September 2, 2020

At the doorstep of the third decade in the 21st century, fast-growing computing technologies boost the adoption of diverse devices and applications in the educational area, which dazzle instructors and learners. The outbreak of COVID-19 since the first month of 2020 made all learning activities online in many countries and territories, which adopted social distancing approaches to contain spread of virus. Unfortunately, many teachers and students have felt overwhelmed by such a drastic change in learning behaviour, though digital learning had been around for decades, including big efforts put in MOOC movements in different sectors. Quick adoption of digital means of learning and teaching which is the abnormality of teaching and learning could quickly fade out after the lifestyle get back to normal. It is interesting to know if the unexpected pandemic brings the yet-to-come education evolution earlier.

Although being competitive, the post-pandemic recovery is on the agenda. How the educational sector can stand with the contingency and bounce back stronger with insights gained during the pandemic pose interest. It pictures how the post-pandemic human development and learning looks like, allowing it to potentially shift from just content dissemination to augmenting relationships with teachers, personalization, and independence.

Evaluating the effectiveness and knowing in which environments the advanced technologies work better, and improving learning activities from both the students’ and instructors’ perspective are critical for the next generation delivery of the learning content. Given their comparative novelty, to what extent instructors and learners can accept and get accommodated to them sustain the ongoing update and development of new technologies. There are huge challenges ahead for understanding and bridging the gap in implementation of multi-mode digital learning over the coming decade.

Guest Editors:

Jun Shen

University of Wollongong, Australia

Samuel Fosso Wamba

Toulouse Business School, France

Alex Shvonski


Tingru Cui

University of Melbourne, Australia

August 27, 2020

Call for papers for a Special Issue on “Blockchain in Smart Education

Blockchain is one of the ingenious technologies which are disrupting the future of many industries. This encrypted digital ledger technology has all the potential to reshape areas such as healthcare, education, and finance. Education is one such area where these blockchain-based techniques and properties can trigger a wide range of opportunities. In a smart educational environment, the significant challenges faced by its stakeholders are trust, privacy, and transparency-related issues in sharing and retrieval of any information. Since blockchain is a sole technology provides extraordinary features such as decentralization, traceability, and immutability; integrating this technology in a smart educational environment it can overcome all the technical risks, potential threats, and privacy concerns. Whether the educational environment is formal or informal the data can be stored and accessed more securely by using blockchain appropriately. Moreover, the application of blockchain in a smart educational system shall also provide smart assistance for implementation, evaluation, tracking, delivery, and management of any information concerning both the teacher and the learner.

Due to the huge volumes of educational data across various learning platforms, the protection of sensitive and valuable information needs the embracement of robust and intelligent technology. This leads to the development of a decentralized distributed blockchain technology, where each node is secured by a blockchain ledger which can be accessed only by the private key. Furthermore, the principal advantage of the blockchain technology is that the information is stored within the blockchain network with a unique identity, so that when the information is accessed by the users it is checked and validated properly by comparing all the related data. On the other hand, Smart Contracts is a traceable digital transaction facilitator used along with the blockchain which can enhance trust, privacy, and security in virtual or online education. Hence, implementing Blockchain technology in a smart educational environment could make the overall system more secure, reliable and more transparent.

Guest editors:

Ching-Hsien Hsu

College of Information and Electrical Engineering, Department of Computer Science, Asia University, Taiwan

Amir H. Alavi

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, USA

He Li

Department of Sciences and Informatics, Muroran Institute of Technology, Japan

April 8, 2020

Creativity is critical component of any learning programs because it is considered as the most important 21st century skills (Bryant, 2010; Lin, Shadiev, Hwang, & Shen, 2020; Rhodes, 1987; Shadiev, Huang, Hwang, & Liu, 2017; Sternberg & Lubart, 1999). Creativity is the ability to produce work that is original and useful; produced work can be intangible such as an idea or tangible such as an essay (Sternberg & Lubart, 1999). Creativity relates not only to the product that results from creative activity but also to the person who creates it, the cognitive processes involved in the creation of work, and the environmental influences (Mayer, 1989; Rhodes, 1987). Creative learning helps learners be innovative, learn new things, try out new ideas, and new ways of thinking and problem-solving. Scholars concluded that creativity is very important in today’s world of innovations and therefore, creative performance needs to be facilitated.

Authentic learning environments play crucial role in promoting creative skills development in learners (Davies et al., 2013; Jindal-Snape et al., 2013). An authentic environment here is defined as an environment that “preserves the complexity of the real-life context with rich situational affordances” (Herrington & Oliver, 2000, p. 180). Authentic learning environments contains a wide range of available resources that may stimulate learner creativity and make use of such resources supports the growth of ideas. Furthermore, authentic learning environments give learners greater freedom for imagination, provide rich contexts for the purpose of discovering learner schemas and interests. Scholars also argued that authentic contexts reflect the way that the knowledge will be used by learners in their real life (Herrington & Oliver, 2000; Shadiev, Hwang, & Huang, 2017). Therefore, creative learning in authentic learning environments need to be encouraged.

