In this task sequence teacher trainees develop media competence and teaching competences by designing tasks for telecollaborative learning environments. One focus is on integrating technology into the task design, another is the development of intercultural communicative competence. The task sequence is made up of three tasks or steps. Students work in international teams with 1-2 students representing the different institutions in each team. After a getting-to-know task (task 1) they design an intercultural activity (task 2) that allows their learners to learn more about their partners in a telecollaborative project. In a final task (task 3) teacher trainees design a technology-based task to allow learners develop multiliteracy. While groups work with various media in all three tasks (for example presentation tools, such as glogster, prezi or sliderocket or cooperative writing tools such as storybird), they use weebly – a tool for website design – in their last task to design and then present their tasks in class.
The eExchange Giessen-Hong Kong has ESP students who are preparing for a year-long study-cum-work stay in the German-speaking parts of Europe work with students of a German as a Foreign Language (GFL) seminar. Being aspiring teachers of GFL, the latter use the exchange to work with Internet applications for pedagogical purposes, developing teaching competences in the process. The Chinese students work with content on an open online blog which was created by the Giessen students for people who are interested in attending a German orientation course, an initiative of the German government to promote integration (Orientierungskursblog [OK-Blog]). By discussing the blog’ s content with their partners and tutors in Germany Chinese students develop their language and cultural competences and Giessen students develop competences as online tutors.
Students can collaborate to create a story asynchronously by passing the story back and forth across several sessions. Each student begins a story, and then sends it to the partner for continuation. This back-and-forth story swap can occur once or as many times as assigned. Stories can be co-authored that feature particular aspects of culture (fairy tales, fables, ghost stories, etc.) or that feature particular aspects of language (vocabulary, genre transformations, etc.).
A useful platform for this activity is the website " Storybird" at storybird.com. The teacher can set up accounts for students, or they can create their own accounts. Students use the vast database of artwork to illustrate their stories, and they can easily invite partners to contribute to the story from within the platform. Another possible technology that could be used include Google Docs slideshow presentations that support static image and text.
It is a telecollaborative activity that integrates a web-based multimedia case study (an actual classroom problem) and online discussion among geographically distant pre-service teachers.
In this task teacher trainees from local institutions create technology-based tasks for their partnering groups for evaluation and implementation.