ENGLISH ACADEMIC AIDS
in online learning from the University
of Lincoln has been seconded to help a
university in Mexico
set up an online learning system for its students.
Karran is a Visiting Professor at the Autonomous University of
Guadalajara (UAG) and is heading
up a team of eight to set up a Virtual Campus online learning
structure for the university.
Situated in Mexico’s
second largest city, UAG is the oldest autonomous university in Mexico. It has
a very large medical faculty and owns its own teaching hospital as well as
hotels, a regional newspaper and a football team, the Tecos Owls.
“Since arriving here from the UK in February I have been very
busy,” said Professor Karran. “The university is going to upgrade the computer
infrastructure and bring in Internet2 with fibre-optic cables and to
demonstrate what I am trying to do I have had to give presentations to the
Rector, the Vice Rector and the Head of the Graduate School, all of which went
well, despite my delivery being in English!
“I have also had to help out in some unusual
circumstances. The Indian Ambassador to Mexico
paid a visit to the university recently as part of a project to improve trade
relations between India and Mexico. As he
was a Sikh and did not speak any Spanish I was brought in to brief the staff
and converse with him during his visit. He was very pleasant – and also very
keen on cricket!”
Since arriving in Mexico,
Professor Karran has participated in a high-level UNESCO/Club of Rome video-conference on ‘ICT for Capacity Building in Latin America’,
where he presented the Mexican case study.
He has also travelled to Lima
to give a keynote paper at the annual World Bank Global Development Learning
Network Workshop entitled: ‘E-moderating: A Learner-Centred Approach to
Knowledge Creation’. More recently he spent a week in San
Antonio with colleagues from the University of Texas,
assessing potential collaboration between UAG and UT in e-learning.
In 2000, while a Visiting Professor at the University
of Oulu in Finland, Professor Karran worked on a similar project to help create
a national virtual university, which uses new educational technologies to
ensure that people across Finland, even in remote areas in the Arctic Circle,
have access to university education.
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