Global connectivity makes intercultural communication an increasingly common experience. Providing students with insight and practice in intercultural communication is increasingly imperative. As Thatcher (2010) stated in the inaugural issue of this journal:

"We have a large task ahead of us: to develop and operationalize models of intercultural rhetoric and professional communication in the context of globalization (p. 14)... We need to especially pay attention to how new communication and information technologies require different etic frames for common human thresholds of interaction… How do we assess communicative purpose and media selection in global contexts? How do we plan for audience-author relations, especially as mediated by new communication technologies? (p. 27)."

Growing in parallel with global communication networks, learning networks intensify the need for participants to reflect on communicative purpose and author-audience relations when contributing to intercultural learning environments. As our epigraph emphasizes, paths to shared information do not necessarily lead to shared meaning. The social life of information in intercultural networked environments is subject to conflicting meanings whose impacts are compounded by culturally grounded motives for learning—such as learning to serve the self versus learning in order to serve a social purpose in league with others (Parrish & Linder-VanBerschot, 2010, Table 1). Another key challenge in culturally diverse learning environments is that of facilitating learning in social contexts in which attitudes, dispositions, practices, and identities have few cultural origins in common.

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