Think global act local: Contextualizing technology-enhanced education
Over the past three decades, researchers in the field of technology-enhanced education have developed technological tools, pedagogical strategies and innovative theories for improving teaching-learning processes. Many of these innovations have been supported by strong empirical evidence. However, the task of designing and implementing technology-enhanced learning environments suffers from an important challenge. On the one hand, the learning environment must function as per the requirements for the situation it was designed for, taking into consideration the local context and the relevance to the targeted community. On the other hand, the implications and contributions of the research must be generalizable, so that the field of technology-enhanced learning can progress as a scientific discipline.
Many research groups in this field have attempted to reconcile this seemingly contradictory set of conditions in theory, methodology and practice. Researchers have developed theories that explicitly include the understanding of locally situated contexts. Methodologies such as design-based research have been developed and implemented, in order to address the dual targets of situativity and generalizability. As evidenced by the work seen in prior ICCE conferences, research in technology enhanced learning in the Asia-Pacific region is characterised by close partnerships between the research community and the practitioner community, such as schools. In technology-enhanced learning projects in India, the problem of transitioning from the global to the local and vice-versa, is the focus of several R&D efforts.
ICCE 2016 will provide a global forum for researchers, practitioners and policy makers to share their perspectives on these issues. As a research community, we need to analyze these diverse perspectives and attempt to understand each implementation of technology-enhanced learning at a deeper level, from the point of view of contextualization. What aspect of implementation can be abstracted and applied in a different context? Why do implementations succeed in some situations, but fail when replicated in others? Can we move towards a ‘theory’ of technology-enhanced learning that answers these questions? We hope this conference will provide several opportunities for researchers to discuss and debate on these issues, and learn from each other's’ endeavours. Secondly, we hope that the conference will lead to collaboration between the multiple research efforts ongoing in several APSCE member countries, so that projects across the different local contexts can give us more insight into this problem and help make a global impact.