Challenges of the Digital Era for Education, Learning and Working:
Researchers and Practitioners in Dialogue
The European Association for Practitioner Research on Improving Learning (EAPRIL) aims to promote practice-based and practitioner research on teaching and learning within formal, informal, non-formal, lifelong learning and professional development contexts. EAPRIL aims to professionally develop and train educators and, as a result, to enhance practice.
EAPRIL’s conference in 2016 focuses on in-depth dialogue between practitioner researchers who will be able to describe, share and discuss the current and future technological challenges within education. As we are living in a Digital Era, EAPRIL delegates will have opportunities to exchange, think and rethink innovations in education, learning and working, as well as exploring the impact of virtual technology.
Invited sessions and keynote speeches on various practices of research, teaching and training will feed this discussion. Prof. Dianna Laurillard will focus in her keynote on how teachers can become more innovated in virtual learning. How can we support teachers, via technology, to innovate? Prof. Alexander Gröschner will focus on how video-‐analyses can be part teachers’ professional development.
EAPRIL wishes to encourage its delegates to accept the challenge of creating innovative teaching/learning paradigms, to dare to create new materials and develop curricula, to present innovative solutions and supportive technology devices and services to prevent information exclusion. We encourage everyone to take advantage of technology to benefit students, employers and society at large during interactions between humans and machines. All advanced scenarios seem feasible. We may integrate new technology into many facets of our daily lives. However, the fact is that technology is not only generating new machines and equipment to support us in performing our daily tasks, but it also suggests new settings, new ways of acting, socialising, engaging, thinking and living, and last, but not least, researching.
However, educators around the world are faced not only with the chances, but also the risks associated with problematic use of screen media, such as cybermobbing, short attention spans, inattention of students due to inappropriate use of technology during analogue teaching experiences (unwanted smartphone use in the classroom), internet gaming disorder and other types of internet addiction. What are the new skills teachers need to become active in the prevention of problematic screen media use to support pupils and their parents adequately? What are the consequences for professional development courses to empower teachers for informed action to face this other side of challenges of the digital era?
In addition, EAPRIL challenges delegates to discuss and defend established approaches that do not necessarily use new technology. Furthermore, we would also encourage delegates to reflect on the multiple purposes of education and professional learning (such as socialization or professional identity development) within this new era.
EAPRIL 2016 will launch you into this thrilling world and wishes to open up discussion and to stimulate in-‐depth reflection. Not only for education, learning and ways of working but also in order to explore implications for practitioner research by posing the question: to what extent are our research models, frames, and methods changed by, or emanating from, this digital era?