The third-ever Pan Pacific Technology Enhance Language Learning (PPTELL) and Critical Thinking meeting connected people from across the globe on ZOOM for a conference originally scheduled for Denton, Texas.
As conference co-hosts the University of North Texas (UNT) and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) worked with lead event chair Dr. Yu-Ju Karey Lan and the UNT College of Information team (Dr. Shobhana Chelliah, Dr. Michael Spector, Fischer Huang, Adam Chavez, Ava Jones and a host of visiting scholars and graduate students), to coordinate the logistics of moving the conference entirely online including accommodating presenters from UC Santa Barbra, Penn State University, Kyoto University, and Universidad Católica de Chile.
The conference theme, “Expanding Global Horizon through Technology-Enhanced Language Learning and Critical Thinking,” aimed to uncover the important issues in language learning and teaching in the intelligent, digital era. Despite the complex international multi-time zones conference, UNT’S College of Information took a leadership role within the conference presentations. PPTELL included two tracks: language learning and critical thinking in the digital era. Both tracks are central to the research and learning taking place in the Linguistics and Learning Technologies Departments.
The conference activities showcased cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaboration. The discussion topics ranged from the use of technologies in low-resourced languages, defining, developing, and measuring critical thinking. The COVID-19 pandemic was also a discussion topic, as panelists and participants considered its global impact on the use of technology to teach language. PPTELL was held from June 29 to July 1, 2020.