Using Twitter to Increase L2 Interaction: Findings from a High-Functioning Japanese University ESL Class

n recent years, Twitter has commanded research attention in domains from digital sociology to language pedagogy. This paper explores how daily tweeting allows Japanese university students at the intermediate end of English as a Second Language (ESL) studies to exercise and improve their interactive competencies. The aim was threefold: first, to increase both production and exposure, leading to improved definition of the identity of the L2 user self. Second, to extend learning beyond the classroom and class times, creating a technologically enhanced transformative pedagogy that transferred power to the learner. Lastly, to promote the interactive capability of students through interactions between students, with the teacher, and extending to the global Twitter community for social justice pedagogy. The author uses Discourse Analysis (DA) to contextualize both the methods and findings, and offers suggestions for using Social Network Analysis (SNA) to uncover the interactive gains of using Twitter in this way.

University of the Future: Using Design Thinking to Develop Constructive Utopias for the Spatial Turn

The effects of spatial turn and digitalization on future learning and teaching in higher education have been addressed in a design thinking workshop. Four prototypes have been designed to re-think learning scenarios, learning spaces, the support of lifelong learning, and the training of lecturers. The prototypes are partially utopian but can be used in a constructive way. The requirements of spatial turn and digitalization and design thinking as a method—including the developed prototypical ideas as well as the experiences of presenting the prototypes to all members of the university and using them as initiators of an organizational development process—are presented and discussed.

Bringing the Ivory Tower into Students’ Homes: Promoting Accessibility in Online Courses

With the growth of institutions providing online learning environments, administrators and educators need strategies to support students with disabilities. The purpose of this literature review is to identify optimal accessibility standards for meeting the needs of online students with disabilities. This article will share some helpful practices that could be used to create greater access for students. Some of the practices identified include universal design elements in the online environment to increase access for all students, accommodations for individual students, and authentic assessment. Future research should be conducted to evaluate these strategies and track the longitudinal academic gains of students with disabilities who receive them.