Social Networks and the Development of Students’ Social Competences

Social competencies of students are crucial for successful studying and further academic careers, as they encompass communication, teamwork, and collaboration skills. Social networks offer opportunities for interaction and the exchange of ideas with peers and mentors. Therefore, it is important to study the relationship between social networks and social competencies to better understand the opportunities and challenges faced by students.
The primary aim of this research is to examine students’ perceptions of the impact of social networks on the development of their social competencies. A descriptive research method was employed, and data were collected using a specially designed assessment scale. The research sample is purposive, comprising students from the Faculty of Philosophy in Niš (N=314). The results indicate that students are generally ambivalent about the influence of social networks on their social development, suggesting the need for a deeper understanding of this relationship. Students primarily perceive social networks as communication channels used for maintaining contact and exchanging information. Additionally, students view social networks as potential platforms for collaboration with peers, as well as friends and other community members.

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Need, Advantages and Capabilities of Learning Analytics in K12 Education: Study Results from Lithuania

Learning analytics is identified as one of the essential prerequisites for ensuring the quality of learning for each student and is associated with wider opportunities for the organization of individualized, differentiated and personalized learning. One of the focuses – the individualization and personalization of natural science and mathematics education – is connected with one of the priorities of Lithuanian education, recognizing the need to develop students’ mathematical, natural science and technological competences, and to foster a culture of innovation in schools. Although the importance of integrated education is recognized for the sustainable improvement of the student’s natural science and mathematics competence, there are problems in solving the issues of integrated organization of natural sciences and mathematics in lessons, searching for the most appropriate didactic solutions at the student and class levels. The usefulness of learning analytics in modern education is not in doubt internationally, but the approach to it in educational practice is quite ambiguous: the search for tools of learning analytics, the system of its use, definitions of advantages for the learner – these are the questions that raise researchers’ attention. It is recognized that the Lithuanian scientific discourse of the use of learning analytics in science and mathematics education contains little research, examples of pedagogical practice that analyse the possibilities of digital platforms with artificial intelligence and learning analytics tools are scarce.

This qualitative study was particularly sought to disclose the possibility of using learning analytics in the science education and math lessons. Focus group participants were teachers and students from general education schools in Lithuania who, in September – December 2021, participated in a project dedicated to the testing of learning analytics tools in science education and mathematics classes. The aim of the investigation was to extract the accumulated experience of teachers and students in working with digital platforms and in applying learning analytics based on artificial intelligence. The results of the study revealed that teachers and students have no doubts about the advantages of digital platforms integrating learning analytics based on artificial intelligence, in identifying student (class) learning gaps, learning characteristics, making data-based decisions regarding differentiation and individualization of learning. Research participants saw the importance of data generated by learning analytics in planning and organizing integrated math and science education lessons.

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Chatbots in Education: A Dual Perspective on Innovation and Ethics

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education, particularly through the use of chatbots, has garnered significant attention for its potential to revolutionize e-learning. Chatbots, powered by Natural Language Processing (NLP), offer a promising avenue for personalizing educational experiences and enhancing student engagement (Bradeško & Mladenić, 2012; Anghelescu & Nicolaescu, 2018). This article synthesizes the current literature on the application of chatbots in e-learning, highlighting their benefits, the benefits of sentiment analysis, and the ethical considerations that arise from their deployment. Recent studies underscore the role of chatbots in fostering student engagement and reducing dropout rates in e-learning environments (Labadze, L., 2023; Tapalova & Zhiyenbayeva, 2022). The use of chatbots in adaptive e-learning systems has been shown to dynamically adjust to student needs, thereby reducing anxiety and promoting higher-order cognitive skills (Hsu et al., 2023; Info, A et al., 2024).

On the basis of such proliferation, this article proposes the use of a new Socratic method, applying the traditional Socratic method to interactions with chatbots to further enhance critical thinking and epistemological analysis in students. This method encourages learners to engage in critical dialogue with the chatbot, challenging the information provided. Despite concerns about chatbots’ ability to accurately solve complex problems, such as in physics (Gregorcic et al., 2023), their “hallucinations” or errors can be leveraged as educational tools to stimulate critical thinking and identify misconceptions.

