Bridging the gap: a case study of international student teaching and computer mediated communication
International education, a broad term for a type of education that encompasses, but is not limited to foreign language study, learning about cultures and global issues, opportunities to interact with international students, and study and work abroad programs, is experiencing resurgence in higher education. Colleges and universities have come to recognize the need for graduating students who will be competent citizens in today's global community. One way colleges of education are ensuring their students have the skills and knowledge to live and teach in a global society is to provide international teaching opportunities for its students. The international student teaching program at Iowa State University is one example of such an opportunity. While student teaching internationally is such an important opportunity for student teachers, we need to ensure that student teachers are gaining the most out of their teaching experiences. The use of computer mediated communication (CMC) to enhance the communication between student teachers who are teaching at international locations, and also with their supervisors back in the United States is one way to do this. The purpose of this study was to develop a deeper understanding of how CMC could facilitate communication between student teachers at international locations and their supervisors back at Iowa State University. This study also looked at the communication among student teachers teaching at different international locations. The use of CMC in the international student teaching program at Iowa State University was analyzed using the components of activity theory.