Introducing a tech-friendly journal: Issues and Trends in Educational Technology

These days, I am back in Tucson and it is around 100F here; however, thanks to monsoon, heat becomes more tolerable, if not humid, though.

Of course, after a considerable length of time of not being able to post on my blog, I will not be allocating all of my post to weather and my summer holiday back in Turkey; instead, I would like to introduce a very tech-friendly journal supported by the University Libraries at the University of Arizona. I thought it would be a good idea to briefly mention this new journal since I know there are a lot of students and researchers at every level out there who wish to publish their research and spread their word.

ITET Webpage
ITET Webpage

Issues and Trends in Educational Technology is a peer-reviewed open access journal that covers the theory, design, development and assessment of educational technology. It is supported by the University Libraries and uses the Open Journal Systems platform.

Issues and Trends in Educational Technology(ITET) covers design, development, use and assessment of educational technology in innovative ways, and features articles about research and theory as well as book, serious game and article reviews. The journal takes full advantage of its nature as an online publication, and authors are encouraged to submit material that would be unsuited for traditional print publication, such as video, high-resolution color images, software, and interactive data visualizations.

ITET archive by authors

What I like most about this journal and what makes it more tech-friendly in addition to the things above is the fact that ITET publishes articles as they are ready, twice a year. That means there is no need to wait for a specific day for the journal to come out in print or to be published online, which makes it really flexible.

 

One of the missions of ITET is to provide access to exemplary graduate student work. We highly encourage submission of distinguished student papers (course projects, papers written as part of a graduate coursework, grants, etc.).  Graduate student work is presented in a separate section of the journal, with a distinct and clearly-articulated review process.

Then, if you are a student or a researcher who is looking for a peer-reviewed journal that covers design, development, use and assessment of educational technology in innovative ways, and features articles about research and theory as well as book, serious game and article reviews, I am sure ITET must be the right place for you. You can still visit ITET’s website or write to the editors for further information.

Thank you for reading this post.

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Reflections on the past semester in SLAT, University of Arizona

I was planning this post toward the end of the Fall semester when I was dealing with lots of papers and assignments in a very hectic way, but I have just created some time to write this post and give information about the program I am studying at. In my following blog posts, I also would like to give information about the university and the city as well. This is my first blog post in 2014, and I hope I might write quite more often to update about me, life in the States, and educational technology especially in language learning. Alright then, here is my reflections about my previous semester and SLAT from my perspective.

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SLAT, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, is one of a few interdisciplinary PhD programs at the University of Arizona. First of all, I do not know any other better decisions than the one to create a program in the field of language acquisition and teaching, which includes a total of 17 departments around the whole university. In fact, it is a program which does not belong to any faculty, but it is supported by many faculties. Before coming to Tucson, Arizona and starting this program, I frankly did not have much idea about this program in spite of all the comprehensive information provided on the SLAT website –handbooks, course lists, descriptions and etc. In other words, I can say that I discovered that had not known enough by the time I arrived in town and started figuring about it. In order to make it easy to follow, I am just going to list the things I discovered which might give my readers to have at least an idea about especially if they are interested in seeking a PhD degree in a related field. These are just some of things I have personally experienced and discovered so far:

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1. When I read these lines on SLAT website ‘The SLAT doctoral program is an interdisciplinary program with 79 faculty members located in 17 collaborating departments.’, they were just some promotional words and sentences for me. However, while making up my mind about the courses I could take at the beginning of semester, I noticed that I could take tens of courses depending on interest and aims. Of course, there are core courses that you have to take, too, but even for those courses there are a lot of alternatives. For example, I took a ‘qualitative research’ course from Higher Education department, and at first I thought that what is going to be taught would be irrelevant to my study topics, but the course gave me a really good perspective about planning higher education programs and showed me a bigger picture of university education. To my surprise, I also discovered that though they might be from different departments, most instructors and even students know SLAT program very well. In this course, I had the chance to practice qualitative research methods directly related to my study topic and introduced what I was studying to others from different departments.

2. As the area of SLAT is relatively huge, it has also successfully been divided into different areas which you can study based on your interests and future aims. Mainly, there are areas such as Pedagogy, Use, Analysis, and Processes which could be supported by various minor programs like Educational technology or any justifiable ones. It should not be understood that the areas are clearly separated and you have to forget the others when you choose one. In contrast, it is a fact that all these areas are related and you can shape your study in an integrative way as well.

3. So far, I have mentioned several facts and information most of which could be found on various sites or reference booklets; however, you need to be part of SLAT program to be able to see how all SLATsters are united with various social and academic events. For example, during the fall semester, we had the chance to gather through various events such as Welcome party, SLAT buddy party, Halloween party, Thanksgiving day and US SLATsters welcoming international students and etc. Not to mention how everybody is incredibly welcoming, friendly, and helpful when you need to ask, learn or request something. Last but not least, SLAT is hosting SLAT Roundtable 2014 event which is an academic seminar supported by plenary speakers and participants from not only UofA but other national colleges. All these organizations are done by students who come together, brainstorm, make decisions during SLATSA meetings. All in all, rather than just a PhD program in which everybody is taking courses toward their degrees and studies, SLAT is a platform where everybody including instructors, administrators, and students support each other for a better end.

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SLAT Thanksgiving Dinner

I hope I have illustrated a bit of a bigger picture of my experience so far. I have mentioned a lot about SLAT program and this has been enough for a blog post, I think, since I do not want to bore you. At my earliest convenience and whenever I can find time, I would like to write about University of Arizona from an international Fulbrighter’s perspective in the States, and also about the city of which most of my citizens or people living in other countries might not have an idea.

Thank you for your time reading and sharing your ideas!