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Open access

Karen Johnson, J. Medgar Roberts, Mary W. Stout, Michelle Susberry Hill and Lisa Wells

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.

Open access

Maria Ranieri, Isabella Bruni and Anne-Claire Orban de Xivry

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.

Open access

Franco Rubinacci, Michela Ponticorvo, Rosa Passariello and Orazio Miglino

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.

Open access

Catia Giaconi and Noemi Del Bianco

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.

Open access

Pier Cesare Rivoltella

Open access

Usep Kustiawan

Abstract

Early Childhood is the beginning of basic skills development, and one such skill is the language skill. During this time, appropriate stimulus is required to assist the optimal development of children’s language skills, which includes the utilization of effective media learning in kindergarten. Field observation obtained by the researcher in Kindergarten PGRI 3 Tulusayu Tumpang Malang district showed that the only learning media currently used is in the form of visual utilities exhibited by the teacher and does not involve many children in the utilization. The purpose of this research and development is to produce an instructional media diorama that can be used as a language development tool for children in language skill group B. The learning media diorama is expected to help teachers to be more creative in using learning media as interactive game tools.

Open access

Cristiana Ottaviano

Abstract

‘Gender Ideology’ (‘GI’), as an expression, appeared at the beginning of this century within documents of the Catholic Church with the aim of delegitimising what had been produced in the field of Gender Studies. That intent was strongly clarified, being coincident with the discussion in France about the law on equal marriage, during the protests of Manif pour Tous. Likewise, in Italy, oppositions to draft laws about homophobia and civil unions generated movements unified by the denouncing of ‘GI’. This essay presents research conducted between 2014 and 2017 about online materials of some Italian associations that are positioned as ‘GI opponents’. The content analysis underlines the use of a violent communication style that aims to create alarm and panic regarding presumed ‘gender drifts’ within social and educational contexts. This operation reveals the attempt to reaffirm an anthropological vision of sexuality based on the hierarchical–complementary relationship between male and female. The analysis highlights the risk of a sort of ‘Silence Spiral’, where – in the face of a noisy and violent minority – numerous and various voices disappear. These voices differentiate and invoke the urgency of a deeper debate about the concept of gender and its implications within educational, social and ecclesiastical contexts.

Open access

Edoardo Datteri and Luisa Zecca

Abstract

How do children describe and explain the behaviour of robotic systems? In this paper, some distinctions between different types of explanations, drawing from the philosophy of science literature, are proposed and exemplified by reference to an activity in which primary school children are asked to describe and explain the behaviour of a pre-programmed Braitenberg-like vehicle. The proposed distinctions are also discussed against other studies drawn from the related scientific literature. A qualitative study has provided insights to further refine the analysis described here, through the introduction of other sub-categories of explanation of robotic behaviours.

Open access

Valentina Pennazio

Abstract

This article aims to reflect on the main variables that make social robotics efficient in an educational and rehabilitative intervention. Social robotics is based on imitation, and the study is designed for children affected by profound autism, aiming for the development of their social interactions. Existing research, at the national and international levels, shows how children with autism can interact more easily with a robotic companion rather than a human peer, considering its less complex and more predictable actions. This contribution also highlights how using robotic platforms helps in teaching children with autism basic social abilities, imitation, communication and interaction; this encourages them to transfer the learned abilities to human interactions with both adults and peers, through human–robot imitative modelling. The results of a pilot study conducted in a kindergarten school in the Liguria region are presented. The study included applying a robotic system, at first in a dyadic child–robot relation, then in a triadic one that also included another child, with the aim of eliciting social and imitative abilities in a child with profound autism.

Open access

Pier Giuseppe Rossi