Eleutian – I think that this is a pretty cool service. Ideally, collaboration between video-based teachers in Wyoming and English teachers in Korea

I would love to experience this in person. This is an amazing program. I’ve been saying for years that we need to use technology to connect qualified masses of teachers to those who need them around the world.

This is not a cheap program, but it is a well-integrated program that includes the use/adoption of Korean curricula, (ideally) collaboration between the the teachers, and the provision of native English-speaking teachers to areas of Korea that have trouble staffing them.

I saw a presentation as well that painted a pretty good picture of the program. Unsurprisingly, as I alluded to above, collaboration was the real issue. Korean teachers did not collaborate as much as was expected. This isn’t too surprising as it is the same result that we have seen many times in collaboration studies in the States. Most importantly, the Korean teachers were not compensated (in time or money) for the “extra” collaboration. The American teachers were paid for all of the time that they spend on the service so it’s not too difficult to see why they were willing to do so.

If this is really going to work throughout Korea, much still needs to be done. First, training in collaboration and methods specifically revolving around the use of videoconferencing needs to be added for pre-service programs and in-service training. There is no way that teachers are prepared to do this. These are some of the same problems we see in NEST-NNEST collaborations now in Korea. We are going to make the same mistakes again if we continue to put the technology before the training.

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