Italian Journal of Educational Technology 2021-08-06T17:03:36+02:00 Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) Open Journal Systems <h2>Since 1993, a four-monthly journal on educational technology</h2> <p>The<strong> Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) </strong>(formerly <strong>TD Tecnologie Didattiche</strong>) is a refereed, open-access journal that publishes theoretical perspectives, review articles, methodological developments, empirical research and best practice in the field of education and technology. The journal targets scholars and practitioners and welcomes contributions in English on any aspect of technology-enhanced learning in formal, non-formal and informal learning contexts, from early years through to technical, vocational and higher education, professional development and corporate training, in any subject domain.</p> <p>All contents of the Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) are licensed under a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="license noopener">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License</a>. Readers have free online access to the contents of all issues of the journal.</p> <p><a href="" rel="license"><img title="Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License" src="" alt=""></a></p> <p>A print edition of IJET is also available for purchase, either on a subscription or single-issue basis. Please go to "<a href="/index.php/td/about#subeng" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Subscriptions</a>" to read more.</p> <p>Italian Journal of Educational Technology has been recognised as Classe A journal in the assessment carried out by&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ANVUR</a>, the agency designated by Italy's Ministry of Education and Research for evaluating research institutions and scientific output.&nbsp; <a href="/about" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Keep reading in About</a>.</p> <h3>TOPICS</h3> <p>Topics covered concerns any aspect of educational technology, including:</p> <ul> <li>Theoretical aspects of educational technology and technology-enhanced learning</li> <li>Innovative learning environments</li> <li>Open and online education</li> <li>Collaborative learning</li> <li>Design of learning environments</li> <li>Evaluation and assessment</li> <li>Mobile technologies and social media</li> <li>Game-based learning</li> <li>Formal, non-formal and informal learning</li> <li>Digital literacy</li> <li>Technology for inclusive learning</li> <li>Digital contents and educational resources</li> <li>Research methods in educational technology</li> <li>Policies for innovation in educational systems</li> </ul> <h3>PEER REVIEW POLICY</h3> <p>Manuscripts undergo a double-blind peer-review process involving at least two reviewers and the editor of each issue.</p> EDITORIAL. EMERGENCY REMOTE EDUCATION: METHODOLOGICAL, TECHNOLOGICAL, ORGANIZATIONAL AND POLICY ISSUES 2021-08-06T17:03:31+02:00 Stefania Manca Donatella Persico Juliana Elisa Raffaghelli <p class="IJETNNormal"><span style="color: black;" lang="EN-GB">As is almost impossible to ignore<span style="background: white;">, in Spring 2020 </span></span><span lang="EN-GB">the COVID-19 pandemic forced many educational institutions around the globe to suspend face-to-face classes and hastily replace them with online activities. Although disruption of educational provision is not a new phenomenon, this has been the largest in history, affecting 94% of the world's student population (Crompton, Burke, Jordan, &amp; Wilson, 2021). The shift from face-to-face to online teaching, however, was not the culmination of a well-considered instructional design process inspired by the affordances of online education and rooted in a thorough needs analysis. Rather, it was an expediency mandated by a public health emergency whose spread was unexpected, exceptionally fast and poorly understood. The pressing haste with which many educational institutions moved to online education meant that they were not ready to harness the strengths of online learning nor deal with its limitations. In the new circumstances created by the pandemic, it was immediately clear that online learning was simply a quick fix adopted in “<span class="IJETPItalic">less-than-ideal circumstances</span>” (Hodges, Moore, Lockee, Trust, &amp; Bond, 2020).</span></p> <p class="IJETNNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">In spite of the high hopes of getting quickly back to normal, schools’ and universities’ online activities lasted, in many forms and in many countries, much longer than initially expected. Physical distancing was adopted in many countries as the main strategy to counter the spread of a pandemic that was not showing any signs of relenting (</span><span style="color: #222222; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">Bozkurt et al., 2020)</span><span lang="EN-GB">. In many cases, online or hybrid teaching was seen, even during the 2020/2021 school year, as the best way to keep teachers, staff, students and therefore society as a whole as safe as possible in the face of the public health emergency.