Presenting the IAFOR Journal of Education: Volume 5 – Special Issue

IAFOR Journal of Education: Volume 5 – Special Issue – Summer 2017
Editor: Bernard Montoneri, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Published: August 16, 2017
ISSN: 2187-0594

Editor’s Introduction

IAFOR Journal of Education Volume 5 Special IssueIt is our great pleasure and honour to introduce this special issue of the IAFOR Journal of Education entitled “Technology in the Classroom”. This issue is a selection of papers submitted directly to our journal as well as studies presented during:

  1. The European Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2016. ECTC was held at the The Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront, Brighton, United Kingdom, from Wednesday, June 29 to Sunday, July 3, 2016. Conference Theme: “Convergence & Divergence”.
  2. The Asian Conference on Education 2016. ACE 2016 was held at the Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan, from Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23, 2016. Conference Theme: “Education and Social Justice: Educating for Equality Within and Across Borders”.
  3. The Asian Conference on Technology in the Classroom 2017. ACTC2017 was held at Kobe Art Center, Kobe, Japan, from Thursday, May 11 to Sunday, May 14, 2017. Conference Theme: “Educating for Change”.

The first article, written by Sandor Danka, entitled “CALL to Arms: Generations Clash over Digital Technology in the Foreign Language Classroom”, attempted to measure the impact of introducing computer-assisted educational technology into the teaching/learning experience in the multicultural, multi-lingual environment of an international university. The basic premise is that mobile devices (smart phones and watches, tablets and laptop computers) significantly affect not just the relationship between educators and students of Gen Y, the millennial generation, but also the way in which these learners relate to course material and how they expect it to be delivered. Participant reactions were surveyed about the ease of use and perceived benefits of Quizlet, an electronic flashcard application, which they were encouraged to refer to when learning or reviewing academically relevant vocabulary. Final results indicate that Quizlet use appeared to be relatively widespread in the target population and it was seen as straightforward, easy to use. Several students found it so beneficial to their studies that they spread the word, contributing to the ultimate aim of this Quizlet initiative: digitally enhanced foreign language instruction anytime, anywhere, with a smart phone, a ‘tool’ generally not associated with education.

The second paper, entitled “Competency-Based Blended Learning: Flipping Professional Practice Classes to Enhance Competence Development”, is co-authored by Mark Ragg and James Piers. The paper applies inter-professional competence-development principles to blended learning courses. The combination of hybrid and competence-based pedagogies allows instructors to use time more effectively. Data analysis from an implementation study indicates that students are developing competencies and appreciate the ability to increase the time available for observation and feedback.

The third article, entitled “Examining Effects of Two Computer Programming Learning Strategies: Self-Explanation versus Reading Questions and Answers”, is co-written by Nancy Lee and Eunsook Hong. The current study explored the differential effects of two learning strategies, self-explanation and reading questions and answers, on learning the computer programming language JavaScript. Students’ test performance and perceptions of effectiveness toward the two strategies were examined. An online interactive tutorial instruction implementing worked-examples and multimedia learning principles was developed for this study. Participants were 147 high school students (ages 14 to 18) of a computer introductory course in six periods which were randomly divided into two groups (n = 78; n = 69) of three periods each. The two groups alternated learning strategies to learn five lessons. Students’ prerequisite knowledge of XHTML and motivation to learn computer programming languages were measured before starting the tutorial. Students largely expressed their preference toward self-explanation over reading questions and answers. They thought self-explanation as incurring much more work yet more effective. However, the two learning strategies did not have differential effects on students’ test performance. The seeming discrepancy arising from students’ preferred strategy and their test performance was discussed in the areas of familiar versus new strategy, difficulty of learning materials and testing method, and experimental duration.

The fourth paper, entitled “Blended Learning and Total Engagement – Posters that Teach”, is co-written by Adina Stan, Mahnaz Armat, Elyssebeth Leigh, Elizabeth Rosser and Nikki Hayes. In a blended learning program, hand-drawn posters teach students to critically question knowledge acquired through the use of electronically mediated technology, and collaboratively construct shared meanings through visual literacy. Acting in the role of representatives of real-life organizations, the learners are entrusted with a ‘mantle of the expert’ which authorises them to investigate and respond to the problems before them as if they were the experts. This paper aims to argue that the role-play contextualization of the poster stimulates active learning by framing collaboration, divergent thinking and convergence of meanings. At the same time, the collaborative hand drawing of the students’ response to the issues without any use of electronically mediated technology has a deeper impact on the quality and complexity of student engagement, knowledge construction and originality of expression.

The fifth paper, co-authored by Sultan A. Alkaabi, Peter Albion and Petrea Redmond, is entitled “Social Network Misuse in the Classroom and Its Impact on Male Student Motivation in UAE Tertiary Education”. Social networks play an increasingly important part in schools, colleges and educational institutes where learning takes place. Instructors and teachers are increasingly adapting this technology into their teaching curriculum. Students use the technology to collaborate in projects, homework, or to communicate with their instructors and peers as part of their study practices. Research on the impact of social network is an emerging field in education. This study is part of an ongoing scientific effort to understand the relationship between the use of social networks and student learning in the classroom and beyond. Educational research reveals that student motivation is an important principle of learning. The study at hand is part of an investigation of what determinants impact first-year male students’ motivation in UAE public colleges. Data analysis of students’ accounts and experiences using social networks in the classroom reveals dual impact, positive and negative, on their motivation that affected their learning experience at college. The study discusses the findings of the research and suggests recommended practice for better integration of social networks in the curriculum.

