Recently, there has been an ongoing international debate on the use of technology, innovative approaches and research to transform teaching and learning in schools at all levels. In the book Innovations, Technologies and Research in Education, Linda Daniela and her contributors add to this discussion by providing fresh and valuable insights from research and practice within these fields.
This book is based on a selection of papers presented during the ATEE Spring Conference held on 12-13 May 2017 in Riga. The main pitfall that is often encountered in conference proceedings is their highly fragmented and poorly organized structure. But that is not the case with this book! All credit definitely goes to the editor Linda Daniela, who ensured that the book’s structure is as coherent and logical as possible. The book consists of 25 chapters presenting deliberations on the three categories mentioned in the title. However, more than half chapters focus on issues related to the use of new learning and teaching technologies in education. It is noteworthy that the authors of these chapters present interesting and promising research results on the use of technology not only in the classroom, but also in pre-service or in-service teacher education courses (e.g., online master’s programmes, an e-learning platform, a Lego robot, etc.). Thus, we receive a comprehensive view on technology as an integrated part of educational processes at different levels.
Furthermore, apart from appropriate research methodologies and good presentation of study findings, the authors formulate realistic pedagogical suggestions, which may provide some inspiration for educational professionals to improve or change their everyday practice. In other words, this book merges theory with practice effectively, which may help different groups of readers better understand the nature and process of implementing new technologies in education. It is also worth mentioning that most of the authors represent a balanced approach to applying modern technologies in the educational process, not only perceiving their (obvious) advantages, but also some limitations, which I think is very valuable.
Apart from aspects connected with the use of new technologies to improve the teaching-learning process, the book interestingly discusses the competencies required from (future) teachers and principals in the 21st century (e.g., time management skills, teamwork skills, and goal management skills), and current trends and issues in teacher preparation for school health education, sexuality education, or inclusive education.
I recommend this book for researchers at various levels who are keen on extending their knowledge on technologies and innovations in education. Furthermore, it would help educational practitioners to understand the role and importance of using technologies or innovative approaches in their workplace settings, as this would contribute to the development of their technological self-efficacy.
Reviewed by Dr Marta Kowalczuk-Walędziak
Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, University of Bialystok, Poland
Innovations, Technologies and Research in Education is available to purchase now here.