Mirra, N. (2017). Call for proposals:  Special issue on connected learning and 21st century English teacher education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 17(3). https://citejournal.org/volume-17/issue-3-17/english-language-arts/call-for-proposals-special-issue-on-connected-learning-and-21st-century-english-teacher-education

Call for Proposals: Special Issue on Connected Learning and 21st Century English Teacher Education

by Nicole Mirra, Rutgers University


The Conference on English Education (CEE), the arm of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) that focuses on the preparation and support of English Language Arts teachers, has long been a leader in considering the appropriate role of technology in ELA teacher education. In 2005, CEE began an open conversation about this issue by publishing a position paper in the CITE English Teacher Education journal.

Over a decade later, technology has become ever more ubiquitous across the educational landscape and the need to continue the conversation about the uses (and abuses) of technology in teacher education has never been more urgent. Considering the ways that technology is dictating huge financial investments and dramatic pedagogical and curricular overhauls, it is time for us to (re)consider the education in education technology. The recent emergence of the connected learning framework provides a useful catalyst for a renewed discussion of technology, teaching, and learning.

The Connected Learning Alliance (https://clalliance.org), a group of scholars coordinated by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub of the University of California Humanities Research Institute, offers the following definition of connected learning:

Connected learning is when someone is pursuing a personal interest with the support of peers, mentors and caring adults, and in ways that open up opportunities for them. It is a fundamentally different mode of learning than education centered on fixed subjects, one-to-many instruction, and standardized testing. The research is clear. Young people learn best when actively engaged, creating, and solving problems they care about, and supported by peers who appreciate and recognize their accomplishments. Connected learning applies the best of the learning sciences to cutting-edge technologies in a networked world. While connected learning is not new, and does not require technology, new digital and networked technologies expand opportunities to make connected learning accessible to all young people. The “connected” in connected learning is about human connection as well as tapping the power of connected technologies. Rather than see technology as a means toward more efficient and automated forms of education, connected learning puts progressive, experiential, and learner-centered approaches at the center of technology-enhanced learning.

This definition focuses on youth learning. What about teachers – a key group of caring adults who facilitate youth learning opportunities? As the educational research community begins to engage with the connected learning framework, it is important to consider the applications to adult learning generally and teacher education specifically. Exposing teachers to connected learning is crucial to ensuring that young people will have access to it in classroom spaces and not just out-of-school learning sites. What does this look like in practice? What are the benefits, challenges, and contradictions of introducing the connected learning framework to teacher education within a context of accountability and standardization?  

CITE English journal solicits rigorous conceptual and/or empirical manuscripts that explore innovative applications of the connected learning framework to the education (preservice or in-service) of English language arts teachers. The works to be included in this issue should go beyond simple description of ELA teacher education activities utilizing technology; they must include analysis of the nature and purpose of technology use by drawing upon the connected learning framework’s research and design principles. Special attention should be paid to issues of equity and access.

The most competitive manuscripts will take advantage of CITE English journals online platform by including multimedia content (i.e., images, video, web links, etc.). Note: Multimedia content should be integral to the arguments being developed and not a decorative afterthought.

Abstracts for proposed manuscripts (maximum 500 words) should be submitted through the CITE Journal’s submission system by October 1, 2017, at 5 pm EST. Please include the phrase “Special Issue Abstract” in your submission’s title.

The authors invited to submit full manuscripts will be notified by October 15, 2017, and will be expected to submit their manuscripts for peer review no later than December 15, 2017, to allow time for revisions and publication in the June 2018 issue.

Questions about the special issue should be directed to CITE English journal editor, Nicole Mirra, at [email protected].