AN INTERCULTURAL UNIVERSITY WITH HUBS, NODES AND FEEDS

L. Bernhardsson, J.E. Perneman

University West (SWEDEN)
Linköping University and University West in Sweden have during the last decades developed intercultural courses together with indigenous groups in the Nordic countries, Latin America and Africa.

We have recently developed ideas about how the modern web-based tools could give the possibility to create a sustainable and mutual communication . The ideas are based on the use of technologies in the field of Web 2.0 and refer to tools such as blogs and RSS feeds and readers of such feeds.

Readers can be set so that the transmitted information is displayed in the individual's own language, although it is written in another language. Similar features are also available for direct real-time translation of such blogs or other websites. Many blogs also allow, by special functions, to read and subscribe to the content of other blogs. By creating structures that link the course blogs "inwards" towards a common hub, portal information are made ​​available in such a way that the individual participant or group courses can easily find relevant information from other participants or from the education provider. The use of such hubs also create incentives to study digital communication tools and how these can operate in different educational models with education and lifelong learning in focus.

Course blogs or group blogs are created on various free sites on the web. Examples include Wordpress.com or Blogger.com. The place does not matter if there's a feed so others can subscribe. If the group wants to link information from other blogs or sites with feedback there is a need for functionality locally on the system. The aforementioned systems have such features.

A study group blog provides feedback to the course blog and a group blog can also subscribe to various feeds for different categories of course blogs. The hub shares in the same way information in both directions with one or more course blogs. The hub may also include links to the various systems and also addresses for individual feeds or combined for different course groups or a common language.

The implementation of a hub according to the above model of intercultural courses also provide experiences that can be used for other courses in which several courses are given to groups that are dispersed geographically and also in time. There is also an opportunity to communicate and provide material from their own or joint "learning environments". It can be seen as experiments with forms of support to the "Personal Learning Environment" and opens for use of the “Open Educational Resources ", especially such as the participants themselves find interesting and want to spread to others.