Navigating the Virtual Forest: How Networked Digital Technologies Can Foster Transgeographic Learning

Nicole Buzzetto-More
InSITE 2006  •  Volume 6  •  2006
During the past decade the globally networked digital technologies that operate within the realm of the internet have encouraged academicians and educators the world over to communicate, collaborate, and share knowledge. They have stimulated the creation of transgeographic educational initiatives which broaden the opportunities of learners and are an effective means of eradicating ethnocentrism, xenophobia, and cultural divides. The construction of transgeographic learning communities within the unmapped virtual forest of the internet requires an organized and systematic approach. Success is dependent on committed participants; a shared learning platform; a clear understanding of purpose; extensive student and instructor preparedness towards technology usage; exemplary curricula; a central focus for investigation; interaction with experts; extensive opportunities for intellectual discourse; and collaboration. The purpose of this paper is to offer an independent examination of a successful technology-dependent transgeographic learning project that serves as a model from which to base future projects. The Summer Ecosystems Experience for Undergraduates (SEE-U) is available to colleges and university students worldwide, operating at three geographically distinct locations concurrently. The program includes global networking, GPS and GIS usage, a shared investigative focus, real-time interactions, data collection, a globally networked geo-referenced digital database that was specifically created for this project, data manipulation, online lectures, bulletin board discussions, Web-based office hours, links to relevant resources, expert presenters, online demonstration videos, networked simulations, collaborative research, and a series of student presentations.
Information Communication, e-Learning, Co-operative Learning, Global Education, Distance Education, Global Networking, Instructional Technology
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