</span></p> <p class="IJETNNormal"><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">The above events wer</span><span lang="EN-GB">e followed and accompanied by intense public debate about the way schools and universities were dealing with the emergency, a debate which proliferated in the media and on social networks (Greenhow, Staudt Willet &amp; Galvin, 2021; Rehm, Moukarzel, Daly, &amp; del Fresno, 2021; Thelwall &amp; Levitt, 2020). In these circumstances, “<span class="IJETPItalic">the temptation to compare online learning to face-to-face instruction” (Hodges et al., 2020) has, for many, brought about negative considerations along the lines that online learning is no substitute for the “real thing</span></span><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">.” At the same time, for others, it has generated (perhaps over-) optimistic expectations that after this “</span><span class="IJETPItalic"><span lang="EN-GB">great online learning experiment</span></span><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">” (Zimmermann, 2020) our educational institutions and their teaching staff will be more willing than ever to make a permanent shift to online or blended learning.</span></p> <p class="IJETNNormal"><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">Needless to say, the educational scholarly community also got involved in this debate, initially by viewing the events through the prism of previous research results from the online learning field (Hodges et al., 2020), but soon enough also by gathering evidence and analysing data collected at different stages during the pandemic. The number of conferences and academic journal special issues devoted to this theme testify to the interest it holds for academia. To confirm this, a quick search conducted on the Scopus database in May 2021 using the joint keywords "COVID-19 AND education” resulted in more than 11,000 records, and more than 6,000 for the same search on Web of Science. Also, a search focusing on literature reviews yielded 157 records. Hence, research in the field is advancing at a very fast pace, with implications for the complexity and depth of research designs, methods and results. Although the studies in this special issue were submitted to IJET by September 2020 and thus the research methods and results captured the initial stage of the educational phenomena linked to the pandemic, the issues they raise align well with the most recent debates around the lockdown, concerning technology access, digital and data infrastructures, teaching, evaluation and assessment methods (Carretero Gomez et al., 2021)</span></p> <p class="IJETNNormal"><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">Broadly speaking, the aim of scholars’ efforts was to deepen our knowledge about issues of a methodological, technological, organisational or policy nature (as well as combinations thereof) that are related to what has been termed “Emergency Remote Education” (ERE) (Williamson, Eynon, &amp; Potter, 2020) or “Emergency Remote Teaching” (ERT) (Hodges et al., 2020). Accordingly, research has focused on investigating the effects </span><span style="color: black;" lang="EN-GB">on society, educational systems and institutions, to improve understanding of ERE and lay the basis for proposals on how we might better address similar challenges in future. All learning contexts were dealt with school education (Boltz, Yadav, Dillman, &amp; Robertson, 2021; Chiu, 2021; Giovannella, Passarelli, &amp; Persico, 2020; Greenhow, Lewin, &amp; Staudt Willet, 2021; Manca &amp; Delfino, 2021), higher education (</span><span style="color: #222222;" lang="EN-GB">Johnson, Veletsianos, &amp; Seaman, 2020; Marek, Chew, &amp; Wu, 2021), </span><span style="color: black;" lang="EN-GB">informal learning (</span><span style="color: #222222;" lang="EN-GB">Greenhalgh, Rosenberg, &amp; Russell, 2021</span><span style="color: black;" lang="EN-GB">) and, last but not least, teacher professional development (</span><span style="color: #222222;" lang="EN-GB">Hartshorne et al.,<span style="background: white;"> 2020).</span></span></p> <p class="IJETNNormal"><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">As might be expected, the conclusions do not all point in the same direction. For example, although the distance between the two poles seems shorter in the research literature, some authors see this emergency as a catalyst for change and an opportunity for educational innovation that should not be missed (</span><span lang="EN-GB">Crompton, Burke, Jordan, &amp; Wilson, 2021; </span><span style="color: #222222; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">Cruz &amp; Grodziak, 2021</span><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">) while others are much more cautious and raise a number of objections to (simplistic) claims that educational technologies are a ready-made solution for the current crisis (Williamson, Eynon, &amp; Potter, 2020; Giroux, 2021). However, a worry that seems to be shared by most is that the crisis has been acting as an amplifier for some undesirable effects of ICT uptake on a global scale: to mention a few, inequalities in access to education due to social, economic, personal and family conditions (Beaunoyer, Dupéeré, &amp; Guitton, 2020; Manca &amp; Delfino, 2021; Nguyen, Hargittai, &amp; Marler, 2021). Such inequalities are not merely due to lack of digital connectivity: there is a wide range of factors involved in ease of access to educational provision that may be exacerbated by the move to distance teaching at all school levels (Greenhow, Lewin, &amp; Staudt Willet, 