of your sentences are too long, and would make more sense if you separated them into two or three sentences instead. For example, "My parents are not divorced in Spain there are very few cases of divorced" could be rewritten as "My parents are not divorced. In Spain there are very few cases of divorce." Your letter was great and made sense despite these things. Good work. Las fiestas en the ciudad de Nueva York son muy locas y emocionantes. Voy a las discotecas con mis amigas los jueves, los viernes, o los sabados. Vamos a los bars tambien. Nosotros volvemos a nos salons de dormitorio a las cuatro de la manana. Queremos bailar a las discotecas. Necesita tener veintiuno anos por beber el alcohol pero la mayoria de estudiantes en las universidades tenen los "fake IDs" y ellos beben el alcohol. … No sabo mucho de Espana. Sabo que hay un museo de Guggenheim en Bilbao y sabo que hay muchos castillos bonitos. Que sabes de los Estados Unidos? Como es la fiesta en Espana? Elena
  23. 23. 3: The e-Twinning schools model http://www.etwinning.net/ “Direct interaction with pupils in partner schools is still not frequent. Synchronous work by pupils in different countries appears to be unusual, constrained often by timetabling, time differences and lack of appropriately robust ICT infrastructure, and in most of the case study schools, email was the only form of online communication between pupils.” [eTwinning Impact study 2013]
  24. 24. 4: The Soliya Model – East-West Negotiations http://www.soliya.net/ • Soliya connects over 200 students from over 30 different universities in the US, Europe and the predominantly Arab and/or Muslim worlds. • Students are placed into small groups of 8-10 students and guided through a 9-week, English language dialogue program by pairs of trained facilitators.
  25. 25. 5: Sharing Perspectives: A content & Exchange Model http://www.sharingperspectivesfoundation.com/
  26. 26. Your opinions… What model would best suit your teaching context?
  27. 27. INTENT : Integrating Telecollaborative Networks Into Higher Education Financed By The European Commission - Lifelong Learning Programme     Objectives: Carry out a review of telecollaboration in European university education Develop a platform with tools, resources and networks to facilitate telecollaboration practice. Develop a set of workable solutions to address the lack of academic integration of telecollaboration.
  28. 28. Study of Telecollaboration in European Universities  Three surveys:  Experienced teacher telecollaborators (102 responses)  Inexperienced teacher telecollaborators (108 responses)  Experienced student telecollaborators (131 responses)  Qualitative Case studies:  7 representative examples of telecollaboration around Europe  Aims:  Identify telecollaborative practices undertaken by European university educators  Explore the barriers to telecollaboration and the strategies used to overcome these barriers
  29. 29. “Telecollaboration Is worthwhile”: Experienced university practitioners give their feedback on telecollaboration
  30. 30. Lecturers’ opinions regarding telecollaboration and physical mobility
  31. 31. What students learn from Telecollaboration
  32. 32. Students’ comments on what they learned… • I've been practising a lot of English. I know how an email conversation is like in English. I realized I should be less influenced by cultural stereotypes. • • Cross-cultural dialogue skills -negotiation and facilitation skills Patience and cooperation. • My English skills, both speaking and comprehension and some language teaching techniques. I have developed the ability to work in a group. • • I believe I‘ve developed my ability to write in a foreign language and my knowledge regarding the use of ICT in foreign language teaching. I’ve been able to expand my vocabulary. • Coordination and group work mainly (I was group leader) • J`ai developpe la capacite de travailler en groupe. •
  33. 33. So why isn’t everyone doing it?  In your opinion, what are the reasons why telecollaborative exchange is not more popular in university education?  __________________________________  (Mentioned by 49/ 98 practitioners)  __________________________________  (Mentioned by 28 / 98 practitioners)  __________________________________  (Mentioned by 20/ 98 practitioners)  __________________________________  (Mentioned by 19 / 98 practitioners)  __________________________________  (Mentioned by 9/ 98 practitioners)
  34. 34. So why isn’t everyone doing it?  In your opinion, what are the reasons why telecollaborative exchange is not more popular in university education?  Time necessary to set up and run exchanges  (Mentioned 49/ 98 practitioners)  Difficulties in integration & assessment due to institutional requirements  (Mentioned by 28 / 98 practitioners)  Lack of pedagogical knowledge about how to run and integrate exchanges  (Mentioned by 20/ 98 practitioners)  Teachers lack e-literacies/ required technological knowledge  (Mentioned by 19 / 98 practitioners)  Difficulty in finding appropriate partners  (Mentioned by 9/ 98 practitioners)
  35. 35. Educators’ comments: • • • “From my perspective, having done 5 different telecollaboration projects, I feel now that they are not good “on-the-side" projects because there is no time to really bring students' attention to the communication taking place and the language being shared. All of my projects felt rushed. It was frustrating, though I will say there were also good things that came of all of them.” „...weil es sehr schwer ist, Partner zu finden.“ „...weil solche Projekte extrem aufwendig sind (Zeitaufwand, technologischer Aufwand, Anwesenheit, technische Infrastruktur vor Ort bzw. Mangel daran).“
  36. 36. • Read the INTENT Report on Telecollaboration in European Universities: – http://www.scoop.it/t/intentproject-news 37
  37. 37. What are the challenges for teachers?
