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Cross-cultural alignments, fertilization, differentiation: Bridging the gaps through technology

Your Name and Title: Melda N. Yildiz, Associate Professor

School or Organization Name: EDU Summit

Co-Presenter Name(s): Miri Shonfeld, (Kibbutzim College of Education, Tel-Aviv, Israel), Douglas D. Agyei (U of Cape Coast, Ghana), Charles Bourgeois (U de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada), Megan Cotnam-Kappel (U of Ottawa, Canada), Miriam Judge (Dublin City U, Republic of Ireland), Jean-Gabin Ntebutse (U de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada), Michael Quinn (TakingITGlobal, Ontario, Canada), Barbara Jane Sherman (Cambodian Foundation for Higher Education, Inc. New York, USA/Cambodia), Melda N. Yildiz (Institute of Technology, New York, USA), Sandra Williamson-Leadley (U of Canterbury, New Zealand)

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:

Canada, Ghana, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, USA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Teacher, Educators, Higher Education Faculty, Librarian

Short Session Description (one line):

Session highlights the group work among global scholars who addressed the cross-cultural alignments while outlining the role of new media and technologies on globalization and the homogenization of culture, as well as discussing new opportunities for the revitalization of culture and for fostering cross-cultural understanding.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

In the digital era where globalization and migration are part of education, it is difficult to define cultures and determine how much it is related to nationality, religion or identity. Culture includes traditions, heritage, language, religion, ancestry, aesthetics, thinking patterns and social structures. Digital technologies represent a two-edged sword that may either contribute to the destruction or the revitalization of cultures. The effects of media and related technologies have contributed to the loss of culture and languages. This trend underscores the importance of language awareness across the globe. Although the Internet has contributed to globalization and the homogenization of culture, it also provides new opportunities for the revitalization of culture and for fostering cross-cultural understanding.

In recent years, the use of online projects providing opportunities for collaborative learning in a multicultural environment, even between hostile cultures, has been increasing. Information and communication technologies (ICT) serve as a significant lever for learning, with affordances for various teaching and learning approaches. The digital environment enables the formation of heterogeneous groups that were not possible in the past due to physical limitations. Such an environment creates learning opportunities with students from different cultures and countries to interact and learn together. It allows for the formation of relationships without the influence of stereotypes that may arise from external appearances and can even contribute more successfully to cross-cultural understanding than a face-to-face intercultural meeting.

Examples of projects that use ICT to connect cultures: TEC (Technology, Education and Cultural diversity); The Dissolving Boundaries Program; NASA’s STEM Innovation Lab; The Four Directions Project; Research Project – Culturally responsive use of ICT to support indigenous students’ learning; Africa Digital Schools [BADILIKO] project; The LOCH project; The Micool (Mobile Intercultural Cooperative Learning) Project.


• Characteristics of learners and educators.

• Individual, social and cultural differences between learners.

• Language differences.

• Awareness of cultural diversity of learners.

• Different values of learning in different societies.

Identified Current Misalignments:

• Professional development and awareness of cultural diversity of learners.

• External human resources to help teachers in class.

• Curriculum designed for majority population, not for minorities.

• Digital disruption.

• Top down.

• Cultural barriers (religion, ethics, language).

• Digital divides (access; competence/skills).

• Digital culture (influenced by American/ majority culture).

• Lack of social justice orientation.

• Social/political structures that limit access and information.

‘Emerging’ New Alignments

• Universal design to cater diverse students.

• New technologies addressing differences.

• International standards (UNESCO, OECD, ISTE etc.).

• International projects (GLOBE, TEC, International Space Weather Initiative etc.).

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

We will share our handouts on this page-

Action Agendas of EDUsummIT2019 -Full Summit info

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