Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Service of Multiculturalism


  • Elaine Hoter Talpiot College of Education
  • Miri Shonfeld Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv
  • Asmaa Ganayim Al-Qasemi College of Education, Baka-Al-Garbiyah



Multiculturalism, online learning, ICT, contact hypothesis, teacher education, collaboration, technology, team teaching and learning


This paper presents an online inter-group contact hypothesis (OICH) model, developed within the Israel education system, whereby online and distance learning (ODL) is used in the service of multiculturalism. The goal is to build bridges among secular and religious Arabs and Jews in Israel based on small multicultural groups and collaborative learning through effective use of the Internet and other cutting-edge information technologies. The model expands the contact hypothesis (which holds that under the right conditions contact could reduce bias between groups) to a model for online collaboration. It adds the gradual development of contact between the groups by progressing from individual asynchronous textual communication to individual synchronous audio communication combined with collaborative asynchronous communication to collaborative synchronous communication and finally to face-to-face communication.

Author Biographies

Elaine Hoter, Talpiot College of Education

Elaine Hoter is head of the Information Technology Department at Talpiot College of Education in Holon Israel. In 1995, she developed the first online course in Israel connecting pupils and student teachers in an online learning experience. Since then she has developed many different course connecting different communities. She co-convened the first online conference for teacher educators in 2001 and received her PhD from the Hebrew University Jerusalem.

Miri Shonfeld, Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv

Miri Shonfeld is head of Information Technology at the Kibbutzim College of Education in Tel Aviv. She is also head of the forum for lecturers of technology and Internet from the various teaching colleges in Israel. She teaches courses in biology, science education, and online education. She received her PhD in Computer Science from NSU in Florida, USA.

Asmaa Ganayim, Al-Qasemi College of Education, Baka-Al-Garbiyah

Asmaa Ganayim is head of the Technological Center at the Al-Qasemi College of Education in Baka-Al-Garbiyah (an Arab city in Israel) and a lecturer in computer science. She has led different technological initiatives, conferences and multicultural activities at Al-Qasemi College, Arab schools, in hospitals and in the Arab society in Israel as well as in the Mofet institute. At present she is concluding her PhD at Haifa University on the use of the Internet within the Arab population in Israel.



How to Cite

Hoter, E., Shonfeld, M., & Ganayim, A. (2009). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Service of Multiculturalism. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(2).