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Special Issue "Smart Sustainable Education: Innovative Digital Transformation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Anna Visvizi

1. School of Business, Deree—The American College of Greece, 6 Gravias Street GR-153 42 Aghia Paraskevi Athens, Greece
2. Effat University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: smart cities; migration; innovation networks; international business; political economy; economic integration; politics; EU, Central Europe, China
Guest Editor
Prof. Linda Daniela

University of Latvia, Latvia
E-Mail
Interests: learning theories; technology enhanced learning; constructivism and constructionism; smart education; sustainability in education; educational robotics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past few years, the development of Smart Technologies has triggered substantial changes in education and approaches to teaching and learning. At the same time, it raised question about the role of educational technologies in context of the necessity of fostering the development of inclusive and sustainable society. In other words, on the one hand, we need smart, innovative, collaborative learning infrastructures that will enable us to cultivate a specific 21st-century specific learning culture consistent with teaching and learning crossing the boundaries of time and space and time and hence becoming available everywhere. On the other hand, we need to build the capacity to exploit the opportunities, which smart use of smart technologies offers to the benefit of inclusive and sustainable development of the society. A variety of emerging technologies linked with evolving learning theories provide the value mix of Smart Education. The use of different smart solutions changes the role of teachers and educational environment. It also brings new questions to educational science as the traditional role of educator, i.e., as person who organizes the teaching and learning process is changed—but still there is open question about how to ensure sustainable development of cities, villages and society. Who and when will provide these knowledge for society? What is the role of smart education?

The objective of this Special Issue is to disseminate the latest high quality, interdisciplinary research in the domain of smart sustainable education to discuss ideas, problems, challenges and solutions for changes in society, which are brought by technological innovations and which is the place of education in that context.

The digital transformation of education is a key challenge for achieving sustainability. A variety of emerging technologies inked with evolving learning theories provide the value mix of Smart Education.

In parallel the quest of modern societies for sustainable innovations with a great impact on labor, and economic indexes is evident. In this context, the proposition of Smart Education is sound and timely. The design of flexible, customized, integrated, multidisciplinary curriculum and programs with advanced smart services required the understanding and analysis of theoretical models, meta frame works and applied research systems.

Additionally, Sustainability theories promote further the value contribution of the Special Issue. The intersections of innovation, international business and emerging business models linked with the advanced requirements of the high-tech economy pose critical questions:

  • Which are the Smart Education theories, models, tools and systems?
  • Which are the policies at governmental, educational and higher administration level for this integration?
  • Which are the implications of Smart Education at Micro, Mezzo and Macro level?
  • Which are the Societal Challenges, and Economic Implications for the realization of Smart Education at Global Scale?
  • Which are the scenarios for Smart Education Sustainable programs across countries and continents?

Aims of the Special Issue:

The Special Issue will explore the transformative impact of smart technologies for the provision of Smart Sustainable Education. It will integrate education, sustainability and innovation towards a new value adding proposition for higher education institutions.

The Special Issue serves as an innovation and entrepreneurship primer for higher education and promotes ideas for the enhancement of critical thinking and constructivism.

Topics of interest:

  • Higher Education Policies for the adoption  of Smart Education
  • Emerging technologies for Smart Education
  • Smart Education for International Collaboration
  • Smart Education for Innovation
  • Academia Industry Collaborations
  • Shared Curriculum and Programs across continents
  • Case Studies of Smart Education
  • Interactive Case Studies for postgraduate studies
  • Business Games
  • Gamification in Higher Education
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality for Smart  Education
  • Design of advanced internships programs
Prof. Linda Daniela
Prof. Anna Visvizi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • smart education
  • sustainability
  • emerging technologies
  • innovations
  • virtual and augmented reality