Another important innovation in Digital Pedagogy is represented by sentiment analysis. Its deployment leads teachers or even chatbots to understand and respond to students’ emotions, aiming to improve engagement and reduce dropout rates (Meroto, M.B. et al., 2024; Pant, H.V., et al., 2023). However, this technology raises ethical concerns related to privacy, data manipulation, and potential biases in decision-making systems (Singh et al., 2024; Susser et al., 2019; Burrell, 2016; Barocas et al., 2023). The ethical challenges associated with sentiment analysis in e-learning necessitate careful consideration and adherence to privacy and consent regulations.

In conclusion, chatbots in e-learning offer significant potential for enhancing the educational experience through personalized and adaptive learning. However, the ethical implications of their use, particularly concerning sentiment analysis, must be addressed to ensure the protection of student data and the equitable treatment of all learners. Future research should continue to explore the optimization of digital interactions, considering the potential for educational innovation that chatbots bring to the academic industry (Denny et al., 2024).

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Early Childhood Development: The Influence of Digital Technology on Psychological Processes and Mechanisms

Despite the novelty and excitement of the promise that technology will revolutionize education, as it has revolutionized many other fields (medicine, industries), programs in recent years have shown that technology alone does not have the power to change education for the better (Blackwell et al., 2014, para.4). Still, people can do this, if they are willing to learn how, why and when. In other words, first, the devices were introduced and the infrastructure created, then administrators and teachers began to learn how to use it, with support in some countries, without support in others. Would a reverse approach have been more useful? For instance, specializing teachers and subsequently equipping schools with the necessary infrastructure? We are in a situation where there are sometimes early education institutions where there is equipment, but education managers and teachers do not have the full picture of how and when to use it, and what are the implications of this usage.
Given observations and studies carried out in the school environment, we wonder how equipping kindergartens with tablets and other screen devices would work? What makes digital technology really useful in early childhood education? What should be the motivation for the introduction of digital technologies in early education?
This paper provides psychological and educational benchmarks for the use of digital technologies in preschool educational institutions, as well as in the context of family education.

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Navigating Learning Paths with EDSense: An AI-Powered Learning Platform

In the realm of contemporary education, the integration of advanced technology is not just a trend but a necessity. ”EDSense” emerges as a cutting-edge platform at the intersection of educational needs and technological innovation. This paper focuses on the development of a social educational platform, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) uniquely designed to support the official educational curriculum, catering to a wide range of users from students and teachers in grades I-XII in Romania, to adult learners. Central to EDSense is the use of AI for personalized learning experiences. This includes the implementation of sophisticated recommending systems that adapt to individual learning styles and progress. Personalized quizzes, crafted using AI algorithms, offer a tailored approach to assess and reinforce learning. Furthermore, EDSense employs sentiment analysis to gauge and respond to the emotional and cognitive states of learners, thereby enhancing the overall learning experience. The platform stands as a testament to the potential of AI in revolutionizing education. By combining educational content with state-of-the-art technology, EDSense aims to provide an engaging, effective, and highly personalized learning journey, setting a new standard in educational technology.

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Preconditions for the development of the integrated learning analytics and action research model for Lithuanian general education schools: theoretical insights and research design

The integration of technology in education holds promise for revolutionizing learning experiences by improving efficiency, enriching content, and empowering educators and learners alike. Learning analytics (LA) emerges as a crucial tool, utilizing data within virtual learning environments to scrutinize and refine the teaching/ learning process. However, despite the abundance of data, educators often lack the expertise to effectively utilize this information, impeding its potential to enhance teaching methods and student outcomes. Furthermore, the ethical and practical boundaries of employing learning analytics remain undefined.

This article endeavours to explore the foundational prerequisites for devising an integrated Learning analytics and Action research (LAAR) model. This model seeks to equip educators in general education institutions with the tools to monitor learners and teaching/ learning dynamics in digital settings, facilitating data-driven decision-making for pedagogical improvements. Employing the Design science research methodology, particularly focusing on cognitive artifacts like human-computer interfaces, this research aims to address existing methodological limitations and propose novel solutions. By aligning with the socio-technical nature of learning analytics systems, involving diverse stakeholders and technology, this approach aims to foster the interpretation and application of analytics data in educational contexts.

