Intercultural Competence for Future Leaders of Educational Technology

Intercultural Competence for Future Leaders of Educational Technology

Prompted by technology in the 21 st century, economic pressures are shrinking space, time, the variety of life styles, and cultural variation into a networked global society. Demands of globalization today continue to increase pressure on educators and educational leaders to change curriculum and learning in order to educate our children to become global citizens who preserve the variety and vitality of life. Leaders of educational multimedia design and applications have a special role in the shared leadership necessary for this change in education as emphasized by recent calls for cultural studies in instructional design (Rose, 2005).

There are many aspects of becoming a global citizen, and one of the most important areas of becoming a global citizen is an awareness and understanding of the variety and relevance of all cultures. In addition, there is an increasing need for intercultural competence to be able to survive in a networked global society. The issue of teaching and acquiring intercultural competence is becoming a major concern in schools, in teacher education (Leeman & Ledoux, 2003), and therefore in the preparation of future faculty and designers of multimedia enhanced curricula.

Interculturalized education requires critical understanding of connections among the each educator’s self, school, home, and culture, and it has to deal with sociopolitical realities about ethnic and cultural diversity within society and schools (Nieto, 2000). Thus, in order to prepare the next generation to be confident in diverse cultures, educators need to gain intercultural competencies that will allow them to be actively involved in preparation of interculturalized curricula and teaching. Moreover, the design and application of technology to support and model intercultural education becomes a critical issue in the increasingly digitized society of the 21st century.

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Katia Reed
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