Keynote Speakers

Prof. Mario Barajas, University of Barcelona, Spain

Mario Barajas is Professor at the University of Barcelona (Spain), and founder member of the new Institute of Educational Research of the Faculty of Education. He earned his doctorate degree in Education from the same University, with an specialisation in e-learning. He is Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from San Francisco State University in the USA, and holds degrees in Engineering and in Philosophy. Dr. Barajas teaches about Digital Learning Environments at the doctoral program ‘Education and Society’. He is a member of different Research Committees and Journals at an international level. His research areas include: a) creative digital education, b) game-based learning, c) STEAM education -Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics; d) impact evaluation of digital education. During the last two decades, Dr. Barajas has coordinated and participated in a large number of competitive projects funded by the European Union. He leads the research group Future Learning (

Speech Title: Enhancing Creative Mathematical Thinking in Education: Collective Design of Authorable E-Books

Abstract: Digital creativity has become a pervasive strategy for designing the future of education, as it allows for achieving professional innovation in a changing and competitive society. It is widely acknowledged that creativity needs to permeate learning from early stages of education and across different areas of the curriculum. Hence, most countries start including creativity in early stages of k-12 education. Teaching creatively requires the adequate use of pedagogical methodologies and resources which may promote students’ creative behaviors and outcomes. On the other hand, we need tools and resources amenable to enhance creativity. Indeed, an innovative workforce requires working with technologies, as well as the ability to adapt and to generate new ideas, products and practices.In particular, Creative Mathematical Thinking (CMT) has become paradigmatic in a wide range of professional sectors, such as industry and services. CMT consists of interpreting phenomena from a mathematical perspective in order to generate and apply original ideas and solutions through remote associations, conceptual combinations, or approaching problems from different angles.

This presentation focuses on the use of dynamic digital resources to enhance CMT, since digital learning environments are particularly suitable for enhancing CMT. Indeed, when appropriately integrated in teaching practices, they promote exploration, risk-taking and autonomous learning processes, as well as increase students’ motivation and spark students’ imagination. My talk will describe the results of the European Union funded project “Mathematical Creativity Squared". I will present the collective endeavor of different Communities of Interest (teachers, researchers, publishing houses, practitioners, artists, etc.) for designing a collection of c-book units (i.e., authorable e-books which integrate mathematical scenarios mediated by interactive components and collective design tools) aiming to enhance CMT in secondary education, and in initial courses of university STEM grades. I will describe the methodological, technical and pedagogical decisions made for using exploratory and expressive digital media with a potential for creative engagements with mathematical concepts. By using different “widget factories” in a design-based socio-technical environment, I will present the design process of different units by different Communities of Interest scattered in different countries. Final conclusions and recommendations on criteria for successful design of CMT digital learning resources will be presented.

Prof. Xabier Basogain, University of the Basque Country - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Spain

Xabier Basogain is professor of the University of the Basque Country - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea. He is doctor engineer of telecommunications by the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and member of the Department of Engineering Systems and Automatics of the School of Engineering of Bilbao, Spain. He has taught courses in digital systems, microprocessors, digital control, modeling and simulation of discrete events, machine learning, and collaborative tools in education. His research activities include the areas of: a) soft computing and cognitive sciences to STEM; b) learning and teaching technologies applied to online education and inclusive education; c) augmented and virtual reality with mobile technologies.

Speech title: Strategies for the Successful Implementation of STEAM in the Classroom

Abstract: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts, and Mathematics) education was created as a unifying curricular paradigm in which students were educated in four distinct disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, in connection with the arts and humanities, in an interdisciplinary and integrated way. First developed in USA, STEM/STEAM education has been attempted in several countries, both in the public and the private education systems. The data, however, shows that the number of students interested in these topics is small and decreasing, with special impact on women and minorities.

We summarize the main trends in the integration of STEAM in school systems, and identifies the three fundamental obstacles for its successful implementation: a) the curriculum in math is obsolete, and therefore physics, chemistry and biology are studied with obsolete tools and perspective; b) students are not educated in the resolution of complex problems that require higher level mental processes, involving higher level cognitive modules, globally known as System-1; and c) students still use pencil and paper to solve problems, while complex problems need for their resolution and iterative process of experimentation and discovery that requires external micro-worlds or ecosystems for their implementation and manipulation.

We also propose a set of curricular strategies to address these three fundamental obstacles. Specifically, we present six areas of interdisciplinary curricular development for the successful integration of STEAM education. A set of examples are used to illustrate the main constituents of these strategies and the implications on students’ performance.

