Reflections on interculturality

I have been thinking a lot about culture ever since we had the first lecture on interculturality. Even as an intercultural communication teacher, there were a lot of things that were eye opening for me and thought provoking. Questions about culture are often complex and debatable even among researchers.

First, i really admired the way the teacher taught and presented the subject. I learned a lot from her methodology. It is not always easy to talk about things like this. I still have questions about the extent to which people who socialize within a particular context may differ from others? In other words, are we different from each other? and what makes us different from one another? Especially considering the fact that human beings come to the world as empty boxes. Should we only consider interpersonal level analysis and forget about group level analysis. Is group level analysis meant for interpersonal evaluations in interaction considering that there is always exceptions to any rule?

It is true that two people are never the same generally speaking or at a macro level because we are all unique in our experiences and interactions. So it could be very detrimental in interpersonal interaction to make assumptions especially in the classroom. I do have a a lot of students in my class from several nations and i do deal with them individually and address their issues and challenges as individuals.

I have been trying to read more about this new fluid approach to interculturality and it is interesting but at the same time, it still has to be well established and defended. If this happens, it implies that it will stand in contradiction to a bulk of previous  literature and would have implications for teaching related courses, research process and methodology.

This is such a crucial issue that i think there should be more discussion on this subject among ICC scholars. I think there is very little at the moment. I am trying to find ways of incorporating this perspectives into some of my courses related to culture.

I really enjoyed these sessions on interculturality with Margarethe.

From Zero Use to Multiple Uses

Growing up in Cameroon as a kid and a teenager and even as a young adult, i was never exposed to technology as a student. When i say technology, i mean digital technology. The only technology i was accustomed to as a student, was the blackboard and chalk. As far as i remember from primary to university level education, that was all we had in class.

My first time being exposed to technology in the classroom was at several high schools in the city of Tampere. I am sure you should be wondering what i was doing there. I had been recruited through a Finnish project on global education to work as a global educator trainee. My first day in class, i noticed that they had digital boards, projectors and all the like in the classroom. I never had trouble using the computers but i did with the electronic or digital board.

My second experience with Technology in the classroom was at the University of Eastern Finland where i enrolled as an MA student. Technology was an exciting part of our classroom experience. I quickly became acquainted and use to technology as an integral part of classroom experience.

It was therefore very normal for me to use technology in class when i started teaching at the University. However, sometimes i feel like even though the use of technology in the classroom has a lot benefits which we have discussed about, it also has some limitations. I feel like students don´t mind not paying complete attention in class because technology makes everything available for them (e.g. ppts, recorded lectures etc). Sometimes i use the board in my lectures because i like it, and because i want my students to actively pay attention.

Somehow, i feel there should be more training at all levels of teaching on how to use technology in the classroom. This should be a very important aspect of pedagogy. Teachers have to be prepared and trained effectively. There is this assumption that everyone knows how to use technology or that we are natives, but it is not necessarily true. Not having the appropriate  skills and training on the use of technology in the classroom is disadvantageous to using it.