It is difficult to dispute that most significant changes in education over the past hundred years have resulted from the ubiquity, use, and availability of technology. This generation of university students is the first wave of participants in higher education for whom the entire knowledge-base of humanity throughout history is available in real time, in their pockets, at their desks. These students’ ability to interact with and adapt to a changing occupational and cultural landscape will determine their ability to succeed. The aim of 2019 collaborations between Wenzo University of Languages and Kyoto University of Foreign Studies has been to take advantage of current technological applications and platforms which enable us to exchange content on an international scale with an immediacy that was previously impossible. Experimentation between our institutions resulted in clear and poignant lessons concerning best practices when utilizing digital communication technologies in the classroom. We have tested and developed the use of shared documents, networking systems, and a range of applications. Lessons learned through this process should be of great interest to any educators interested in expanding the reach - and horizons - of their classes and students. Our clear results were simply this: when a project is well constructed and manageable for the participants, there is a high degree of motivation, engagement, and satisfaction. The considerable efforts necessary to achieve this have produced a repeatable framework which can be used with fine-tuning well into the future, for the benefit of students, educators, and institutions.
Michael Barr, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Japan