Guest editors:

Rustam Shadiev

Nanjing Normal University, China

Wu-Yuin Hwang

National Central University, Taiwan

Gheorghita Ghinea

Brunel University London, United Kingdom

March 2, 2020

Call for papers for a Special Issue on “Teacher Professional Development in STEM Education

The term STEM (science, mathematics, technology and engineering) has become a buzzword among the global education practitioners who have called for curriculum reforms that will boost the competitiveness of the next generation by nurturing their problem-solving ability and creativity (Jane, Jong, & Chai, 2019). STEM education refers to “solving problems that draw on concepts and procedures from mathematics and science while incorporating the teamwork and design methodology of engineering and using appropriate technology” (Shaughnessy, 2013, p. 324). Simply put, it serves as a means to integrate different disciplines as used in tackling real-life problems. In the long term, this cross-disciplinary subject is expected to enhance students’ problem-solving, critical and analytical thinking skills, and cultivate them to be constructive and innovative citizens (Jong, 2015; Merrill, 2009).

The significance of STEM education in today’s technologically-dominated world cannot be underestimated. STEM competencies, nowadays, are not only required within but also outside of the STEM occupations (So, Jong, & Liu, 2020). In this regard, the development of students’ STEM competencies has become an urgent goal of many education systems around the globe, especially in K-12. The U.S. government has heavily invested in STEM education by implementing some state-level initiatives. For example, The “Educate to Innovate” initiative, launched in 2009, aims to enhance STEM literacy, improve teaching quality and increase educational and career opportunities for the youth through the collaboration between the government, the private sector and the non-profit and research communities (Burke & McNeill, 2011). In the U.K., the STEM education reform aims to ensure the provision of qualified people in the STEM workforce and the development of STEM literacy for the public (Department of Education and Skills, 2006). In Asian countries such as Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Japan, STEM education has also emerged as an important curriculum reform (Ritz & Fan, 2015; So et al., 2020).

Guest editors:

Morris S. Y. JONG

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, HKSAR

Yanjie SONG

The Education University of Hong Kong, HKSAR


University of Michigan, USA

Cathleen NORRIS

University of North Texas, USA

There have been various definitions of the term artificial intelligence (AI) in the community of computer science. Different from “human intelligence,” AI refers to “computers that mimic cognitive functions that humans associate with the human mind, such as learning and problem-solving” (Russell, & Norvig, 2009, p. 2). Russell and Norvig (2009) argued that AI could be defined from the perspective of the intelligent agent, which can perceive the percepts from the external environment and take actions through the effectors to adapt to the environment changes or achieve certain goals. Moreover, Poole and Mackworth (2010, p.1) defined AI as “a system that acts intelligently: What it does is appropriate for its circumstances and its goal, it is flexible to changing environments and changing goals, it learns from experience, and it makes appropriate choices given perceptual limitations and finite computation.”

Although AI is not a new term, the meaning of modern AI has been changed compared to conventional AI techniques. Recently, modern AI is normally referred to the Deep Neural Networks (DNN) based techniques in recent years (Yosinski, Clune, Bengio, & Lipson, 2014). The DNN-based AI and analytic techniques have led to a significant evolution in both academic and industrial fields. With the rapid development of modern AI and analytics techniques like convolution neural networks (CNN), generative adversarial networks (GAN), reinforcement learning (RL), and so on, which are based on DNN paradigms, in recent years, there have been a huge number of innovative applications in various domains. For example, long short-term memory (LSTM) techniques have been exploited for predicting stock market prices (Sirignano, & Cont, 2019); CNN techniques have been adopted in surveillance systems, or self-driving cars (Hu & Ni, 2017; Chen, Ma, Wan, Li, & Xia, 2017) and RL methods have created some famous AI applications like Alpha GO (Silver et al., 2016).

Guest editors:

Haoran Xie

Lingnan University, Hong Kong SAR

Gwo-Jen Hwang

National Taiwan University of Sicence and Technology, Taiwan

Tak-Lam Wong

Douglas College, Canada

November 26, 2019

General Call for Special-Issue Proposals

Educational Technology & Society (ET&S) welcomes special issue proposals on specific themes or topics that address the usage of technology for pedagogical purposes, particularly those reflecting current research trends through in-depth research.

For more information, please visit the Special Issue Proposals page.

The ET&S Editorial Office

November 11, 2019

Why re-open the operation of ET&S journal?

After the suspension of ET&S journal, the editorial office continues to receive different types of requests, things like people reporting plagiarism issues, people asking for certificates of contributions, publishers/libraries requesting permissions for archiving certain articles or reproducing a specific diagram, potential authors keep sending manuscripts for reviews and various types of queries about the journal matters, etc.

It is not easy to really end a journal which has 22 years of history, at least not from the surface level. This triggers the editorial office to reconsider resuming the operation of ET&S journal and to establish a more sustainable operation model. A stable funding source and enough manpower are the two essential conditions to keep ET&S a fully open access journal. Furthermore, having a well-formed operational guideline is crucial to make the editorial office systematically running and to achieve its sustainability.

The ET&S journal has established a solid and stable editorial office with the support of National Yunlin University of Science and Technology. The new Editors-in-Chief have been appointed aiming to promote innovative educational technology research based on empirical inquires to echo the pedagogical essentials of learning in the real world—lifelong learning, competency-orientation, and multimodal literacy in the 21st century.

The ET&S Editorial Office