Online Educator Development Workshop

conducted by Steve McCarty
Professor, Kagawa Junior College, Japan
President, World Association for Online Education

during the 5th - 8th of September 2001
in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the
Symposium on Online Learning 2001 (SOLE2001)

Low-cost Web-based ICTs are already available to provide
regional or global educational opportunities. Yet a long road
remains to afford equitable learner access and sufficient
teacher training. Educators above all need to be lifelong
learners, with professional development provided until
their progress becomes self-sustaining by means of the
networks of educators and resources available online.
Educators will thus learn to develop multilingual and
multidisciplinary content, to design educational experiences
in virtual environments, and to build bridges of collaboration
across cultures. This hands-on workshop represents one such
step to empower participants with navigation skills and a
window to the world of emerging technologies to enhance
the national curriculum.

First, a Web tour of selected international educational
NGOs and NPOs active online can be designed so that each
participant navigates the steps projected onto a screen.
At the beginner level the recommended sites can simply
be listed on a Web page with links clicked in order, so
that participants can go at their own pace for a short time.
When this navigation is clear, another starting point is a
Web-based virtual learning environment (VLE) set up for
this workshop as well as available before and after the
Symposium, entitled "Malaysian Online Educator Development":

That is, besides using the open Web discoverable through
directories and search engines, educators also need to
select and organize participants through courseware or
VLEs that are Web-based but password protected. In this
workshop, participants can go through the steps of setting
up their own free online class, and compare the student
interface with the designer interface for the same pages
projected onto the large screen. The ease of copying text
and pouring it into fields of a wizard to construct an
online class component will be evident. As time allows,
some benefits of learning HTML and so forth can be shown,
or the use of a Web page editing program to make course
material to upload can be demonstrated or experienced
to an extent by participants.

Asynchronous communication tools such as the bulletin
board in the VLE can be used to extend this professional
development beyond the workshop duration. Synchronous
chat, moreover, can be experienced among the workshop
participants at agreed-upon times. Better yet, meeting
educators in other countries in real time can be arranged
to show participants the communication potential of the
Internet. Broadband connections in the Kuala Lumpur area
also allow high-end (but high-cost) applications such as
videoconferencing. The Global Broadband Initiative with
the Global University System, an NGO under UNESCO,
will be interested some time in experiments to push the
limits of Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).

In any event, participants can experience instantaneous
Web chat arranged by officers of the World Association
for Online Education (WAOE). World Without Borders (WWB)
in Los Angeles, which sets up a schedule of publicized
events such as moderated interviews, agrees to be the
venue for a Web chat between Malaysian educators and
those abroad including WAOE members. WWB chat rooms
have an attractive interface with features such as the
pushing of URLs. When a Website is recommended, with
its address copied and pasted into the chat area, others
can click on the URL to open up a new browser window
and view the recommended site.

By means of such a Web chat, people abroad can learn
about education in Malaysia and its vicinity while the
participants can discuss the workshop theme with
their counterparts abroad by keyboarding in English.
This beginning of collaboration will prove valuable
for all involved in improving education and international communication.

Steve McCarty
Professor, Kagawa Junior College, Japan
Home Page:
President, World Association for Online Education:
WAOE Organizational Page in Japan:
Online library (Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library 4-star site):
Global University System Asia-Pacific Framework:
Global University System Early 2001 Correspondence

Steve McCarty / Kagawa, Japan / 20 February 2001 / e-mail:
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