Snowblog / Snowblog CTnetcity

Snowblog and Snowblog CT netcity  are Interpersonal and intergroup Dialogue Web-based Environments  ( ID-WE),  forging common identity and  facilitating collective creative interactions among participants across cultural, social and personal gaps and divides.

It is a multifaceted model, representing a new approach to social networking technologies and a functional result-driven implementation of web 2.0 tools, social psychology principles and pedagogical methodology - all adapted to the digital age.

Snowblog and Snowblog CT netcity are web-based social  learning environments designed as a lab like simulation of  nowadays diverse and complex teaching / learning  spaces, modern work places and urban environments.

They are planned as high-touch tutor-mediated and peer-assisted  projects, tailored to address specific requirements. Standard implementation is designed as a 5 - 6 month project, hosting 10 to 300 participants from different communities / countries..

In Snowblog and Snowblog CT netcity projects, diversity is a bliss. The emerging  outcomes are:

* multicultural awareness and intercultural intelligence applied in  learning and    

   working teams.

* critical and  higher- order thinking.

* creativity and new media literacies.

*  interdisciplinary  perspective, a mutually enriching meeting point for Science 

    Humanities and Arts.   

Snowblog later versions and Snowblog CT net city advanced concept and upgraded project have been designed and developed by Gal Springman.  

SNOWblog was Language Connections specially designed web-based environment. 
SNOWblog  innovative pedagogical strategies, its social technologies profile and digital media tools, its specially adjusted social psychological conditions of intragroup and intergroup online interactions and its thematic content management, have been developed by Language Connections  team conducted and researched by Gal Springman.  They are based on  years of field work with high school and university students, from various ethno-cultural communities in the Middle East, Europe and China, all participating in Language Connections projects. 
SNOWblog  graphics and operating design have been developed by Ine Deahandschutter . 

The essence of
SNOWblog lies in building and managing gated web-based social communities of learners. It facilitates social intergroup and intragroup interpersonal interactions, and fosters empathic dialogues, across religious, socio-cultural and group identity differences.
It is a "high touch" "high tech" computer- mediated and tutor- assisted environment with common major themes and inquiry-based collaborative learning.

In addition to the 21st century key competences, Snowblog
 participants are developing: 
1) comprehension and meaning making while integrating mixed and remixed visual and verbal media,
2) navigation in abundant information databases and hyperlinked texts. 
Bottom up experiences show that mere interpersonal meetings, self expression platforms or available tools, are not enough to ignite real change. Sometimes they are even counterproductive. 
Intercultural  intelligence, creativity, higher order thinking - are all interrelated and can be only  developed in peer assisted and tutor - mediated  functional social communities of learners, like SNOWblog.

Snowblog CT net city project offers a mutually empowering model for collaboration  among high school & university students from various countries.  It is an intercultural collaborative web-based social community of learners.  Its model is a modern version of apprenticeship based on emergent pedagogy, facilitating tutor guided and peer assissted creative learning/teaching process.
There are two main foci: 
a. Urban environments as the common shared theme. 
b. An authentic topic for every participant, allowing diverse, but mutually enriching approaches: 
research based documentation  and fictional literary expression, using blended verbal and visual multi-media.

Chinese Science students enjoyed visual and verbal narratives and artistic assignments, students of Humanistic discipline from the US and Ukraine practiced scientific action research and photography as social inquiry, Palestinian and Israeli students exchanged topics of common interest, all learned from the technology savvy Americans and their teacher, Associate Professor Ludmila Smirnova, how to integrate web 2.0 tools to their learning and content production.

Individual and collaborative e- portfolios were created. Tutors helped develop critical higher order thinking and creativity.

Buds of group identity have been developed, despite the limited time.

Snowblog  Chinese  participants  meeting at the park in Shanghai. 

Gal Springman,
Mar 8, 2013, 7:36 AM