August - Distance Learning Summer School - Crimea, Ukraine

Engagement -> Cooperation -> Collaboration -> Partnership? 
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View Towards Mali Mayak, site of Distance Learning Summer School

Following upon a March meeting in Albany with an educational delegation from the Ukraine, a summer school in distance learning was established near Yalta for late July. Molly Mott of SUNY/Canton and Jon Rubin of the COIL Center joined with organizer Svetlana Shmelova to engage 17 faculty members and administrators from the Ukraine in a discussion of current methodologies and paths towards possible collaboration. It took some time for us all to adapt to temperatures hovering just under 100 fahrenheit degrees every day, but the sea was nearby and we met together productively for almost two weeks, and it our hope that another school might take place again next year.

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Molly Mott in Class

SUNY/Canton provided a Blackboard shell in which we could work and participants used the discussion board as a tool for sharing ideas while exploring sequential collaboration through their participation in a group story writing exercise. Although the participants entered with very varying degrees of experience in distance education and ranged from students to rectors, we were able to work together quite well, although language issues did sometimes limit communication. Interestingly, this led to further discussion of online language education as a possible focus for future cooperation.

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Svetlana Smelova, Summer School Organizer at Opening Reception