Educational Technology for International Exchange


In an article in the Spring 2018 Issue of the IIE Networker, Jon Rubin and I argue that online technologies offer platforms for meaningful international exchanges in the college and university curriculum.  The article “The SUNY U.S.-Mexico COIL Project: Expanding Exchange Where Travel is Limited” recounts the U.S. Mexico Multistate COIL Program that SUNY managed on behalf of the US Embassy in Mexico City.

We found that, provided with professional development training into course design and educational technologies, professors were able to co-construct shared syllabi and teaching methods that combined two courses into a shared for-credit learning experience.  The COIL method connects two courses with online technologies allowing students the opportunity to carry out tasks and projects that combine intercultural learning, online teamwork, and the academic subject matter of the courses.  The above graphic describes this model of collaborative online international learning (COIL).


Environmental Protection in Chile

There are few places that compare to the outside world in Chile.  It is truly an amazing experience to raft pristine rivers, climb towering mountains, and marvel at the stars in the night skies.  There are many places in the populated areas of Chile where the natural environment has been degraded and there are ongoing challenges from forest fires, scarcity of water, industry, and above all a changing climate.  However, it is good to see that Chile is a leader in protecting its natural legacy.  I’m looking forward to visiting these incredible areas again!


Time to Teach in Ecuador

The Ministry of Education in Ecuador has initiated an international education development program called “Time to Teach”.  The program asks for native English speakers to volunteer to teach in Ecuadorian public schools for periods of 10 months to 3 years.

The program seeks professionals who hold national teaching certifications or internationally recognized certifications for teaching English and recent college graduates with education related degrees and a demonstrated interest in teaching.

After graduating from University of Kentucky, I lived and taught English in Ibarra, Ecuador for almost 2 years for WorldTeach.  The experience was an introduction to international learning and volunteerism, and a formative experience in transitioning to a professional career in the international education field.  It was a great choice!


Consider your own experience with Time to Teach –

Northface Founder donates National Park in Chile’s Patagonia


Kristine Thompkins (left) walks with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on a section of the 408,000 hectacres donated to create a new National Park in Chilean Patagonia

The wife of the late Doug Thompkins, one of the founders of the outdoor clothing retailer Northface, has donated 408,000 hectacres of private land to the Chilean state to form a part of a new National Park network in Patagonia.  All told, the park will protect an area the size of Switzerland of breathtaking mountains and rivers, and windswept valleys.

For its part, the Chilean government will contribute nearly 9 million acres of federal land.

The gift is the culmination of Doug Thompkins efforts to purchase private land in Chilean Patagonia in an effort to conserve threatened species such as the puma, huemel deer, Darwin’s rhea, and other Andean species.  Doug Thompkins died in a kayaking accident in 2015.

The Thompkins purchase and preservation of Patagonian wilderness has been controversial in Chile over the years.  It is hoped that the investment in the public national park infrastructure will attract further private investment catering to the tourism industry, including world-class fishing, trekking and camping, the coastal cruise ship trips, and more.

Global Ed Fellowships in Ecuador


Ecuador is a wonderful place to live and learn!

WorldTeach recently announced a fully-funded Global Education Fellowship. This program combines teaching in primary or secondary schools and extensive professional development in the breathtaking Amazon or Sierra (Andes) regions of Ecuador.

Fellows will live in Ecuador for 10 months participating in Ecuador’s Time to Teach initiative, sponsored by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Fellows will advance effective, student-centered education practices in Ecuadorian schools, while participating in an ongoing conversation about the future of globalization, education and international development in the 21st century.

Fellowship postings will be in primary and secondary schools in rural areas such as the Ecuadorian Amazon, home to one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world (Yasuni National Park and Biosphere Reserve), and the Andes and Sierra Highlands, a region of majestic mountains and lush valleys that is famed for its recreational and tourist opportunities.

The Global Education Fellowship is a multi-faceted professional development program. Fellows are expected to complete research and reflection projects addressing the theme of how 21st century globalization is affecting education and learning, with projects tailored by each Fellowship participant to match their areas of interest and career objectives.

The research component will average 15 hours per month, while teaching will average 30 hours per week. You will be responsible for lesson plans, grading and other duties as assigned by local school administrators. Class sizes and students’ previous exposure to English will vary.

Volunteer in Chile


Exciting News!!

Applications to volunteer with the English Opens Doors Program (EODP) in 2016 are officially open!

Here’s your opportunity to volunteer to teach English in Chile and make a positive impact within the Chilean public school system!  EODP has four FEE-FREE! international volunteer programs available.  Check out the EODP website for more information and to submit an online application: