The Internet and Online Pedagogy

 Articles should be submitted by 30 November.

Articles will be published in the July issue.

The Internet attracts our attention because we find it an effective way of doing many different things. This effectiveness is constantly put to the test in many aspects of life, such as politics, administration, health, consumerism, business, work, music, gaming and the construction of language. In the same way as in these social areas, talking about education today without mentioning the Internet is practically impossible; in fact, the absence of the Internet is much more obvious. However, the Internet is not simply a set of effective tools. The Internet implies unique ways of thinking, doing and feeling, which we draw on to contemplate and represent classic processes in a mediated, global and networked way. The Internet does not invent education, and it may not be more effective for learning, but it does help us think about educational matters from a different angle.

There is a long, diverse and rich pedagogical tradition in education but, as far as the Internet is concerned, the discipline is currently under construction. In this process, however, the pedagogical task cannot be whittled down to identifying only the most suitable Web application or Internet tool because this would reduce pedagogical reflection to the search for answers to the question of what we should learn with. The Internet is an educational environment and not just a source of didactic material, and it raises many questions. The meaning of pedagogical reflection as regards the Internet is behind the issue of which educational function can be added to the technological system created by it, and not simply the other way round.

Therefore, while the Internet offers thousands of applications to learn something, pedagogy seeks something more constant in this technological development: to understand and construct a series of principles and models in order to make the most of the social and cultural conditions that online teaching and learning imply. Discussing online pedagogical matters is not only about knowing which Internet tool we are going to use, but also why we are going to use it and how it – along with other variables – changes our way of understanding the educational space, sequencing issues, educational agents, the relationship with the curriculum, methodology and knowledge production, among other aspects. For all of these reasons, the ultimate goal of pedagogical knowledge is not to impose a technological tool on education, but instead to offer a framework of educational representation on the Internet. Educational matters on the Internet represent a pedagogical challenge.

That is why, together with a broad and sophisticated group of technological solutions on the Internet, pedagogical endeavours to systematise visions and validate experiences are being identified; these are renewing the way of conceiving educational matters in online learning environments. It is not simply a matter of didactic concern or ways of teaching online, but of an integral vision or a worldview of how our way of understanding education and, by extension,

social and cultural dynamics on the Internet is changing. In other words, the pedagogical task is to give educational meaning to the Internet.

Pedagogy and pedagogical thinking, with invaluable support from the various disciplines already concerned with the Internet, reside in the ability to articulate and offer new ways of educational representation. Besides interdisciplinary matters, this construction is not a mechanical path that consists in shifting old pedagogy onto the Internet; nor is it something that can be done at the same speed as the construction of technology. The pedagogical task is to identify a series of educational problems that can open up debate, clarify issues and refine didactic methodologies through educational research. This is the principal interest of this call for papers.

Why simply talk of the Internet in education when it is possible to talk of online pedagogy?

Subject areas

We are seeking contributions that enable reflection and provide research results on the Special Section topic from all disciplines concerned with educational matters around the world.

Specifically, the thematic areas of the Special Section are:

Essays on or situational reviews of topics such as:

  • Society, pedagogy and e-learning
  • The challenges for pedagogy as an educational discipline in Internet times
  • Epistemological problems surrounding knowledge and e-learning

Research works:

  • Evaluation of emerging pedagogical models on the Internet
  • Analysis of pedagogical discourse about the Internet
  • Impact of new Internet disciplines on didactic proposals
  • Review of the scientific literature on pedagogy and the Internet
  • Special educational needs and online models
  • Technological offering and educational needs
  • Online pedagogy and culture in the classroom
  • Pedagogical challenges of online assessment
  • E-learning and identity

Guest editors

Begoña Gros holds a doctorate in Pedagogy from the University of Barcelona (UB), Spain, and is a lecturer at that university. From 2007 to 2011, she was vice-rector for Research and Innovation at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Spain. She is currently a principal researcher within the “Learning Environments and Materials” group. Her areas of research are digital technologies and learning, and especially topics related to innovation, learning environment design and e-learning. She has participated in and coordinated research at national and international levels. She is a member of the Scientific Boards of several national and international journals (International Journal of Web-based Communities, Educational Research and Development, Comunicación y Educación, RUSC. Universities and Knowledge Society Journal, etc.).

Terry Anderson holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology, specialising in Digital Educational Applications, from the University of Calgary, Canada, and is a lecturer at Athabasca University – Canada’s Open University. He is the editor emeritus of The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and director of the Canadian Initiative for Distance Education (CIDER). His area of research is the use of social technology in distance-education learning. He has given various lectures around the world on the educational impact of the Internet, he manages and participates in several scientific research projects, and he is a Board member of several top-ranking scientific journals.

Cristóbal Suárez holds a doctorate in Education in Virtual Training Processes from the University of Salamanca (USAL), Spain, and is a lecturer in the Department of Didactics and School Organisation at the University of Valencia (UV), Spain. He has been the coordinator of SCOPEO, the Virtual Training Observatory, at USAL, and the coordinator of virtual pedagogical management at several universities. He currently participates in research projects on education, the Internet and learning at national and international levels, he is the associate editor of the journal Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia (RIED), and his articles have been published in research journals on the topics of educational development and the Internet, and especially on pedagogical innovation, cooperative online learning, digital educational culture and e-learning designs.

We strongly recommend checking the journal’s author guidelines before submitting an article. Please, remember to specify that it is for the SPECIAL SECTION PEDAGOGY.