  38. 38. A Practical Example: Connecting classes in Spain, UK, Germany and Israel Coventry Koblenz León Tel Aviv
  39. 39. Connecting classes in Spain, UK, Germany and Israel Number of students participating: Spain: 90-100 Germany: 160 Israel: 60 UK: 100 Timeline: Late October – Mid-December 2012 Tools used: Moodle platform Blogger Tasks:…
  40. 40. Task 1: Create a blog to present aspects of your local culture and provide feedback
  41. 41. Task 2: Carrying out group interviews based on cross-cultural themes of interest
  42. 42. Task 3: Use online content to create academic essays and presentations
  43. 43. Your thoughts…. • What are the particular skills and attitudes which a teacher will need to take part in such an exchange? • In other words, what makes a telecollaborative teacher different to other teachers? 44
  44. 44. The Challenges of Telecollaboration for TeachersCritical Incident 1 • E-mail from a coordinating teacher during the blog task… – Hi Everyone Task one is going well with my students who are really getting into it. However just to let you know, for the second week running we have experienced problems with the Moodle site which just crashes at the beginning of our session (at about 12.00 German time). This is a real problem as we can't continue and the students get frustrated.... 45
  45. 45. The Challenges of Telecollaboration for Teachers- Critical Incident 2 • E-mail from the Israeli teacher when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict broke out… – Interestingly, yesterday I had to deal with a few upset students in a blog group who were responding to a comment [from Germany] regarding the war situation, which they felt was insensitive. . • The German comment: – …. I can understand that the rockets are very scary and i'm very glad that we in Germany don´t have war like you. And i think Israel isn't alone in charge for this conflict. But can you understand the people in Gaza? Is it ok to keep these people there like in prison ? And why it isn't possible or why it´s so complicated to find a solution for all the people in your region? And why the people especially the young don't do something for the international understanding between these cultures? So it´s time so sit together, talk and finish this war. And both parties must grant facilities. Greetings from Koblenz… 46
  46. 46. The Challenges of Telecollaboration for TeachersCritical Incident 3 (intercultural faux pas) 47
  47. 47. The Challenges of Telecollaboration for Teachers- Critical Incident 4 (intercultural faux pas) 48
  48. 48. The Challenges of Telecollaboration for TeachersCritical Incident 5 • E-mail from a coordinating teacher explaining lack of participation from her students: – ...some of my colleagues have not been very supportive of this initiative... I was speaking to XXXX about this earlier today and she told me it had happened to her as well on some telecollaboration projects. 49
  49. 49. What differentiates Telecollaborative Competence from ‘Traditional’ Online Competence for FL Teachers? •Telecollaboration is inherently ‘intercultural’ – both in practice and in its underlying pedagogical principles •The telecollaborative teacher is not alone – usually two or more teachers working together from different cultural and institutional contexts - requires of the teacher keenly refined intercultural skills and attitudes of intercultural competence •Telecollaboration tends to be a long-term, complex activity which permeates the whole FL course – themes, tasks, classroom interaction etc. •In telecollaborative set-ups, teachers need to be able to react quickly to emerging problems, issues and new learning opportunities.
  50. 50. The Telecollaborative Teacher… Can negotiate effectively with the partnerteacher the structure and organisational technicalities of the exchange which take into account both institutional contexts (calendars etc.) as well as the needs and interests of both sets of participants Has a willingness to look for compromise with the partner-teacher in relation to task design, exchange structure and other issues Can integrate seamlessly and effectively the content and themes of the telecollaborative exchange into his/her contact classes before, during and after the exchange itself. has knowledge of the common causes of organisational and intercultural problems in online exchanges and can apply a series of techniques and strategies to deal with these problems O’Dowd, R. (2013). The Competences of the Telecollaborative Teacher. Language Learning Journal.
  51. 51. 52
  52. 52. Read more about telecollaboration… • Contact: – robert.odowd@unileon.es – Publications: http://unileon.academia.edu/RobertODowd – See this presentation again: http://www.slideshare.net/dfmro • Read our Report on Telecollaboration in Europe: – http://www.scoop.it/t/intent-project-news – INTENT Project news: http://www.scoop.it/t/intent-projectnews • This project have been funded with support from the European Commission. This project reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
  53. 53. Interested in involving your institution? Join UNICollaboration.eu: the Home of Telecollaborative Exchange for University Classrooms
  54. 54. Start here to find databanks of classes, institutions and practitioners who are interested in establishing contacts…
  55. 55. If you choose ‘classes’ then you’ll be able to search or browse a list of classes which are interested in taking part in online exchange projects...
  56. 56. Create a new class and let other practitioners read about your group and the type of exchange you’d like to have…
  57. 57. In the ‘Tasks’ tab in the top menu bar, you’ll find collections of tasks, task sequences (i.e. collections of interconnected tasks) and assessment tools to use in your online exchange projects…
  58. 58. To learn more about how online exchanges work: Click on the ‘Training’ tab in the top menu bar. Here you’ll find accounts of different exchanges (‘Sample projects’) and information on how to set up and run an exchange (‘Training modules’)
  59. 59. When you choose a sample project, click on the different tabs to read about the project, the tasks it used and how educators evaluated the project…
  60. 60. To discuss issues related to telecollaboration with colleagues: Click on ‘community’ in the top menu bar and participate in our moderated discussion forums…

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