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Low-Cost Immersive Virtual Reality System for Teaching Robotic Manipulators Programming
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1102; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041102
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 7 April 2018
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Abstract
Laboratory tasks are a powerful pedagogical strategy for developing competences in science and engineering degrees, making students understand in a practical way the theoretical topics explained in the classroom. However, performing experiments in real conditions is usually expensive in terms of time, money
[...] Read more.
Laboratory tasks are a powerful pedagogical strategy for developing competences in science and engineering degrees, making students understand in a practical way the theoretical topics explained in the classroom. However, performing experiments in real conditions is usually expensive in terms of time, money and energy, as it requires expensive infrastructures that are generally difficult to maintain in good conditions. To overcome this problem, virtual reality has proven to be a powerful tool to achieve sustainability, making it easy to update laboratories without the need to acquire new equipment. Moreover, the ability to introduce practical knowledge into classrooms without leaving them, makes virtual laboratories capable of simulating typical operating environments as well as extreme situations in the operation of different devices. A typical subject in which students can benefit from the use of virtual laboratories is robotics. In this work we will develop an immersive virtual reality (VR) pedagogical simulator of industrial robotic arms for engineering students. With the proposed system, students will know the effects of their own designed trajectories on several different robotic arms and cell environments without having to buy all of them and being safe of damaging the cell components. The simulation will be checking for collisions of the elements in the scene and alert the student when they happen. This can be achieved with a robotic simulator, but the integration with immersive VR is intended to help students better understand robotics. Moreover, even having a real robotic arm available for students, with this proposed VR method, all the students have the opportunity to manage and learn his own version of the robotic cell, without waiting times generated by having less robotic arms than students in classroom. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Virtual Reality Learning Activities for Multimedia Students to Enhance Spatial Ability
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1074; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041074
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
Virtual Reality is an incipient technology that is proving very useful for training different skills. Our hypothesis is that it is possible to design virtual reality learning activities that can help students to develop their spatial ability. To prove the hypothesis, we have
[...] Read more.
Virtual Reality is an incipient technology that is proving very useful for training different skills. Our hypothesis is that it is possible to design virtual reality learning activities that can help students to develop their spatial ability. To prove the hypothesis, we have conducted an experiment consisting of training the students using an on-purpose learning activity based on a virtual reality application and assessing the possible improvement of the students’ spatial ability through a widely accepted spatial visualization test. The learning activity consists of a virtual environment where some simple polyhedral shapes are shown and manipulated by moving, rotating and scaling them. The students participating in the experiment are divided into a control and an experimental group, carrying out the same learning activity with the only difference of the device used for the interaction: a traditional computer with screen, keyboard and mouse for the control group, and virtual reality goggles with a smartphone for the experimental group. To assess the experience, all the students have completed a spatial visualization test twice: just before performing the activities and four weeks later, once all the activities were performed. Specifically, we have used the well-known and widely used Purdue Spatial Visualization Test—Rotation (PSVT-R), designed to test rotational visualization ability. The results of the test show that there is an improvement in the test results for both groups, but the improvement is significantly higher in the case of the experimental group. The conclusion is that the virtual reality learning activities have shown to improve the spatial ability of the experimental group. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Knowledge Graph in Smart Education: A Case Study of Entrepreneurship Scientific Publication Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10040995
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (10866 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, with the rapid growth of science and innovation, plenty of constantly-updated scientific achievements containing innovative knowledge can be acquired and used to solve problems. However, most undergraduate students and non-researchers cannot use them efficiently. In traditional teacher-centric education, education for
[...] Read more.
In recent years, with the rapid growth of science and innovation, plenty of constantly-updated scientific achievements containing innovative knowledge can be acquired and used to solve problems. However, most undergraduate students and non-researchers cannot use them efficiently. In traditional teacher-centric education, education for sustainability is often marginalized and the interdisciplinary demand is neglected. Additionally, it fails to provide education for learners to connect abstract knowledge with actual world problems. This paper presents the design of a scientific publication management model to integrate scientific metadata based on the knowledge graph and data analysis technologies. Based on this model, an interdisciplinary transregional multiple application platform could be realized for scientific resource retrieval and analysis, the purpose of which is to enhance scientific retrieval efficiency and reduce learning difficulty in the scientific domains and encourage non-researchers to utilize scientific resources in their study and work. Finally, to evaluate this model, the use of the case of an entrepreneurship scientific publication management prototype system was implemented. This work not only favors student’s learning for sustainability through analysis and knowledge management functions, but also promotes their awareness, comprehensive thinking, and the skills to deal with the issues of sustainability in their future work. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Splitting and Combining as a Gamification Method in Engaging Structured Knowledge Learning
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 800; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030800
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3586 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The understanding of the structure of knowledge is an essential step of education. Although teachers offer the information foundation and relationship among knowledge points, there are still few methods to encourage students to explore the structure of knowledge by themselves outside of classes.