Prof. Anja Pfennig, Applied University Berlin, HTW, Germany

A. Pfennig was born in Büdelsdorf, Germany in 1970. She studied Minerology at the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms University Bonn, Germany, where she graduated in 1997. Her Ph.-D. in the field of ceramic moulds for liquid metal casting was earned in 2001 from the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen, Germany. She then worked for Siemens Energy in charge of ceramic shields for stationary gas turbines and transferred to Berlin in 2008 where she conducted scientific research on the oxidation of high temperature materials and corrosion behavior of steels used in Carbon Capture Techniques. 2009 she became full professor at the Applied University Berlin, HTW where she currently teaches material science for engineering students. Anja Pfennigs research interest and expertise is in the field of corrosion and corrosion fatigue of materials at high temperature and high pressure simulating geothermal environments. Here she involves students in practical project based lectures. For 6 years her teaching and teaching related research focusses on matters concerning first year students. Diversity, motivation, duration and step-by-step success are important when designing a new course. Inverted classroom scenarios, blended learning concepts, online courses and alternative grading are important research topics with regard to practical and theoretical study results and development of self-confident young engineers. Anja Pfennig successfully produces lecture videos using the peer-to-peer approach and implements these in her first year courses as study source in inverted classroom scenarios. The impact of lecture films on study behavior, continuity and study results is her main interest as lecturer and researcher.

Speech title: Improvement of Learning Outcome through Inverted Classroom Techniques and Alternative Course Assessment

Abstract: First year mechanical engineering students fear material science as one of the fundamental courses with high work load. As one of the most of important learning outcomes students are enabled to apply complex science of materials on the appropriate selection of engineering materials in different designs. Here knowledge on the correlation of materials properties, microstructure and their intended manipulation is substantial. The ability to combine these three columns of material science are not well constituted in one final exam. Therefore peer-to-peer lecture film supported inverted classroom scenarios were established to work in the course. These are provided via a highly structured Moodle course following the blended learning approach. The special design of the Moodle course gives students the chance to cumulatively accomplish micro-grades via multiple activities, such as tests, lectures, presentations, forum discussions, written homework and glossary entries. Micro grades are then summed to obtain the overall course grade. Improved learning outcomes are demonstrated in high quality class discussions and most -important to students- in better grades (average B) compared to those being assessed by one final exam only (average C+). The majority of students agree on enhanced study skills when forced to study throughout the entire semester and solve hands-on problems instead of learning theory intensely towards the end of the semester. The learning structure as well as graded activities match the learning outcome both being crucial elements of the course.

Assoc. Prof. Eric C.K. Cheng, The Education University of Kong Kong, Hong Kong

Dr. Eric Cheng is a specialist in knowledge management, educational management and Lesson Study. He is currently associate professor of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction of the Education University of Hong Kong. Eric earned his Doctor of Education in education management from the University of Leicester. He has been publishing locally and internationally, with over 50 articles in various media covering the areas of knowledge management, school management and Lesson Study. He is the author of an academic book entitled Knowledge Management for School Education published in 2015 by Springer. Eric has been successful in launching more than 10 research and development projects with external and competitive funds in the capacity of Principal Investigator (PI). He received the Knowledge Transfer Project Award from EDUHK in 2014-15, Scholarship of Teaching Award in 2013-14 and Knowledge Transfer publication Awards in 2012-13 form Faculty of Human Development of EDUHK.

Speech Title: Knowledge Management for Enhancing School Strategic Planning Capacity: Examining the SECI Knowledge Creation Model in School Context
Abstract: This study aims to examine the effect of Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (1995) four modes of knowledge conversion including socialisation, externalisation, combination and internalisation on enhancing strategic planning capacity of schools in Hong Kong, and to identify the critical success factors for institutionalizing the SECI knowledge creation mechanism in the Hong Kong school context. The education quality assurance policy and the high speed of knowledge expansion knowledge have impacted on and created challenges for school management. The nature of school management becomes more challenging, complex, analytic and data driven. Developing an innovative management approach to support schools to leverage knowledge from the existing organisational information and data resources to plan for improvement will provide practical help to school leaders and also contribute to the existing school management theories. The study seeks to identify the critical success factors that facilitate the institutionalisation of the Nonaka’s (1994) SECI knowledge creation mechanism within schools.

Experimental research design were adopted as the research strategy. A quantitative questionnaire survey were conducted to collect data from secondary schools in Hong Kong. Multilevel structural equation modelling were applied to examine the predictive effects of the mechanism on strategic planning capacity and to identify the school level and teacher level contextual factors for institutionalising the SECI mechanism. The research design adopts an experimental design with a questionnaire survey. The experimental group was 20 Quality Education Fund project schools in which the SECI mechanism has been institutionalised. The control group was another 10 primary schools and 10 secondary schools which will be randomly drawn from 450 secondary schools and 550 primary schools in Hong Kong respectively. A self-developed questionnaire survey were be conducted among the experimental and control groups. Multilevel model were applied to confirm the theoretical model.

Results show that the externalization and combination processes support the planning, implementation and evaluation processes, and collaborative culture is identified as the critical success factor to facilitate the externalization and combination processes for creating knowledge for implementing the strategic plan. Nurturing a culture of systems thinking in the schools are critical to managing effective strategic planning processes.

Keynote Speakers on ICEEL 2017

Prof. Xabier Basogain

University of the Basque Country - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Spain

Prof. Anja Pfennig

Applied University Berlin, HTW, Germany

Assoc. Prof. Eric C.K. Cheng

The Education University of Kong Kong, Hong Kong