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Telecollaboration 2.0

Language, Literacies and Intercultural Learning in the 21 st Century


Edited By Sarah Guth and Francesca Helm

Telecollaboration, or online intercultural exchange, has become widely recognised as an effective way to promote the development of intercultural communicative competence and language skills. However, the study and implementation of new 2.0 environments such as wikis, Skype, virtual worlds and gaming for telecollaboration is still in its infancy. How can these multilingual, multimodal, collaborative environments be used to promote language and intercultural learning? What are the implications for teachers and learners and what new literacies are required? Do they offer an added-value? This book seeks to answer these questions and many more by bringing together the experience and expertise of researchers and practitioners alike. The authors offer critical stances, new frameworks and practical case studies to help the reader ‘navigate’ the world of Telecollaboration 2.0.


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Language Educator 2.0: New Skills and Competences 275


Language Educator 2.0: New Skills and Competences Teacher 2.0 MELINDA DOOLY “It simply isn’t the 20th century any more is it? So why would we teach as though it was?” These two questions are not only pertinent to this chapter; they are actually the title of the pre-conference key- note podcast speech offered by Professor Stephen Heppell in the 2008 K-12 Online Conference. Of course, it is not a new argument that teachers must be tech-savvy nowadays and it is increasingly more commonplace to hear about ‘Teacher 2.0’.1 But what exactly does it mean to be a Teacher 2.02? In private correspondence with the edi- tors of this book, the relevance of defining this role was underscored: We are talking about changes in the way people teach and learn […] hence, the importance of definitions. When using the term Web 2.0, it’s always im- portant to define what it means. Particularly in this context, I think it’s impor- tant to point out the fact that it does not only speak of new tools, but rather a new way of approaching social interaction online and knowledge ac- cess/construction online. In other words, for years people have been speaking of social constructivism, socio-cultural approaches to language learning, but now the technology makes it that much easier to implement these theo- ries/approaches as, in some ways, students are already doing in informal con- texts. (Guth personal correspondence: 16 October 2008) 1 The term teacher is used in this chapter to indicate educators at all...

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