[...] Read more.
The understanding of the structure of knowledge is an essential step of education. Although teachers offer the information foundation and relationship among knowledge points, there are still few methods to encourage students to explore the structure of knowledge by themselves outside of classes. This paper explores the gamification method and the knowledge structure of computer science. We assess the gamification method of “splitting and combining” (SC) to encourage students to finish the process of learning structured knowledge in the university. The results show that this method works well in promoting learning enjoyment and that splitting demonstrates better performance than combining. We can consider the SC method when recommending a gamification method to engage students in structural learning assistance in future smart university education. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Mapping of On-Line Learning to Flipped Classroom: Small Private Online Course
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030748
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 3 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (650 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study uses an integrated pedagogical tool for knowledge learning as an on-line tool for flipped classroom activities and as an off-line capability training tool. Theoretically, the Experiential Learning Cycle (ELC) plays a critical role in promoting students learning effectiveness and performance. However,
[...] Read more.
This study uses an integrated pedagogical tool for knowledge learning as an on-line tool for flipped classroom activities and as an off-line capability training tool. Theoretically, the Experiential Learning Cycle (ELC) plays a critical role in promoting students learning effectiveness and performance. However, a dearth of research has applied M-learning and flipped classroom in combination with the ELC stages such as concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation to examine the knowledge and ability learning outcomes for students. This study integrates the On line to Off line (O2O) classroom development and usage derived from the four stages of ELC based on on-line knowledge learning and off-line ability training in Microeconomics courses. The results revealed significant improvements in students learning outcomes after O2O mode was implemented. In comparison with traditional teaching methods, not only does O2O teaching significantly improve the students’ learning result of professional knowledge, but O2O teaching also significantly enhanced the capabilities of the students. Furthermore, this study reports the findings from major activities of each ELC stage in O2O classroom practice along with the mapping of on-line learning and off-line training included in the aforementioned stages. Finally, the study provides pedagogical implications and future research directions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Entrepreneurship Education: An Experimental Study with Information and Communication Technology
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030691
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 4 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Entrepreneurship has been regarded as a new science in the promotion of economic development, which has led to rapid development in entrepreneurship education. The growing number of students enrolled in entrepreneurship programs creates unprecedented challenges on educators. Although multiple teaching and learning activities
[...] Read more.
Entrepreneurship has been regarded as a new science in the promotion of economic development, which has led to rapid development in entrepreneurship education. The growing number of students enrolled in entrepreneurship programs creates unprecedented challenges on educators. Although multiple teaching and learning activities are adopted in entrepreneurship education, these are mainly carried out using traditional classroom lectures, case studies and group discussions. Nowadays, information & communication technology (ICT) is used to enhance the effectiveness of traditional teaching methods and competency training. PowToon is a web-based ICT tool that hat allows teachers and students to quickly and easily create animated presentations. Using quasi-experimental design and qualitative method, this study is to examine whether PowToon is an effective tool for business plan presentation. The study find that the animated presentations attracted more investment than the groups that did not prepare animated videos. It reflects that developed videos which helps entrepreneurial team to better deliver their business ideas to investors in a well-thought out way. In addition, the results of the study show that individuals who generate a business idea did not necessarily significantly influence their investment decisions. Our findings challenge the concept on self-biases evaluations of the economic potential of their own business ideas. Finally, the students were very willing to adopt new ways of delivering their business ideas. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Systematic Review of Research Trends in Robotics Education for Young Children
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10040905
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
PDF Full-text (861 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study conducted a systematic and thematic review on existing literature in robotics education using robotics kits (not social robots) for young children (Pre-K and kindergarten through 5th grade). This study investigated: (1) the definition of robotics education; (2) thematic patterns of key
[...] Read more.
This study conducted a systematic and thematic review on existing literature in robotics education using robotics kits (not social robots) for young children (Pre-K and kindergarten through 5th grade). This study investigated: (1) the definition of robotics education; (2) thematic patterns of key findings; and (3) theoretical and methodological traits. The results of the review present a limitation of previous research in that it has focused on robotics education only as an instrumental means to support other subjects or STEM education. This study identifies that the findings of the existing research are weighted toward outcome-focused research. Lastly, this study addresses the fact that most of the existing studies used constructivist and constructionist frameworks not only to design and implement robotics curricula but also to analyze young children’s engagement in robotics education. Relying on the findings of the review, this study suggests clarifying and specifying robotics-intensified knowledge, skills, and attitudes in defining robotics education in connection to computer science education. In addition, this study concludes that research agendas need to be diversified and the diversity of research participants needs to be broadened. To do this, this study suggests employing social and cultural theoretical frameworks and critical analytical lenses by considering children’s historical, cultural, social, and institutional contexts in understanding young children’s engagement in robotics education. Full article
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