I have the good fortune to be writing this from Liberec in the Czech Republic. I am a senior faculty member at UMA in the discipline of psychology with an enduring interest in cross cultural (and clinical) psychology. I'm enthused about the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and the applied research in "student centered teaching."
For the past five years or so, with two colleagues here at Technical University of Liberec (TUL), we have been trying out various approaches to collaborating in real time as well as asynchronously, at the course level as well as at the student to student level. We've had enough success to continue on and the world is changing so as to make our work easier. Currently I'm teaching two UMA courses online and co-teaching four TUL courses. In these courses we've embedded the expectations that students will participate internationally in both real time and asynchronously.
I'm posting this in the hopes of networking with UMS faculty and learning about the experiences of faculty across the disciplines, in leveraging 'mobile' communication tools (in our case Google Communities, small group video conferencing and polycom) to provide UMS students with the opportunities and incentives to collaborate with their Czech counterparts at the level of specific assignments (e.g. course projects, research etc.). What interests do you have, what experiences (good and bad) and what are your thoughts about these opportunities going forward?
Bottom line, we can now connect (videoconference) quite easily over almost any distance. Students are experienced in social media, video conferencing and digital literacy but who is harnessing this capability in the service of cross cultural collaboration and exploring our course content?
I'll be happy to blog about our experiences if asked but don't want to simply be going on about our work. I can be reached at email@example.com. I'll occasionally check back here and will return to Maine in May. I look forward to sharing our work. - Ken Elliott