Frequently Asked Questions
What is IVECA?
IVECA is an online classroom and course exchange program in which K-12 school and or university students in different countries share their thoughts and ideas through a web based Course Management System (CMS). With the school and university course curricula integrated with the IVECA program, students in different countries perform individual and group projects in their classrooms according to the weekly activity topics provided in the IVECA program. Completed projects are posted using the CMS communication and collaboration tools. Students from each country exchange their feedback and information with each other every week (or every other week). Depending on the needs and objectives of local schools and universities, communication and collaboration platforms may include text messages, and images as well as synchronous audio and video conferencing. In other words, IVECA is an integrated form of intercultural education facilitated by the effective use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Change of the name: IVECA stands for Intercultural Virtual Exchange of Classroom Activities (IVECA). As it was started with connecting elementary level classrooms in different countries, IVECA was initially called International Virtual Elementary Classroom Activities. Research suggested that the framework is also expandable to all levels of schools so that the program name was changed to International Virtual Elementary/Secondary Classroom Activities. After university level students also began to join the virtual exchange programs, we decided to change the name with more general term, International/Intercultural Virtual Exchange of Classroom Activities, which includes both K-12 school classroom and university course exchange programs. More broadly, IVECA involves our professional development programs for teachers and administrators that also enable K-12 educators exchange their thoughts and ideas through the virtual platform.
How is IVECA different from other online exchange programs?
IVECA can be systematically integrated with your school curriculum, university courses, or any existing educational programs. It does not create an additional subject to teach. Matching global partner classes and setting virtual classrooms, contents, and technologies will be done for you to start the program immediately and easily. Pre-training and on-going support and consultation will be provided for each participating teacher and instructors. Below is the list of the practicality and credibility of IVECA.
- Rigorously developed with theoretical foundations
- Proved by empirical studies and cases
- Integrated with your school curriculum (not an add-on subject)
- Supported by virtual administration (on-going)
- Uses existing and affordable ICT
- Provides training and guide
- Set to go immediately
- Has an evaluation tool
What is Intercultural Competence?
Challenges of globalization and cultural diversity require society to define the role of education in promoting peace, harmony, security, human rights, understanding and cooperation at the international level. Accordingly, intercultural education to develop intercultural competence has been suggested as a way to fulfill that significant role in education.
Intercultural competence is an ability to understand and reconcile cultural differences and to interact effectively in international and multicultural working environments with people who are from different countries and cultures and using different language.
Four main points in developing intercultural competence are:
- Direct communication: intercultural competence develops best through direct communications.
- Holistic approach: intercultural competence consists of five dimensions– Knowledge, Attitude, Skill, Awareness, and Language Proficiency, and the all dimensions should be developed together.
- From early age in life: children develop intercultural competence more easily and quickly
- Life long learning process: After people start being sensitive on cultural differences and similarities, they constantly advance their intercultural competence throughout their whole life.
The goal of intercultural education is to develop students’ intercultural competence. People possessing intercultural competence can understand similarities and differences between diverse people and cultures, accept the cultural differences with respect, and interpret and apply the differences in solving international issues critically. It includes but goes beyond tolerance which is one of the essential values in multicultural education. It should be noted that intercultural education pursues more than just co-existence of people from difference cultures.
What are the technologies required to join IVECA?
The forms of exchanges in IVECA consist of asynchronous message exchange through the web discussion board and synchronous live class exchange through a video conferencing system. These technologies are all web-based open sources. The live class exchange is an optional activity that can be included depending on the participating schools’ technological infrastructure. IVECA can be started as far as the schools have decent computers with the Internet connection. We coordinate the synchronous live class exchange with the most affordable technologies, which basically require an reasonable web camera, projector screen, and microphone. Please contact us for the details.