Panel 1: “Smartness of Technology” or “Smartness of Learners”: Is it a Zero-Sum Game? Or Can We Have Both?

Chair: Lung-Hsiang WONG, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

Gautam BISWAS, Vanderbilt University, USA
Ben DO BOULAY, University of Sessex, UK
Ulrich HOPPE, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Riichiro MIZOGUCHI, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), Japan

Chee-Kit LOOI, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

Abstract: In the second decade of the 21st century, we see the proliferation of cloud computing, Internet of Things/People, and big data/analytics, and the rejuvenation of Artificial Intelligence, robotics, virtual realities and augmented realities, etc., which have triggered the trends of building smart nations, smart cities, smart offices and smart homes all over the world. Such a trend has also shown its influence in the learning technology field where scholars and developers have begun to adapt and synthesise such state-of-the-art technologies to construct smart learning environments and tools. Notwithstanding, it is the time for us to take a step back and reflect upon – in the era where even intelligent robots could sit in high-stakes examinations and “perform better” than most of the human students, what kind of smart students and smart citizens do we really need and want to foster? What kinds of smart learning environments do that we need to develop to achieve the stated aim? What are the underpinning educational principles that the designers of such environments should adopt? This panel aims to bring together scholars who have worked in specific learning technologies or technology-aided pedagogies to co-identify the human-oriented (rather than technology-driven) objectives of the “smart learning” wave, and to possibly re-look or even re-define the notion of “smart learning”.

Panel 2: Designing an Innovative PBL Pedagogy to Empower Language Learners

Chair: Wen-Chi Vivian WU, Asia University, Taiwan

Ching-Huei CHEN, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
Lu- Fang LIN, Institute of Applied English, National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan
Lung-Hsiang WONG, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore,
Tosh YAMAMOTO, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Kansai University, Japan

Abstract: Over the past two decades, PBL approach has been widely adopted as a principal teaching approach and proved to be an effective technique to enhance learner performance as well as other academic related skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving and autonomy, but the studies on PBL has been mainly conducted in medical related fields. Literature review on PBL in other disciplines remains relatively scant. In view of this, this panel containing five separate but interrelated PBL empirical studies will go beyond the scope of the medical discipline.

Considering PBL is a multi-dimensional concept, each of the study will deal with a distinct aspect/skill as a result of PBL practice. Chen’s study examines self-regulated and shared-regulated learning in the problem-based learning environment. Lin’s study focuses on fostering student affections for English language learners. Wu’s study deals with another vital PBL notion, which is social constructivism, resulting from active interaction and cooperation among language learners in the learning process of PBL instruction. Wong will present a conceptual design that hybridizes seamless language learning and problem-based language learning. Finally, Yamamoto’s study will combine PBL and TBL and approach PBL from a global perspective.

Panel 3: An International Forum on Computational Thinking Education in K-12: Why, What, and How Computational Thinking Education is Being Implemented in Different Parts of the World

Chair: Siu Cheung KONG, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Co-Chair: Chee Kit LOOI, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Marcelo MILRAD, Linnaeus University, Sweden
Marc JANSEN, University of Applied Sciences Ruhr West, Germany
Chee Kit LOOI, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Siu Cheung KONG, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Gautam BISWAS, Vanderbilt University, USA

Abstract: In this panel, there will be presentations by panelists from different countries/regions on their experience in practicing and promoting computational thinking education (CTE) in their own countries/regions. The aim of the international forum is to share the insightful experience and good practices, as well as spell out the worth-noting challenges encountered during the implementation of CTE in K-12. According to the experience of the project CoolThink@JC in Hong Kong, there are lessons learned in the aspects of curriculum development, teacher development, teaching assistant development, school leadership, and parental education. A national/regional strategy is genuinely needed for addressing these aspects in the promotion and implementation of a promising CTE in K-12. This panel will serve as an international forum for a discussion about national/regional policies on CTE in K-12, with the major concerns on an actionable curriculum in programming education, a short-/long-term teacher development plan, a sustainable parent education campaign, and a social consensus from the whole nation/region with determination to promote CTE for nurturing the competitiveness of next generation.