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Welcome to the first issue of TechTrends for 2018! This year the journal will feature a mix of regular issues and special issues, each aimed at linking research and practice to improve learning. The issue you are reading now is a general issue with papers on a range of topics.
You may notice some changes in the journal. The History Column is making a return after a long absence with new co-editors, Drs. Heather Leary (Brigham Young Univeristy) and Barbara Lockee (Virginia Tech). Jennfier Englund (University of Minnesota) will be leading the Graduate Member Musings column in upcomming issues.
Another change is that Dr. Dan Surry stepped down from his role as Associate Editor for the journal at the end of 2017. Dan was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal from January 2013 until May 2014, and served as Associate Editor through December 2017. He generously took me on as Associate Editor in January 2013, and has been a great mentor to me throughout our time together with the journal. His leadership and input into the journal have been significant and I really enjoyed working with him!
As a proud alum of the Virginia Tech Instructional Design and Technology program, I eagerly and excitedly accepted the offer to teach a section of the Introduction to Learning Sciences course during the Spring 2016 semester in addition to my duties as a full-time Associate Professor of Educational Media at Appalachian State University. While planning for the course, it occurred to me that the many exciting and innovative projects that faculty members from Virginia Tech were developing within the Institute for Creativity Arts and Technology (ICAT) would provide students with exciting opportunities to see cross-disciplinary, cutting-edge technology projects in process. Current administrators within ICAT, who are also alums of the Virginia Tech ID&T program, Drs. Phyllis Newbill and Liesl Walker embraced the idea of having students in the course interface with ongoing projects with the goal of having the students work with the project teams to identify learning affordances of the projects, and describe the possible effects of such projects on learning.
I hope that you find the columns and articles in this issue informative and thought provoking. Consider sharing what you what you find valuable from TechTrends on social media so that others can experience it too. This will increases the visibility of the journal, AECT, and the good work that our authors create. Please encourage your colleagues to submit their work to TechTrends, to cite TechTrends, and to consider joining AECT!
As such, three teams of students signed up to work with three of the ICAT projects. Throughout the semester, as students in the course were learning about and analyzing theories of learning and instruction, they also were meeting with the project teams who were using cutting edge technologies to engage students. The result of this ‘theory to practice’ endeavor was the publication of two papers that were submitted to TechTrends and underwent the usual double-blind peer-review process. These papers are the products of student inquiry and engagement with projects that provided them with the opportunity to better understand the learning sciences as they sought to identify relevant frameworks for learning within the context of ongoing, cross-disciplinary, cutting-edge technological developments.