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Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to analyse the core of the quality of life, intended as a complex construct with specific and transversal features. The approach to this issue, by linking it to the great emergency of disability in adulthood, pushes the analysis into deep conceptual pedagogical reflections, which lead the authors’ initial reflections to focus on the theoretical framework related to the quality of life model and subsequently on the identification of some areas of intervention as a tangible application of the quality of life model. New perspectives and innovative potentials for the quality of life of adults with disability are investigated to reach new awareness, which can also be applied in different life contexts. The paper mentions meaningful trajectories, also from the international scene, aiming to guarantee significantly oriented life trajectories.

Abstract

Robotics is a powerful tool in education and it has gained a notable impact in the field of teaching computer science, engineering, math, physics and similar. As educational robotics laboratories stimulate many different abilities in students, such as problem solving and group working, it is possible to use robotics to promote soft skills as well.

Soft skills are necessary to complement hard skills to build the 21st century professionalism, so it seems relevant to start promoting these skills as soon as possible. In this paper, we describe a lab for primary and first grade secondary schools in which robotics is employed to train soft skills in an informal context.

Abstract

Media and digital literacy are being increasingly recognized as a fundamental competence for teachers of 21st century, but teachers’ professional development is still far from coping with this emerging need. This paper aims at providing some recommendations for integrating media literacy into in-service teacher training programs. To this purpose, it will present the results of the experimentation carried out in three European training institutions within the framework of the European project e-MEL (e-Media Education Lab, 2014–17). The overall training process was monitored and evaluated ex-ante, ongoing and ex-post. This paper illustrates and discusses the main findings of the experimentation focusing on strengths and challenges for implementing a teacher training program on digital and media literacy. It concludes with some recommendations and more general reflections on future research directions.

Abstract

In a global society where knowledge, degrees, and credentials cross international borders, understanding what and how doctoral students think and communicate about learning is relevant to educational leadership. An implication could be in creating new solutions to the age-old problem of students completing coursework but not a dissertation, and therefore, not graduating. United States doctoral students are taking advantage of social media platforms to create, develop, or enhance Personal Learning Networks (PLN). A team of researchers using a qualitative research methodology studied both the views and experiences of nine doctoral students, who were members of a closed Facebook group created specifically as a PLN. The results of the research study confirmed that the students use social media for academic and personal communication, emotional support, and direction through the dissertation stage of doctoral studies. Thematic results concluded that the participants sought help with questions and answers about research, guidance on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process, and celebrating achievements. Trust was also a significant factor in ensuring the completion of dissertations. The results provide educational leaders useful information and insight into the impact of social media on teaching, research, culture, and learning environmental designs.

Abstract

Distance education environments can take many forms, from asynchronous to blended synchronous environments. Blended synchronous learning environment (BSLE) can be defined as an innovative setting in which students can decide to attend classes either face-to-face or via a synchronous virtual connection. Many educators are unfamiliar teaching in BSLE because of lack of experience or exposure to this delivery method. Thus, it is important to understand the optimal organisational structures and the effective management of BSLE courses to facilitate student learning and interaction. Seeking to understand this teaching method, an exploratory mixed-method study was conducted to examine graduate students’ perceptions of the BSLE. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from a questionnaire and analysed. The findings revealed that students were satisfied with the BSLE, interactions, and the instructor. However, findings showed that the instructor divided attention between face-to-face and online synchronous students, which can cause cognitive overload and compromise the quality of instruction. Additionally, this study suggests that technical difficulties can affect students’ satisfaction with BSLE courses. Implications for further research and limitations are discussed.

Abstract

How can we teach Jewish history in a modern and effective way? In Hamburg, Germany, a school project called Geschichtomat tries to find an answer to that question. With the help of digital media, students explore their Jewish neighbourhood. This one-of-a-kind German program permits students to experience the Jewish past and present life in their hometown. During the project, students explore their neighbourhood to understand its historical figures, places, and events. This way they engage with Jewish life. Under the supervision of experts in the disciplines of history and media education, the students will: research, perform interviews with cultural authorities and contemporary witnesses, visit museums and archives, shoot and cut films, edit photos and write accompanying texts. Finally, their contributions are uploaded to the geschichtomat.de website. Little by little a digital map of Jewish life from the perspective of teenagers will take shape.

Abstract

This study, within the dual context of media education and the use of educational robots, presents a preliminary investigation relating children’s imagery of robots achieved through the analysis of 44 drawings done by children in the first year of primary school. In addition to identifying a set of analytical criteria to be further investigated, the research shows (i) some sources of children’s imagery about robots, (ii) the difficulties of a specific age group to clearly distinguish between toys, robots and human beings and (iii) some possible indications for educational paths.

Abstract

Digital game play is a common pastime among college students and monopolizes a great deal of time for many students. Researchers have previously investigated relationships between subject-specific game play and academics, but this study fulfills a need for research focusing on entertainment game strategies and how they relate to strategies and success in other contexts. Utilizing a survey of 191 undergraduate students, the goal was to investigate students’ digital game play habits, strategies, and beliefs that predict gaming expertise, and to determine if these relate to academic success. Factor analysis revealed three latent variables that predict expertise: dedication, solo mastery, and strategic play. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine whether these three components could also predict academic outcome variables. Findings point to the absence of a relationship between these variables and academic GPA, but to the presence of a tentative relationship between confidence in game play and confidence in personal control over academic success.

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