At the nexus of learning and innovation

Call for papers BJET: special sections

Call for papers for Special Sections of The British Journal of Educational Technology: ‘Professional ecologies shaping technology adoption in schools’ and “Lifelong learning Ecologies: linking formal and informal contexts of learning in the digital era”.

Call for papers for Special Sections of The British Journal of Educational Technology ‘Professional ecologies shaping technology adoption in schools’ and “Lifelong learning Ecologies: linking formal and informal contexts of learning in the digital era”.
For more information see Upcoming Special Sections: 2019 BJET 50th Anniversary volume

Professional ecologies shaping technology adoption in schools -

Guest Editors:
Professor Xiaoqing Gu, Faculty of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China xqgu@ses.ecnu.edu.cn Professor Charles Crook, School of Education, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK charles.crook@nottingham.ac.uk Professor Mike Spector, College of Information, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA Mike.Spector@unt.edu

Generous access to digital technologies for educational practice can seem an imperative for contemporary schooling. However, an apparent abundance of technology finds many critical observers questioning ‘return on investment’. Studies have challenged whether levels of learning gain have matched levels of resource access. Some suggest that any disappointments of investment have more to do with the quality of ‘tasks’ to which educational technology is applied, rather than the simple scale of opportunity. Such commentary converges on the claim that the resource is available but too often neglected: that institutions or practitioners are cautious, sceptical or digitally ‘immigrant’ in their approach to opportunity These considerations come together in a tension that might be expressed as strong access / weak uptake. There are various ways in which this tension might be approached. Our interest here is systemic: we wish to identify the various actors and communities that are mediating the extent and nature of engagement with new media in contexts of education: understanding their distinctive influences on how new technology possibilities are encountered and framed for practitioners.
We believe this requires exploring the various professional ecologies that surround strategies for technology adoption in educational contexts. We expect that a collection of papers around the theme of relevant professional roles can make visible for debate the challenges surrounding the adoption of new technologies – and thus the pathways to more innovative practice. Topics might include, but not be limited to, the mediating roles of: pre-service training, school leadership, teacher networking, industry actors, academic researchers, think tanks, extra-curricular agents, teaching assistants, parents etc.

Important Dates:
Abstracts to Guest Editors: 10th October 2018 (submissions may still be accepted if sent before 17-Oct).

Notification of Abstract Acceptance and invitation to submit full paper: 17th October 2018 Submission deadline for full paper: November 1st Editors’ approval for Peer Review:  November 7th Revision Decisions:  March 1st Issue Publication: May 2019.

Lifelong learning Ecologies: linking formal and informal contexts of learning in the digital era

Guest Editors:
Dr Albert Sangrá* and Dr Juliana E. Raffaghelli,  Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain Dr. George Veletsianos, School of Education and Technology, Royal Roads University, (Canada) Dr. Mercedes González-Sanmamed, Department of Pedagogy & Didactics, Universidade da Coruña.

The last two decades encompassed the outgrowth of several concepts that attempted to underpin the phenomena of learning in and with the digital. The case of ubiquitous learning (Virtanen, Haavisto, Liikanen, & Kääriäinen, 2018) seamless learning (Wong & Looi, 2011), expanded contexts of learning and personal learning environments (Attwell, 2007; Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2012) all dealt with forms of learning that a) use the affordances of technology b) go beyond a single context, and c) are personalized and self-directed. Moreover, when social networks entered into the scene, the idea of a personal learning network that is managed by the learner across formal and informal spaces was exacerbated (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2012; Manca & Ranieri, 2013). The more recent technological advances, like augmented reality,  intelligent tutoring systems, data-driven education based in facial recognition and interactions with the students’ mobile devices in classrooms, to mention but a few,  have expanded the digital from the realm of the screen to the physical world, generating new forms of continuity (Adams Becker, Cummins, Davis, Freeman, & Hall Giesinger, C. Ananthanarayanan, 2017). However, the conceptualization of these phenomena seems to be fragmented.
This proposal explores the concept of  “Lifelong Learning Ecologies” as a potential construct to address educational interventions and applications supporting new hybrid forms of learning. The central assumption behind the concept relates the connections that the learner can discover between contexts, resources, activities and relationships in a continuum from formal to informal learning, from on site to online experiences. The concept is not new in the field of educational psychology (see for example Bronfenbrenner’s work, 1979) but it has been adopted in highly diversified ways since the middle 2000’s.  New empirical and theoretical research addressing this construct could provide an upgraded framework of analysis to understand how the single individual selects, experiences, and proactively promotes activities and relationships into and beyond the digital context, in order to generate opportunities to learn.

This special issue aims at introducing empirical research studies contributing to a) consolidating a definition of “learning ecologies for lifelong learning” as a conceptual framework to observe and analyse the continuum from formal to informal learning experiences across hybrid contexts of learning and along personal timelines; b) introducing new methodological approaches that include new learning phenomena in and with the digital, as well as connected research methods such as public internet data mining methods, quantitative ethnographies and data-driven approaches; c) exploring the applicative potential along innovations based on the concept, like learning recognition tools and methods based on acknowledging learners’ achievement based on ecological arrangements.
Research methodologies should be clearly, but concisely presented and show rigour.  All papers should clearly describe the underlying theoretical and conceptual framework that is connected with the concept of learning ecologies. Moreover, we invite the authors to cover issues relevant to an international audience.

Important Dates:
Abstract submission for queries to the guest editors: 20th October  2018 Full paper submission: 10th  December 2018 Last Article Acceptances: 30th April 2019 Articles published online as soon as copyediting is completed.
Issue Publication July 2019.

For more information see Upcoming Special Sections: 2019 BJET 50th Anniversary volume

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