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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

S. Afr. j. educ. vol.34 n.2 Pretoria Jun. 2014


Technology innovation in education research



Guest Editors: Dinçay Köksal and Salim Razi

The globalization and digital environment are essential characteristics of today's rapidly changing world. Inevitably, learning and teaching facilities are under the impact of such changes. As indicated by O'Reilly (2005), web 2.0 tools have become popular. Such tools make use of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook in addition to Wikipedia and YouTube in which visitors can contribute to the content of the web sites. Previously, individuals' intention when using the Internet may simply have been to surf in order to retrieve information. Such a one-way communication facility requires little interaction with the content of a web page. However, with the democratisation of the Internet web 2.0 tools now provide social connection and allow Internet users to take part in the presentation of materials - such as uploading photos and videos along with publishing personalised blogs and messages by means of social networking sites. The advantages provided by social media and web 2.0 tools may also contribute to contemporary educational facilities. Although this seems to be advantageous in terms of providing alternative education facilities, the long-term implications of such interactions require investigation.

Inquiry into the education implications of technological developments promises interesting knowledge contributions for a range of education-related domains. For instance, the simplicity of retrieving information from the Internet has increased concerns related to plagiarism in learners' assignment submissions (e.g. Sentleng & King, 2012). Consequently online plagiarism detectors, such as Turnitin, emerged as prominent quality assurance structures in assessment.

Educational research is also required to interrogate the intersections of design needs for innovative and effective learning environments. Technological developments seem to have both simplified and complicated instructional processes and experiences of teachers and students. Instructional technologies used in classrooms have to align with the dynamic trend of change synonymous with a technological era. The use of interactive boards is one such example. In a neo-liberalist marathon, schools compete to replace outdated blackboards with popular interactive boards (Beauchamp, 2004). To effectively benefit from such instructional technologies, teachers need evidence-based training about the utility of interactive boards.

Another technological innovation used in instruction is smart phones - used by both teachers and students. These portable devices provide accessible learning facilities to students. The function of mobility, providing intensive and extensive learning opportunities, may hold a significant advantage for education innovation (Yang, 2013). As in the case with interactive boards, rigorous studies are required to disseminate knowledge on the efficacy and utility of smart phones for education.

Within the scope of these discussions, this special issue aims to bring together scholars with expertise in a variety of fields in order to investigate the notion of 'technology innovation in education research' to contribute knowledge on the intersection between technological innovation and related education theory, practice and policy. Interested researchers are expected to disseminate evidence-based knowledge that sheds light on the application of cutting-edge instructional technologies in education. Related studies may investigate learning and teaching assisted by instructional technologies.



Beauchamp G 2004. Teacher use of the interactive whiteboard in primary schools: towards an effective transition framework. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 13:327-348.         [ Links ] O'Reilly T 2005. Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Available at Accessed 30 January 2014.         [ Links ]

Sentleng MP & King L 2012. Plagiarism among undergraduate students in the Faculty of Applied Science at a South African Higher Education Institution. SA Jnl Libs & Info Sci, 78(1): 57-67. Available at Accessed 30 January 2014.         [ Links ]

Yang J 2013. Mobile assisted language learning: review of the recent applications of emerging mobile technologies. English Language Teaching, 6:19-25.         [ Links ]



Closing date for submissions: 15 April 2015



Completed manuscripts should be e-mailed for review to .

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