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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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Evaluation of an International Online Learning Initiative in Special Education


In spite of concerted efforts through traditional means to increase the supply of special educators, shortages persist both in the US and abroad (Spooner et al 2000); therefore, teacher preparation programs are turning to online education to provide equitable access (Kurtts and Vallecorsa 1999; Mohr 2004). The increase in distance learning (Ludlow 2001) is revolutionizing training for special educators, and its use could “systematically impact the shortage” (Spooner et al. 2000: 92). Literature suggests that distance learning in special education teacher preparation has the potential not only to reduce the shortage (Spooner, Algozzine and Jordan 1998; Smith and Meyen 2003; Johnson 2004), but also to provide the most up-to-date training, especially in rural and remote areas (Ludlow et al 2002; Johnson 2004).

Scholars believe that distance education for special educators provides a new form of pedagogy (Meyen et al 2002; Smith and Meyen, 2003), offers “anytime, anywhere” access to professional development (Meyen 2003: 84), increases special education certification enrollment (Fore, Martin and Bender 2002), reaches a global audience (Sun, Bender and Fore 2003), increases the enrollment of non-traditional students (O’Neal et al. 2007), and reduces stress and burn out (Ludlow et al. 2002; Sun et al. 2003). Other advantages of distance education include its allowance of effective strategies for field experiences (i.e. cybervision) (Binner and Falconer 2002; Lignugaris and Kraft 2002; Jung et al. 2006; Knapczyk and Hew 2007) provision of opportunities where none or few exist (Spooner et al. 1999), building collaboration among educators (Bore...

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