Educational Technology in Higher Education: Emergent Practices for Teaching Future Educators

A year ago (year and a half to be honest), my friend Dr Leigh Graves and I started working as guest editors of a Special Issue of the UTE Journal (UTE (Universitas Tarraconensis. Revista de Ciencias de la Educación)  titled:

Educational Technology in Higher Education: Emergent Practices for Teaching Future Educators

After a complicated year like 2020 with the great pandemic as a context, we are very grateful with the result: this is an issue in which there are interesting testimonies of how to teach future educators specific questions about the use of technology in the classroom, but it is also an issue with interesting teaching experiences that we believe can be of interest to any teacher considering innovations in his or her classroom.

As we said in the editorial:

Conversations about what educational technology TPD (ET-TPD) should be has become a very popular topic over the last several years. Development of concepts such as Digital Teacher Competency, Teaching Digital Skills, or Teaching Competencies for a Digital World, have been crucial in the last decade (Caena & Redecker, 2019). In the same way, the development of several conceptual frameworks dedicated to describe and characterise digital teacher competencies (e.g. ISTE 2017; UNESCO 2011; Redecker 2017; INTEF 2017; Silva et al., 2019) has taken up much of our efforts. Nevertheless, how this ET-TDP is developed, how the pedagogical issues regarding this part of the TDP are developed, seems to be a less common discussion among us. We often discuss the ever-present divide between research and practice in teacher education (Flessner, 2012). Researchers and educators need to find creative ways to bridge that divide and, based on research experiences, push the boundaries of praxis to create truly innovative and profound learning experiences (Seals et al., 2017; Deschryver et al., 2013). We already know the enormous importance the social presence of students, feedback, and inclusive or universal instructional designs are to productive learning environments for teachers. Bartolomé et al. (2018) conceptualize the current mode of teacher training in general to fall under the large conceptual umbrella of blended learning. Blended learning is considered as the optimal modality for training (Duarte et al., 2018) because it has demonstrated its impact on changing the day-today practices of teachers. However, latest systematic reviews in the academic literature regarding “digital competences” and “teacher professional development” or “teacher 9 education”, (such as those included in De Paulo (2019); Rodríguez Moreno et al. (2019) or FernandezBatanero et al. (2020), do not approach profoundly the pedagogical part of the experiences that try to introduce or develop the teacher’s competences for the digital world, and this special issue specifically addresses this gap.”

Below there is a list of the  papers included in the special issue and our personal invitation to read them and comment them:

Thank you, Leigh Graves, for signing up to this challenge and, in particular, to the editorial team of UTE who have trusted us with this challenge from which we have learned so much.