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Globalizing On-line

Telecollaboration, Internationalization, and Social Justice


Nataly Tcherepashenets

Internationalization plays an important role in shaping the philosophy and practice of higher education, and it is arguably one of the most durable University achievements. Offering creative ways to achieve a shift from isolation to communication between people of different economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, telecollaboration exemplifies challenges and rewards of internationalization in the epoch of e-learning. In our interconnected world the tasks of both bringing the equality of opportunities and promoting intercultural dialogue continue to be priorities for education, whose major objective and obligation is an expansion of the freedoms of human beings. In the era of globalization, its fulfillment more than ever depends on making it possible for people of different backgrounds to participate in intercultural dialogue on equal terms. Intercultural collaborations in virtual environments offer unique opportunities for the realization of this goal. This book explores both a contribution of telecollaboration to the democratic education, solidarity and social justice in the globalized world as well as the complexities and challenges that arise from attempts to align international collaborations and social justice.
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Globalizing Online: Binary Distinctions or Global Partaking?



Various types of telecollaborative practices have emerged with the opportunities provided by globalization in the information and technology supported communication age. Along with these practices, many practitioners and theorists have underscored the possibilities and implicit promises of uniformity and leveling of opportunities as individuals across the globe have engaged in intercultural dialogue. There are numerous examples of online, distance and e-learning practices that have utilized telecollaboration in advancing better learning processes and improving teaching and learning prospects (see Block, 2010, Al-Khatib, 2011). At the educational frontier, telecollaboration has been incorporated to maximize the opportunities afforded through technology and enrich the learning experience (see Jonassen et al; 2003; Fitzpatrick and Davies 2003; Chapelle 2004; Lauriero and Bettencourt 2011). Higher education institutions have begun utilizing online communication forums and venues to facilitate telecollaboration for working groups, with the aim of providing better learning experiences, opportunities for cooperating in educational and social activities and exchanging information at a global scale (see Knight 2005; Wilson et al 2007).

The technological innovation characterizing the twenty-first century has brought with it promises of improved globalized learning as new access is afforded and new frontiers explored, in the pursuit of better learning experiences, telecollaboration and improved educational practices. In an effort to utilize digital technology in advancing collaboration and better learning processes, educational institutions and especially universities in the developing world have begun promoting the use of technology in teaching and learning, based on the fact that ← 35 | 36 → ICT...

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