Special Issue Call: CHILDREN AND THE DIGITAL
Claudia Giudici (Reggio Children and University of Modena and Reggio Emilia - Italy)
Nando Rinaldi (Istituzione Preschools and Infant-toddler Centres, Municipality of Reggio Emilia - Italy)
Initial manuscripts due 16th August 2021
Full Issue published within 2021
Publication will follow an 'online first' approach. As soon as a paper is accepted, it will be published online. The full issue will be published as all the submitted papers are reviewed.
The submission for the permanent call is suspended until the end of this Special Issue Call.
“No-one, least of all those whose work it is to educate the younger and youngest generations, can be permitted to avoid reflection on the changes and the questions in culture and life that social behaviours and scientific and technical innovations are suggesting” (Cagliari et al., 2016, p. 319).
The task of education is to offer children tools and strategies for access to knowledge, criteria for interpreting, abilities, and knowledge for living and growing in their own life contexts. This is coherent with the fourth objective of UNESCO's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (UNESCO, 2017 ).
Today's world is characterised by integration between the physical and virtual dimensions, the material and immaterial, and children are immersed in this from the day they are born. For this reason it is fundamental that developments in digital technologies take this into account in a different way and with greater awareness, and tackle problems such as diverse degrees of distribution among the different States, or within the same nation, and the presence of "transmission" teaching models which are principally aimed at acquiring skills for the use of IT “programmes”, reducing the function of digital technology to a tool supplying information.
There also needs to be a consideration of the separation between in-school and out-of-school contexts that create, as Resnick (1987) maintains a gap between the ways of learning and using digital technology and knowledge during free time, compared with educational contexts and formal learning. Stefano Cacciamani and others (2019) emphasise how “technology is only a tool, though highly refined and powerful. Only knowledge and the use of pyscho-pedagogical models - knowledge building models - that orient towards a critical use, can enable us to use technology to achieve UNESCO's objectives for an equitable, inclusive, education” (Cacciamani et al., 2019).
This is true only in part. Every medium produces transformations in forms of communication, the structure of knowledge, and conditions for learning. Computer-mediated technologies, which Derrick De Kerckhove defines as "psychotechnology", extend the mind and propose radical, deep transformations that are as yet to be investigated.
It therefore becomes necessary to reflect and compare points of view on the forms of different software and hardware, and which epistemological approaches and psycho-pedagogical models (Maragliano, 2019) contribute to interpreting these challenges, and achieving the objective of pluralist and inclusive education.
We consider it urgent to construct an approach that by scrutinising the present is capable of picking up and interpreting the meanings children bring, translating them into learning contexts in which children are given the possibility to activate all their resources with creativity and freedom, and where we can explore the context's limits and potentials, at the same time informing reflection on the nature and structure of the learning processes activated. Learning contexts that enable children, and the adults with them, to discover possibilities and dynamics that are made possible and favoured in environments expanded and augmented by digital technology. Contexts where children can act simultaneously on more than one representational level, where the body – a fundamental tool for knowledge at this age – is integrated, and forms of hybrid, integrated, and flexible thinking are practised (Vecchi et al., 2018).
Touch is fundamental for experimenting and knowing the world, others, and Self, and can be central to the way we communicate. New sensory communication technologies are amplifying the possibilities of how we "feel" the world around us, modifying our ways of hugging and touching remotely. Digital Touch Communication (Price et al., 2021) raises a need for deeper investigation of social and psychological implications, for our social ties and for communication in general (Jewitt, et al., 2020). Therefore contemporary life is creating educational, social, and political challenges we must interrogate, and on which we need to compare our views, in order to elaborate and share new visions, and possible trajectories for developing relations between children and the digital, building educational policies that start with the youngest of children during early childhood.
In order to contribute to this debate and elaboration the Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society invites authors to present experiences and research, of a methodological and theoretical nature, on the relation between childhood and the digital, in the widest and most articulated sense.
This issue will consider two types of contribution:
- Theoretical and conceptual elaborations offering new visions on the theme of "children and the digital".
