Using Online Tools to Facilitate Communication, Interaction, and Collaboration

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Martin D. Stoute, Kobe Shukugawa Gakuin University; Jacqueline Mull, Research Institute of English Language Education; Gregory Sholdt, Kobe University


Working together allows people to accomplish things that would be difficult if not impossible to achieve by working alone. It can reduce workloads, support networking, and expose people to new ideas and technologies. But for many language teachers in Japan, getting together with peers for research or projects is hampered by separation or conflicting schedules. When face-to-face meetings become impractical, online tools become essential channels of communication. Relying on these technologies, however, can pose challenges. The JALT2012 workshop “Engaging in Online Collaborative Projects” was held to allow teachers to share their online experiences working with others. By learning about the virtual technologies, group strategies and preventative measures other teachers have found effective, teachers could better plan for and manage their own future online interactive projects. In this paper 3 teachers will describe technologies they used to coordinate with peers on online projects, outline their experiences, and provide recommendations.