Dr. Ed Dixon began his career at the University of Pennsylvania as the Coordinator for Technology in Foreign Languages and has been a Lecturer of German since 2002. In the summer of 2010, he taught the first distance learning course in a foreign language for credit from the University of Pennsylvania. In his online German course, Ed Dixon combines technologies such as Blackboard, Wimba, Facebook, Adobe Connect and online resources provided by Deutsch Welle. Dr. Dixon selected the online textbook "Deutsch Interaktiv" and harnessed the program's ready-made content (authentic video, slideshows, written text) for class conversation and student interviews. While online, Dr. Dixon's students meet synchronously in Adobe Connect for online classes which consist of instructor-lead presentation of new material, practice sessions, student interviews, and small group work. Students also carry out structured tasks within a private Facebook group.
His article "Building a model for online distance courses through social media and networks" appeared in October 2012 in a volume of papers he edited for the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments. You can also view a brief interview about the article at IGI Global.
Note: This presentation was streamed live as the April Webinar for IALLT (International Association for Language Learning Technology)