- Quantitative or qualitative studies and research, or both, that offer experience carried out in educational contexts, in-school or out-of-school.
Articles may be on the following themes, but are not (strictly) limited to these:
- International panoramas on experience and strategies for the adoption of technology in early childhood education.
- Experience and research on designing educational spaces and environments that offer an integration of physical reality, in a dialogue between material and immaterial, physical and virtual.
- Experience and research on the development of innovative hardware and software for early childhood, with characteristics coherent with the theoretical premises stated above.
- Experience and research on how the digital can favour exploratory, imaginative, narrative, and representational processes in children.
- Cultural and pedagogical perspectives for designing experiences and environments, that are suited or pertinent to developing awareness and creativity in the use of digital technology, in early years.
- The role of experience, of the physical body, and of empathy, in digital environments.
- The role of the digital in learning processes and relational dynamics in early childhood.
- The "hundred languages" of the digital.
- Professional learning and participatory experience, of teachers and parents, in the area of digital technology.
- Parent/child relations: building a family vocabulary of digital culture.
- The role of the digital in relations and dialogue between parents and school.
- The role of the digital in favouring dialogue with parents and families, as a strategy for fighting poverty and inequalities.
- Political and institutional perspectives, with reference to digital infrastructures in school and educational environments.
- Online spaces: how to shape online spaces in new ways, to offer opportunities and tools that favour and motivate children's processes of discovery, and their autonomous formulation of conjectures and connections.
- Ethical and legal issues in digital learning and teaching (respecting privacy, data use, open-source platforms etc.).
Cacciamani, S., Ligorio, M. B., Cesareni, D., Amenduni, F., Deplano, V., Grion, V., Sansone N., (2019), Il digitale per un’istruzione di qualità, equa e inclusiva: quali modelli. Retravied from https://www.agendadigitale.eu/scuola-digitale/il-digitale-per-unistruzione-di-qualita-equa-e-inclusiva-quali-modelli/
Cagliari, P., Castagnetti, M., Giudici, C., Rinaldi, C., Vecchi, V., Moss, P. (eds), McCall, J. (trans.), (2016), Loris Malaguzzi and the Schools of Reggio Emilia, Routledge, London.
De Kerckhove, D., Mattei, M.G. (eds) (2014), Psicotecnologie connettive, Egea, Milano.
Jewitt, C., Price, S., Leder Mackley, K., Yiannoutsou, N., Atkinson, D. (2020), Interdisciplinary Insights For Digital Touch Communication, Springer, Cham.
Maragliano, R. (2019), Zona Franca. Per una scuola inclusiva del digitale, Armando Editore, Roma.
Price, S., Jewitt, C., & Yiannoutsou, N. (2021). Conceptualising touch in VR. Virtual Reality, 1-15.
Resnick, L.B. (1987), Learning in school and out. Educational Researcher, 6(9).
UNESCO (2017), Education 2030: Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000247444
Vecchi, V., Bonilauri, S., Meninno, I., Tedeschi, M. (eds) (2018), Bordercrossing. Encounter with Living Things / Digital Landscapes, Reggio Children, Reggio Emilia.
Language: all contributions/papers must be written in English.
Datasets: To achieve a better review process and to allow reproducibility we encourage authors to upload the dataset(s) used in the paper and to describe the analysis methodology, software, routines, libraries, etc.
Strictly follow the standards. In particular:
- Anonymize the paper.
- Follow the Author Guidelines on how to write a paper and on the paper format.
- Be sure your paper fits the topics of the Call for Papers.
- Upload the Copyright Transfer Statement.
- Upload the Conflict of Interests Statement.
The paper will be pre-reviewed by an Editor to check if ALL of these items are met. If the paper does not meet ALL of the previous items, it will be rejected by the editor.
The Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society (Je-LKS) (eISSN 1971-8829) is published by the Italian Society of e-Learning since 2005 and in 2020 has published its 16th volume, consisting of four issues.
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