Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Digital technologies Related Abstracts

7 Enquiry Based Approaches to Teaching Grammar and Differentiation in the Senior Japanese Classroom

Authors: Julie Devine


This presentation will look at the approaches to teaching grammar taken over two years with students studying Japanese in the last two years of high school. The main focus is an enquiry based approach to grammar introduction and a three tier system using videos and online support material to allow for differentiation and personalised learning in the classroom. The aim is to create space for motivated students to do some higher order activities using the target pattern to solve problems and create scenarios. Less motivated students have time to complete basic exercises and struggling students have some time with the teacher in smaller groups.

Keywords: Student Engagement, Digital technologies, Differentiation, personalised learning plans

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6 Digital Memory plus City Cultural Heritage: The Peking Memory Project Experience

Authors: Jihong Liang, Huiling Feng, Li Niu, Xiaoshuang Jia


Beijing, formerly romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People's Republic of China and the world's second most populous city proper and most populous capital city. Beijing is a noted historical and cultural whose city history dates back three millennia which is extremely rich in terms of cultural heritage. In 2012, a digital memory project led by Humanistic Beijing Studies Center in Renmin University of China started with the goal to build a total digital collection of knowledge assets about Beijing and represent Beijing memories in new fresh ways. The title of the entire project is ‘Peking Memory Project(PMP)’. The main goal is for safeguarding the documentary heritage and intellectual memory of Beijing, more specifically speaking, from the perspective of historical humanities and public participation, PMP will comprehensively applied digital technologies like digital capture, digital storage, digital process, digital presentation and digital communication to transform different kinds of cultural heritage of Beijing into digital formats that can be stored, re-organized and shared. These digital memories can be interpreted with a new perspective, be organized with a new theme, be presented in a new way and be utilized with a new need. Taking social memory as theoretical basis and digital technologies as tools, PMP is framed with ‘Two Sites and A Repository’. Two sites mean the special website(s) characterized by ‘professional’ and an interactive website characterized by ‘crowdsourcing’. A Repository means the storage pool used for safety long-time preservation of the digital memories. The work of PMP has ultimately helped to highlight the important role in safeguarding the documentary heritage and intellectual memory of Beijing.

Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Digital technologies, digital memory, peking memory project

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5 Motivation and Quality Teaching of Chinese Language: Analysis of Secondary School Studies

Authors: Robyn Moloney, HuiLing Xu


Many countries wish to produce Asia-literate citizens, through language education. International contexts of Chinese language education are seeking pedagogical innovation to meet local contextual factors frequently holding back learner success. In multicultural Australia, innovative pedagogy is urgently needed to support motivation in sustained study, with greater strategic integration of technology. This research took a qualitative approach to identify need and solutions. The paper analyses strategies that three secondary school teachers are adopting to meet specific challenges in the Australian context. The data include teacher interviews, classroom observations and student interviews. We highlight the use of task-based learning and differentiated teaching for multilevel classes, and the role which digital technologies play in facilitating both areas. The strategy examples are analysed in reference both to a research-based framework for describing quality teaching, and to current understandings of motivation in language learning. The analysis of data identifies learning featuring deep knowledge, higher-order thinking, engagement, social support, utilisation of background knowledge, and connectedness, all of which work towards the learners having a sense of autonomy and an imagination of becoming an adult Chinese language user.

Keywords: Motivation, Digital technologies, secondary school, Chinese pedagogy

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4 A Digital Environment for Developing Mathematical Abilities in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: M. Isabel Santos, Ana Breda, Ana Margarida Almeida


Research on academic abilities of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) underlines the importance of mathematics interventions. Yet the proposal of digital applications for children and youth with ASD continues to attract little attention, namely, regarding the development of mathematical reasoning, being the use of the digital technologies an area of great interest for individuals with this disorder and its use is certainly a facilitative strategy in the development of their mathematical abilities. The use of digital technologies can be an effective way to create innovative learning opportunities to these students and to develop creative, personalized and constructive environments, where they can develop differentiated abilities. The children with ASD often respond well to learning activities involving information presented visually. In this context, we present the digital Learning Environment on Mathematics for Autistic children (LEMA) that was a research project conducive to a PhD in Multimedia in Education and was developed by the Thematic Line Geometrix, located in the Department of Mathematics, in a collaboration effort with DigiMedia Research Center, of the Department of Communication and Art (University of Aveiro, Portugal). LEMA is a digital mathematical learning environment which activities are dynamically adapted to the user’s profile, towards the development of mathematical abilities of children aged 6–12 years diagnosed with ASD. LEMA has already been evaluated with end-users (both students and teacher’s experts) and based on the analysis of the collected data readjustments were made, enabling the continuous improvement of the prototype, namely considering the integration of universal design for learning (UDL) approaches, which are of most importance in ASD, due to its heterogeneity. The learning strategies incorporated in LEMA are: (i) provide options to custom choice of math activities, according to user’s profile; (ii) integrates simple interfaces with few elements, presenting only the features and content needed for the ongoing task; (iii) uses a simple visual and textual language; (iv) uses of different types of feedbacks (auditory, visual, positive/negative reinforcement, hints with helpful instructions including math concept definitions, solved math activities using split and easier tasks and, finally, the use of videos/animations that show a solution to the proposed activity); (v) provides information in multiple representation, such as text, video, audio and image for better content and vocabulary understanding in order to stimulate, motivate and engage users to mathematical learning, also helping users to focus on content; (vi) avoids using elements that distract or interfere with focus and attention; (vii) provides clear instructions and orientation about tasks to ease the user understanding of the content and the content language, in order to stimulate, motivate and engage the user; and (viii) uses buttons, familiarly icons and contrast between font and background. Since these children may experience little sensory tolerance and may have an impaired motor skill, besides the user to have the possibility to interact with LEMA through the mouse (point and click with a single button), the user has the possibility to interact with LEMA through Kinect device (using simple gesture moves).

