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Globalizing On-line

Telecollaboration, Internationalization, and Social Justice

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Edited By 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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Telecollaboration has the unique potential to enrich life and studies in a globalized world. The authors in this volume have explored the various ways in which telecollaboration can expand learning opportunities and contribute to the pursuit of equal educational outcomes among students around the globe. Both goals are closely related to the empowerment of learners and the social justice cause, inherent to the mission of higher education.

The contributors convincingly demonstrate that, despite challenges, telecollaboration can improve access to quality academic offerings, create new study opportunities, and produce learning environments conducive to the acquisition of intercultural communicative competency and creativity, arguably some of the most important skills for success in the 21st century.

The telecollaborative experiences discussed in this book shed light on desirable characteristics of academic offerings that are suitable for the online international classroom. These include challenging, thought- provoking content that is discussed in a context relevant for the development of in-depth understanding of both local and global realities (see, for example, Chapters One and Six). These characteristics feature awareness and sensitivity to linguistic and cultural differences, including barriers that can be used productively in negotiating meaning while celebrating the pluralism of perspectives that is intrinsic to the international classroom as it is to life in the global world (see, for example, Chapters Two and Eight). In addition, they supply a user-friendly course design that encourages active participation in a variety of asynchronous and synchronous modes in the spirit of solidarity, tolerance...

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