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Instruments of Learning: Know the Worth of Educational Tools

Have you ever wondered why some musical instruments cost millions of dollars? What could make an instrument worth that much money, and how is it different from other instruments that are more affordable? But does this difference in value and quality extend beyond the world of music? Can we apply similar principles to educational tools and instruments?

Perhaps. Whether it is a digital tool that engages students with interactive content, a hands-on activity that encourages critical thinking and problem-solving, or a traditional tool like a textbook or chalkboard that forms the backbone of classroom instruction, the quality and effectiveness of educational instruments can have a significant impact on student outcomes. In this article we will explore (I) a short history of educational instruments and (II) how teachers should differentiate between these.

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Ariadna Experiment. The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Education Sciences

The role of AI in shaping and re-shaping scientific content is notable in several scientific areas. Ariadna (Artificial intelligence advancement to nurture social sciences areas) is a longitudinal study initiated in 2022 with the aim to estimate the added value of the artificial intelligence in social sciences area; a certain part of education sciences was chosen, in order to benefit from the large amount of new and freely available source content: digital pedagogy, further narrowed down to a series of 27 theoretical and practical themes.

Ariadna experiment is trying to reveal the contribution of AI to the development of social sciences. (1) An AI chat app was used for a guided conversation, in order to estimate the ability of AI to produce scientific innovative content. (2) A number of 27 texts on education sciences topics were generated using the most advanced freely available AI tools, in December 2022. The same requests will be used in 2023 to re-generate content. A side-by-side comparison of the outputs will be made in the next phases of Ariadna experiment. (3) Some of the generated articles were compared with scientific texts elaborated by researchers on the same theme, in the same period.

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Essay on the Role of Video Games in Teaching Literature

In an era of continuous digitalization, teachers turn to new technology in order to adapt to the universe of their students, to remain relevant in this constant change of interests. Students are motivated by elements of popular culture, being constantly exposed to an environment that is rich in information and textual patterns. And yet, what is the connection between literature and video games? Is there such a connection in the first place?

Students need guidance when it comes to developing their literary skills of analysis and communication, as well as literary thinking. Hours dedicated to integrating video games in our educational environment corresponds to students’ passions, highlighting one of their major interest, represented by entertainment in a virtual environment. We can all see this happening when it comes to our students. They can be easily absorbed by any kind of virtual reality that may encounter, but it is so hard to get the same reaction from them when it comes to a classical way of teaching. Until now, reading competences and literary skills were applied to books. But the same skills can be applied to many other mediums in which storytelling plays out the main role, such as comics, movies, and video games.

Video games have evolved from a simple means of entertainment to a tool of deep quality learning. Often, students feel that they are a more significant part of a story within a video game that in the environment created by books. Let’s face it! Students love to play, but sometimes they hate to read, especially when they feel forced to do so. The need for teachers to examine video games as literature starts from students’ lack of interest in reading, which comes from the way they lived their lives until now, growing up spending more time playing video games than reading books. This is a reality that we do not only need to accept, but also to adapt to it and to make the best out of it.

But how can we use video games to teach literature and develop the analytical skills of our students?

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Digital Pedagogy. Definition and Conceptual Area

Is there a digital pedagogy, as a distinct domain, different from general pedagogy and from any other pedagogy? If so, what are the aims, object of study, specific methods and principles of digital pedagogy? What is digital pedagogy and how does it articulate with education sciences? These are the questions of the beginning stage of an emerging area within the education sciences, where practice challenges us to expand the existing body of knowledge corpus and pedagogical methods.

The article contributes to the contextualization of the set of information, experiences and scientific knowledge, conditions, relationships, meanings orbiting the phrase “digital pedagogy”. The term itself has been used for over 10 years – the first dedicated articles being from 2011, with elements of digital proto-pedagogy in 2004: Latham, apud Fyfe – but absorbing a series of much older concepts and practices, sometimes in a new way.

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