TMC6 Cassell

Wise Practices and Intercultural Understandings: A Framework for Educator Videoconferencing

By Leigh Cassell

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Leigh Cassell is an educator, adventurer, entrepreneur and partner in learning with teachers, students, businesses and NGOs around the world. Leigh is an Education and Innovation Consultant, and Founder and CEO at Digital Human Library. Driven by her passion to inspire in others a love of learning, Leigh’s work in education focuses on building relationships in ways that leverage digital technologies, develop global competencies, design new literacies, and prepare students to succeed as next generation learners. Leigh is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Microsoft Innovative Educator, Google Certified Educator, SMART Certified Interactive Teacher, and a Founding Partner of Live Learning Canada.


  1. We Welcome Leigh back to TMC 6. She will be connecting with us virtually on Saturday morning Feb 1. Check out Leigh’s 2017 paper Digital Human Library: Reimagining Library Collections in the 21st Century

  2. Hi Leigh!

    What a thorough and much-needed research paper this is. There are several parts of this paper I really appreciated; hope you don't mind me enumerating them here.

    Wise vs best = words matter, and this deliberate choice of term was illuminating. This really hits home the point that it's not "one size fits all" or a "guaranteed success" (remember all the fuss a few years back about "high-yield strategies" and I remember the lead of that work despairing at how the findings got twisted).

    I also appreciated how aware all the contributors (Krutka, Carano, Lavoie, Davidson-Taylor, and you) were very aware of your own identities and how they shaped or could unintentionally shape, your findings. This was an important sentence for me from the paper:

    "Learning about, with, and from people of varying cultural practices requires educators to help students reject ethnocentrism while better understanding their own cultural practices of which they may lack consciousness."

    You are right - we don't want to fetishize diversity - reminds me of "the danger of a single story".

    In the Implications area of the paper, you and your colleagues state: "we encourage educators to continue learning from critical scholars concerned with justice-oriented intercultural experiences". I hope that as part of your talk at TMC6 that you'll specifically name some of those scholars you recommend we read/consult.

    I didn't always consider videoconferencing with this idea in mind - thank you for planting the seed!
    Diana M

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful response to our paper Diana! Yes, the intentionality and distinction between "wise" and "best" is very important. As we discovered there are so many factors that contribute to the success of educator video conferencing. Our goal was to bring to light wise practices as recommended by the survey respondents. However, it's important to note that the wise practices recommended in this paper were offered by a predominantly white female demographic. More research is needed to explore the experiences had by educators from diverse cultural backgrounds.
    Supporting our students to develop a conscious understanding of their own cultural practices, in order to help them appreciate and better understand the cultural experiences shared by other groups is an important goal of our work at Digital Human Library. We look forward to continuing our research to further explore educator video conferencing and the impact this form of learning has on our own, and our students' intercultural understanding.


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