2020). However, there is a bright side: “</span><span class="IJETPItalic"><span lang="EN-GB">Social, educational, health and digital inequalities have never been clearer. Perhaps now is a time to make a more decisive set of significant social and digital changes</span></span><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">” (Williamson, Eynon, &amp; Potter, 2020: p. 111). Now that it’s recognised that the “</span><span class="IJETPItalic"><span lang="EN-GB">emperor has no clothes</span></span><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">” (Gewerc, Persico, &amp; Rodés-Paragarino, 2020), policy makers cannot disregard problems like the lack of digital competence in teachers and students, the lack of access suffered by marginalized students</span><span style="color: #222222; background: white;" lang="EN-GB"> and the inequalities that derive therefrom. </span><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">Moreover, there are new, emergent concerns relating to learners’ data travelling from the sphere of public educational institutions to corporations offering public educational institutions free digital services, such as access to and use of online learning platforms (Williamson &amp; Hogan, 2020). As a matter of fact, the European Commission’s "Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027" (2020) addresses two areas relevant to these issues, namely educators' digital competence and digital infrastructures for learning. These two topics include the above-mentioned concerns about data flows, data privacy and security. In this same vein, a working document published by UNESCO (2020) proposes nine “ideas” to support public education during the pandemic, including the use of open source software and open educational resources: “</span><span class="IJETPItalic"><span lang="EN-GB">Education cannot thrive with ready-made content built outside of the pedagogical space and outside of human relationships between teachers and students. Nor can education be dependent on digital platforms controlled by private companies</span></span><span style="color: black; background: white;" lang="EN-GB">” (p.6).</span></p> 2021-06-28T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## K-12 TEACHERS’ EXPERIENCES AND CHALLENGES WITH USING TECHNOLOGY FOR EMERGENCY REMOTE TEACHING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC 2021-08-06T17:03:33+02:00 Torrey Trust Jeromie Whalen <p>During the COVID-19 pandemic, more teachers than ever before turned to technology<br>to support continuity of learning for students at a distance. This study explores K-12 teachers’ (N=334)<br>experiences and challenges with using technology for emergency remote teaching. Ninety percent of the<br>participants were located in the United States, with the remaining respondents located internationally.<br>Findings indicate that while educators increased their use of digital tools, these technologies seemed<br>to support traditional classroom communication, information delivery, and management practices.<br>Participants identified several challenges, including accessing, evaluating, learning to use, designing<br>instruction with, and supporting student and family use of technology. These concerns, combined with the<br>rapid pace at which technology had to be employed at a time of great uncertainty, left educators feeling<br>woefully ill-prepared for effective remote teaching. This paper considers why technology may not have<br>lived up to its potential in a time of immense need.</p> 2021-04-02T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## INJUSTICE EMBEDDED IN GOOGLE CLASSROOM AND GOOGLE MEET: A TECHNO-ETHICAL AUDIT OF REMOTE EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES 2021-08-06T17:03:34+02:00 Benjamin Gleason Marie K. Heath <p>Forcing pre-COVID-19 structures of school onto the realities of the global pandemic ignores the systemic structures embedded in public education which made pre-pandemic school places of harm for students marginalized by racism and neoliberalism. Informed by critical theories of educational technology, this study investigated how the design of technologies central to emergency remote education carry powerful perspectives about the nature and dimensions of learning. We used the conceptual framework of a techno-ethical audit which asks scholars and practitioners to analyze technologies in order to uncover assumptions of pedagogy, implications for democracy, and complicities in injustice inherent to the design of the technology. The audit found a system that limited meaningful interaction, envisioned students as technology users with little agency or control, and predisposed students to unnecessary practices of surveillance and monitoring, all while subjecting them to regimes of data collection and sharing for corporate profit. Applied at scale and in marginalized communities, the current system denies justice for millions of students subjected to harmful educational practices. Through this study, we present three recommendations to improve online learning: teach the crisis; implement project-based learning; and investigate experiences with technology.