Keywords: Inclusion, Digital technologies, Autism spectrum disorder, mathematical abilities, mathematical learning activities

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3 A Preliminary Literature Review of Digital Transformation Case Studies

Authors: Vesna Bosilj Vuksic, Dalia Suša Vugec, Lucija Ivančić


While struggling to succeed in today’s complex market environment and provide better customer experience and services, enterprises encompass digital transformation as a means for reaching competitiveness and foster value creation. A digital transformation process consists of information technology implementation projects, as well as organizational factors such as top management support, digital transformation strategy, and organizational changes. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is little evidence about digital transformation endeavors in organizations and how they perceive it – is it only about digital technologies adoption or a true organizational shift is needed? In order to address this issue and as the first step in our research project, a literature review is conducted. The analysis included case study papers from Scopus and Web of Science databases. The following attributes are considered for classification and analysis of papers: time component; country of case origin; case industry and; digital transformation concept comprehension, i.e. focus. Research showed that organizations – public, as well as private ones, are aware of change necessity and employ digital transformation projects. Also, the changes concerning digital transformation affect both manufacturing and service-based industries. Furthermore, we discovered that organizations understand that besides technologies implementation, organizational changes must also be adopted. However, with only 29 relevant papers identified, research positioned digital transformation as an unexplored and emerging phenomenon in information systems research. The scarcity of evidence-based papers calls for further examination of this topic on cases from practice.

Keywords: Digital technologies, Digital transformation, literature review, digital strategy

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2 Digital Media Use and Access among Rural Youth in South Africa: The Prospects for Female Empowerment

Authors: Fulufhelo Oscar Makananise


Digital technologies have played a significant role in bridging the information gap between the haves and the have nots in society. In developing countries such as South Africa, historically marginalised groups such as women in rural communities have an opportunity to use digital technologies to network among themselves as well as interact with their government, thereby enhancing prospects for poverty eradication, political participation, community development and democracy. However, the extent to which these goals can be achieved in a developing context through harnessing digital technologies is not quite clear, particularly given the fact that access to these technologies is not evenly distributed and the fact that women’s access to digital technologies is hampered by factors that go beyond the question of infrastructure. Informed by the technological dependency theory, this paper is about how female youth in rural South Africa are deploying digital media tools for socio-economic empowerment. In particular, the study investigated the extent to which female youth in Limpopo province, South Africa access and use digital media platforms and gadgets and the extent to which those technologies are breaking down barriers that stand in the way of female youth empowerment. Data were gathered using a self-administered questionnaire disseminated to selected 100 female youth in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The data were analysed using SPSS version 9, and the results were analysed using descriptive statistics. The paper argues that wider and constant access to digital media by female youth in rural areas is indicative of the great potential for empowering female youth in rural areas through harnessing digital media. The study established that the majority of female youth had access to digital media technologies and used them to share valuable information among themselves. The study further established that female youth are active users of digital media in South Africa, which is the significant driver for socio-economic empowerment.

Keywords: Digital technologies, Survey, Empowerment, South Africa, female youth, technological dependency

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1 The Use of Social Stories and Digital Technology as Interventions for Autistic Children; A State-Of-The-Art Review and Qualitative Data Analysis

Authors: S. Hussain, C. Grieco, M. Brosnan


Background and Aims: Autism is a complex neurobehavioural disorder, characterised by impairments in the development of language and communication skills. The study involved a state-of-art systematic review, in addition to qualitative data analysis, to establish the evidence for social stories as an intervention strategy for autistic children. An up-to-date review of the use of digital technologies in the delivery of interventions to autistic children was also carried out; to propose the efficacy of digital technologies and the use of social stories to improve intervention outcomes for autistic children. Methods: Two student researchers reviewed a range of randomised control trials and observational studies. The aim of the review was to establish if there was adequate evidence to justify recommending social stories to autistic patients. Students devised their own search strategies to be used across a range of search engines, including Ovid-Medline, Google Scholar and PubMed. Students then critically appraised the generated literature. Additionally, qualitative data obtained from a comprehensive online questionnaire on social stories was also thematically analysed. The thematic analysis was carried out independently by each researcher, using a ‘bottom-up’ approach, meaning contributors read and analysed responses to questions and devised semantic themes from reading the responses to a given question. The researchers then placed each response into a semantic theme or sub-theme. The students then joined to discuss the merging of their theme headings. The Inter-rater reliability (IRR) was calculated before and after theme headings were merged, giving IRR for pre- and post-discussion. Lastly, the thematic analysis was assessed by a third researcher, who is a professor of psychology and the director for the ‘Centre for Applied Autism Research’ at the University of Bath. Results: A review of the literature, as well as thematic analysis of qualitative data found supporting evidence for social story use. The thematic analysis uncovered some interesting themes from the questionnaire responses, relating to the reasons why social stories were used and the factors influencing their effectiveness in each case. However, overall, the evidence for digital technologies interventions was limited, and the literature could not prove a causal link between better intervention outcomes for autistic children and the use of technologies. However, they did offer valid proposed theories for the suitability of digital technologies for autistic children. Conclusions: Overall, the review concluded that there was adequate evidence to justify advising the use of social stories with autistic children. The role of digital technologies is clearly a fast-emerging field and appears to be a promising method of intervention for autistic children; however, it should not yet be considered an evidence-based approach. The students, using this research, developed ideas on social story interventions which aim to help autistic children.

Keywords: Intervention, Digital technologies, autistic children, social stories

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