About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3120-3123
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

VIRTUAL INTERCULTURAL AVENUES (VIA): LINKING THE INTERNATIONAL TEACHING AND LEARNING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGY ENABLERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

J. Prado

The Rowland Foundation/Essex High School (UNITED STATES)
Essex High School (EHS), the largest high school in the state of Vermont in northern New England, is in the early stages of applying distance education technologies and other technology enablers to support learning. Virtual Intercultural Avenues (VIA) (a Rowland Foundation project, www.therowlandfoundation.org) links our foreign language instruction to a virtual environment that will support ground-based as well as online learning. Using a virtual environment designed safely for the secondary school audience, and linking to other educational technology applications and enablers, I am launching a virtual global campus to be shared initially by EHS and our partner schools within the European Union (EU)—and later to be expanded to invite and include other U.S. and EU high schools. This virtual global campus links our physical school—our ground-based programs—to distance education and the virtual environment. Learning is improved in both ground-based as well as distance education programs through the use of this tool designed to engage students who grew up with social media, electronic games, and the infusion of technology in the school curriculum—and who respond positively to pedagogical approaches that take that into account. This tool that will result in enrichment of both educational worlds is called Virtual Intercultural Avenues.

Our virtual location is a 360-degree world where students, classes, parents, and faculty log in concurrently and appear represented by their avatar on the virtual campus. There is a student café; a visiting area for parents for orientations or discussions about exchange programs; a lecture hall with an embedded screen for incorporating media in lectures, presentations by guest speakers, and film. An arcade houses foreign language learning games; a café provides comfortable seating in circular rooms for entire classes to participate in cultural exchanges, and compete in events centered on language learning. In the library there are videos, self-paced tutorials, and access to multi-media resources such as videoconferencing, Skype, audio and recording labs, videos and lectures. Students participate in virtual field trips to museums, concerts, or even an amusement park. This global campus is a bilingual learning lab in and of itself that will support and enrich instruction, learning, and cultural awareness in the U.S. and in Europe. It is a place that facilitates real-time (synchronous) communication between schools in different countries, as well as a bridge where resources in support of learning can be shared by stakeholders at schools across the Atlantic.

Students in the U.S. and in the EU learn skills that are important to achieve professional success in a global economy. Virtual Intercultural Avenues is designed to capitalize on our students’ heightened level of engagement with content when that content is infused with technology enablers. Learning is self-paced, differentiated, and interactive; it invites the student to take an active part in his or her learning, as there is considerable freedom to choose learning activities within the virtual environment. Perhaps most importantly, this initiative allows for a global exchange that is independent of socioeconomic status. Virtual Intercultural Avenues ensures that learning is current, timely, and relevant; VIA allows educators and students to be part of a global teaching and learning community.
@InProceedings{PRADO2013VIR,
author = {Prado, J.},
title = {VIRTUAL INTERCULTURAL AVENUES (VIA): LINKING THE INTERNATIONAL TEACHING AND LEARNING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGY ENABLERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {3120-3123}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Prado
TI - VIRTUAL INTERCULTURAL AVENUES (VIA): LINKING THE INTERNATIONAL TEACHING AND LEARNING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGY ENABLERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 3120
EP - 3123
ER -
J. Prado (2013) VIRTUAL INTERCULTURAL AVENUES (VIA): LINKING THE INTERNATIONAL TEACHING AND LEARNING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT AND TECHNOLOGY ENABLERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, pp. 3120-3123.
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