The sixth paper, co-written by Matt Glowatz and Orna O’Brien, is entitled “Academic Engagement and Technology: Revisiting the Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge Framework (TPACK) in Higher Education (HE) – The Academics’ Perspectives”. This paper further explores academics’ perspectives on the use of technology in the classroom and builds on the previous research completed by Glowatz and O’Brien (2013; 2015). Research in this area has previously been informed by the experience of students. Koehler and Mishra’s (2009) TPACK Framework (technological, pedagogical and content knowledge) explores the relationship of technology in teaching. This paper explores academics’ perspectives on using technology to engage learning, including eLearning and social media usage. A survey was distributed to academic staff in April 2015 to assess the use of electronic learning in higher education at University College Dublin (UCD) College of Business. Academics are at the centre of learning experience as they are the service provider and content generator very often (Wickersham and McElhany, 2010). Previous research by Glowatz and O’Brien (2013) suggests students’ expectations now require the lecturer to have connection with their students, one on one, utilizing innovative and sustainable electronic media. As a result, academics need not only have to be content experts, but be able to engage with technology developments. This research explores the academic experience at UCD College of Business of technology knowledge and reviews the opportunities and the challenges currently presented by technology use in the classroom.

The seventh paper, entitled “Future Primary Teachers’ Beliefs, Understandings and Intentions to Teach STEM”, is co-written by Premnadh M. Kurup, Michael Brown, Greg Powell and Xia Li. This study looked at future teachers’ beliefs, understanding and intentions to teach STEM in their future teaching. This study surveyed 119 preservice teachers from an Australian University. The future teachers had their practicum experience in schools and exposure to subjects such as science, mathematics and technology based on their university program. The study identified future teachers’ backgrounds based on their understandings and beliefs and their capacity to deal with STEM in their future teaching career (Intentions to teach). What the study has revealed is that they have a strong belief that STEM is needed for the future lifestyle demands. However, they indicated that they have a limited understanding and ability to teach science, mathematics and technology as they have not experienced many innovative STEM teaching practices in schools. The future teachers are very positive in their intentions to teach STEM and have suggested the need for integrated curriculum programs in schools and their future needs for professional learning in the STEM areas of the curriculum.

The eighth paper, authored by Nastaran Khoshsabk, is entitled “Theatrically Digital: Education and Online Identity”. Communication through online interaction facilitates the mutual understanding of societies culturally and historically and such online information exchange influences the identity formation of individuals (Hall, 2003). The notion of “cultural identity” by the sociologist Stuart Hall (1932-2014) is applied in this research to explore the educational and informative role of social media in the identity formation and cultural representation of adult Facebook users. The exploration of online interviews in this qualitative multiple case study is on the basis of participants’ personal account of identity and social media use. The ‘interactions’ and ‘presentation of self’ have been considered in the Facebook analysis phase of research for the duration of six months. The driven codes and themes were categorised considering self-censorship, place of technology and its role on representation of self. The ‘actual self’, as described in interviews, was hidden by individuals for different reasons such as its influence on their social status, academic achievements and future careers. It is hoped that this research by offering an increased understanding of the importance of online communities will have implications for education contexts, particularly in countries that are experiencing social media filtering.

The ninth paper, co-written by Aline Fay de Azevedo, Heloísa Orsi Koch Delgado, and Asafe Davi Cortina Silva, is entitled “The Use of Technology for EFL Classes in a Brazilian School: Consolidating Education 3.0”. The article aims to address the topic of Education 3.0 and the use of technological tools for EFL classes in a school in the south of Brazil. The authors report how technology has been incorporated into the classroom to achieve interdisciplinary practices and whether it has contributed to students’ learning and linguistic competence. Regarding applicability, the paper brings some examples of technological tools and projects that were carried out, using different types of technologies, such as Osmo, smartphones, QR codes, apps and the like. Regarding evaluation of language improvement, the authors affirm that these technological tools have mainly fostered students’ listening and speaking abilities compared to preceding methodologies, which can be seen through the application of Oxford placement tests. They believe that a limitation of this study would be the lack of quantitative data to complement the findings.

The tenth paper, written by Mark Kenneth Camiling, is entitled “The Flipped Classroom: Teaching the Basic Science Process Skills to High-Performing 2nd Grade Students of Miriam College Lower School”. This study aims to explore the effectiveness of the Flipped Learning Method in elementary classrooms, a rather under-researched area in the said field. The study was carried out in a special after-school program for high-achieving students with exceptional skills in Science and Mathematics. The author has crafted a unique experimental research design that implements the traditional and flipped classroom methods simultaneously in the two groups of research participants. After comparing the pre- and post-tests results of the two groups through a non-parametric statistical test, it was found that there is a significant difference between the test scores. The results of the study show that the Flipped Classroom Method may be utilized in lower grades for the enhancement of instruction and improvement of student performance.

Please note that we welcome original research papers in the field of education submitted by teachers, scholars, and education professionals, who may submit their manuscripts even though they did not participate in one of the conferences held by IAFOR. We also welcome book reviews, reviews of the literature in the field, and contributions introducing key educational scholars.

The IAFOR Journal of Education is an internationally reviewed and editorially independent interdisciplinary journal associated with IAFOR’s international conferences on education. Like all IAFOR publications, it is freely available to read online, and is free of publication fees for authors. The first issue was published in May 2013, and the journal continues to publish bi-annually in March and September. The next issue, Volume 5 Issue 2, which is scheduled for publication on September 1, 2017, will also be a selection of papers submitted during the above mentioned conferences. IAFOR publications are freely accessible on the IAFOR website (Open Access).

Best regards,

Bernard Montoneri, Lucy Spence, Yvonne Masters and Massoud Moslehpour
IAFOR Journal of Education

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