</p> 2021-04-13T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## LA “SCUOLA DIGITALE” È STATA L’UNICA POSSIBILE DURANTE L’EMERGENZA: ORA SI TRATTA DI “AUMENTARE DIGITALMENTE” LA SCUOLA ITALIANA 2021-08-06T17:03:34+02:00 Paolo Ferri <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This article combines a theoretical approach to the analysis of original research data and data from secondary sources in order to: analyze the digital divide in Italy, specifically regarding &nbsp;schools and formal education, focusing on the gap with the rest of Europe in digital infrastructure and teaching methodologies; highlight the main distance education issues that the Italian school system has faced during the pandemic; identify the lessons learned and provide indications about how to deal with the challenges of “digitally augmented” education in an emergency period.</p> 2021-08-06T16:11:49+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## WHEN THE CLASSROOM BECOMES DATAFIED: A BASELINE FOR BUILDING DATA ETHICS POLICY AND DATA LITERACIES ACROSS HIGHER EDUCATION 2021-08-06T17:03:35+02:00 Bonnie E Stewart Erica Lyons <p>This paper overviews a summer 2020 pilot survey of educators’ perspectives on the intersection of educational technology and datafication in higher education classrooms. The brief, international survey of university teachers used four proxy questions to frame a baseline snapshot of higher education teaching populations’ knowledge, practices, experience, and perspectives on data and online learning: this paper focuses specifically on the results of the knowledge and practice questions. The paper suggests that, in the Emergency Remote Education (ERE) context generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education instructors teaching online demonstrate patterns of limited knowledge and practice surrounding the data aspects of their classroom tools. The paper posits an urgent need for institutional and sector-wide policy and faculty development around data and online classroom tools, and for data ethics to be addressed as part of institutions’ ERE transition online.</p> 2021-04-29T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## REDESIGN OF SCIENCE EDUCATION IN THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY FROM UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ PERSPECTIVE 2021-08-06T17:03:35+02:00 Lucia Garófalo Antonella Barletta Cecilia Silvarrey Virginia Rodés Enzo Cavalli <p>COVID-19 started spreading in Latin America amidst the beginning of academic year (March, in the Global South). In response, the Faculty of Science within the Universidad de la República de Uruguay rapidly switched to Emergency Remote Education. As part of this strategy, specific support was provided to students with connectivity and equipment needs. However, teachers’ different levels of pedagogical and digital skills resulted in diverse efficacy in students’ emergency learning experiences. This work explores the Universidad de la República’s science education provision from the students’ perspective as expressed in accordance to their learning experience. The results show a positive direct association between the clarity of the tasks the students were set and positive feedback. Moreover, while the provision of educational resources was key to supporting emergency education assessment, technological aspects had little or no impact. Finally, the results also indicate greater critical digital literacy on the teachers’ part would improve science education.</p> 2021-05-26T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## ASSESSING LEARNING DURING EMERGENCY REMOTE EDUCATION 2021-08-06T17:03:36+02:00 Charles B. Hodges Michael K. Barbour <p>The authors discuss the applicability of common assessment types used in online instruction to the context of emergency remote education. Written assignments, online discussions, fieldwork, tests and quizzes, presentations, and e-portfolios are specifically addressed. The discussion includes the concepts of synchronous versus asynchronous assessments and issues related to academic integrity. The authors conclude by noting that empathy and radical flexibility are integral to assessment in emergency remote education.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## PARTICIPANTS' EXPECTATIONS AND LEARNING NEEDS IN AN ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE CONCERNING “EMERGENCY REMOTE EDUCATION” DURING THE 2020 COVID-19 LOCKDOWN 2021-08-06T17:03:36+02:00 Antonella Poce Francesca Amenduni Maria Rosaria Re Mara Valente Carlo De Medio <p>During the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several online initiatives have been enacted to provide teachers and educators with the skills needed to face the transition to online learning and teaching. Voluntary attendance of these kinds of initiatives for continuous professional development can be considered as a self-directed learning strategy enabling users to reduce a perceived skill gap. In this work, we explore and describe the expectations and the perceived learning needs of a group of participants who voluntarily decided to attend a webinar series concerning “Emergency Remote Education”, carried out by the European Distance E-learning Network (EDEN). The data collected through a short questionnaire, filled in by 607 participants, show that more than 50% of the respondents self-assessed their level of expertise as high. The results may provide insights into how to design online continuous professional development initiatives which are open to different targets.</p> 2021-06-17T00:00:00+02:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##