Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Invitation to #FlipIntercultural: Flipping the Script on Intercultural Learning #Unicollaboration 

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I was invited to give a keynote at the upcoming Uni-Collaboration conference in Krakow, Poland. Although Sarah Guth (who invited me) was extremely thoughtful in inviting me waaaaay ahead of time (like 18 months’ notice!) I am unfortunately unable to go, and will be giving it virtually, April 26 inshallah – stay tuned. On the plus side, it’s a conference about teleconferencing for learning, so the folks there will totally get this format! Among them, wonderful people like Teresa Mackinnon and Francesca Helm whom I’d met in-person here in Cairo via consulting work we were doing for Soliya.net.

I’ve had a LOT of time to think about what I might talk about for this conference… Trying to choose between focusing on my own experience with Soliya, my students’ experiences with Soliya last semester, or my very own intercultural learning experiences via Virtually Connecting and such.

In the end, something suddenly clicked for me today. I’d pick a theme. One that’s been circling through my head for a LONG time, and get examples from ALL of these. Better yet, I would invite others to offer examples, which I would quote them for. And during the conference I would ask people to share examples using the mic onsite, or virtually via Twitter or similar.

So the theme is: flipping the script on intercultural learning.

I’ll probably open with one of the most shocking things that happened to me that flipped the script this year. One that doesn’t, at first glance, refer to intercultural learning, but which really does. I’ll go back to it later after I finish everything else. I’ll recount particular conceptions I had originally about intercultural dialogue, and how they were changed in the past couple of years. I’ll ask the audience what they think of each thing before I talk about it.

While drafting this blogpost, my notes, which had about 10 examples in them on a Google doc, somehow got lost in the ether. So I had to stop and rewrite them before inspiration evaporated. Hope I’ll get more examples overnight as I sleep on it. And maybe I’ll think of a good children’s book to insert into the keynote as well! Seems to be one of my favorite things to do lately…

But in the meantime, why don’t YOU help me out? What kind of assumptions did you have before, about intercultural learning, have recently been challenged or changed? I’ll take as many as you are willing to give me and try to incorporate them all into my keynote… Quoting or citing you by name or Twitter handle, whichever you prefer.

So please leave a comment or Tweet back to me with hashtag #FlipIntercultural

Note that my intention is to livestream and record the session inshallah and do vconnecting afterwards. Will post details on my blog just before

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