Keynote: Implications of Digital Generations for a Learning Society: New Technologies, Pedagogies, and Assessments

Implications of Digital Generations for a Learning Society: New Technologies, Pedagogies, and Assessments
Prof. Gerald Knezek, University of North Texas
14:30 – 15:30, 29 May 2015 (Friday)
Room 408A, 409A & 410, 4/F, Meng Wah Complex, The University of Hong Kong
Medium of instruction:
English 英語
Emerging pedagogies and technologies; Designing and assessing learning
Dr. Lu Jingyan, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, HKU


Millennials as first generation digital natives are now becoming parents and teachers of the second generation. Will this common ground lead to new advances in teaching and learning or new distractions away from reality and meaningful human experiences? The dual purposes of education in any society are to: 1) develop skills and 2) transmit culture to the next generation. However, based on some well know characteristics of digital age learners, there may be cause to wonder whether the “connected generation” is indeed a new human being, losing the unique aspects of the cultures into which they were born. Conversely, there are also many reasons to be optimistic and full of hope for millennials. The computational power in the hands of a typical early teen would have been inconceivable just a few decades ago. The prospects for harnessing gamification, fablabs, location and context aware technology, wearable technology, automated feedback and grading tools – for the good of the individual and society – are amazing. The real issue is how to properly align these affordances for new ways of promoting creativity and problem-solving abilities, as well as foster the social and emotional skills needed for our society of the future.

About the speaker

Dr. Knezek’s research interests include measuring attitudes and dispositions toward information technology, developing and testing formal models of technology integration, developing practical research designs, and refining scaling methods and techniques. He is Director of the Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching & Learning (IITTL) at UNT and immediate Past President of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE). He was a Founder of the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group on Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning (TACTL SIG). He is Lead Principal Investigator for a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovative Technologies project Going Green! Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World (NSF #1312168), a four-year scale-up expanding five years of initial funding (MSOSW, NSF #0833706) aimed at enhancing middle school student interest in STEM content and careers. He is Co-Principal Investigator for an NSF-funded Digital Fabrication project conducted at UNT in collaboration with the University of Virginia and Cornell University (Fab@School, NSF #1030865) featuring the development of engineering design skills at the upper elementary school level. He was previously Co-Principal Investigator for a U.S. Fund for Improvement for Post-Secondary Education project titled simMentoring (#P116B060398, 2007-2010) as well as an NSF Research in Disabilities grant featuring the placement of virtual students with disabilities in dynamic, online simulator or teachers (2009-11). His most recent funding in the strand of games and simulations for teaching and learning was serving as Co-PI on the umbrella grant and lead PI on the local UNT award from Gates/EDUCAUSE to expand the user base of simSchool worldwide to 10,000.