Call for papers, Comunicar journal: Digital Media & Learning

The Institute of Educational Research at the University of Girona (Spain), Mediática and the Department of Developmental Psychology of the Faculty of Education at the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain), are the institutional co-editors of the thematic issue that will be published January 2019 by Comunicar journal with the title: Digital media and learning, Emergent forms of participation and social transformation. The editors of this issue are:

  • Dr. Moisès Esteban-Guitart, University of Girona (Spain)
  • Dr. Javier González-Patiño, Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain)
  • Dr. James Gee. Arizona State University (USA)

Comunicar is a scientific journal of Education and Communication, bilingual in Spanish and English and full text is accessible online, with presence in hundreds of international databases and in Journal Citation Reports (JCR Q1 2017 Communication / Education).

Guidelines for authors and submission of contributions:


Over the last 15 years, Digital Media and Learning have become the focus of a great deal of research, entrepreneurship, and educational interventions across the world. Today, we humans face hard problems stemming from dangerous interactions among complex systems put into motion by human actions. In the face of these problems, there are many who argue that we can no longer engage in “business as usual”, but need new paradigms of teaching, learning, collaboration, and social activism.

Digital and social media have already led to new forms of teaching, learning, and social organization out of school, in the act transforming our ideas of what school can be and how it ought to relate to the world. Video games and related technologies hold out great promise for new and powerful ways to engage in effective problem solving and collective intelligence, especially when they are places inside an eco-system of other technologies and new forms of social interaction. These developments have led a great many people, of all ages, to demand to participate and not just spectate; to produce and make and not just consume; and to develop real expertise outside formal credentialing institutions. All this, however, raises deep questions about schools and other social institutions as we currently know them. As we harness the power of digital and social media, should our goal be incremental reform of schools and other social institutions or deep paradigm change?

The promise of digital and social media is greatly endangered by the growing world-wide prevalence of people sorting themselves into echo-chambers of ideologically like-minded others, often disdaining any real critical engagement with differing viewpoints, evidence, or collaboration. It seems clear that we must intervene, design, and manage digital media and learning for good and not sit back and assume that our new technologies will work towards good if left to their own devices in our heavily divided and highly unequal world.

The monograph presented is intended to investigate at the theoretical, practical and empirical levels the issues indicated in order to advance knowledge of the contemporary forms of participation both in educational formal and informal settings and in social-public-digital mediated life. The challenge is to find ways of solving global problems in a liquid and high-risk world.


Participatory culture.The Maker Movement. Collective Intelligence. Digital and social media. Transmedia. In and out of school teaching and learning. School reform. Problem solving. Social activism. New forms of digitally-enhanced social organization.


Some questions and reflections raised by this monograph related to its thematic lines are:

How can we best use digital media for teaching and learning in school? How can we best use transmedia into the realm of education? How can we connect teaching and learning in and out of school? How can we best use digital media to solve hard problems in society and the global world? What are the social, class, and cultural restrictions that currently exist on who can become participants and makers and who cannot? How can we spread participation, making, collaboration, and passion to more people? How can digital media help develop collective intelligence for solving hard problems in our endangered world? How can we best design digitally-enhanced socio-technical systems of connected technologies, people, and proactive forms of participation and social interaction rather than focus on any one new technology as a “silver bullet”? How can we cross ideological divides in the service of critical discussion, problem solving, and renewed civil societies?

About the thematic editors

Dr. Moisès Esteban-Guitart, University of Girona (Spain)

Professor of the Departament of Psychology at the University of Girona and Counsellor at the Open University of Catalonia (Spain). Director of the Institute of Educational Research at the University of Girona. He did predoctoral visits at the Intercultural University of Chiapas (México) and the Institute of Psychological Science at Leeds University (England). He conducted postdoctoral studies at the Institute for Cultural Research and Education (California, USA) and has been a visiting scholar in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona (USA). He is the editor of the journal Papeles de Trabajo sobre Cultura, Educación y Desarrollo Humano (Working Papers on Culture, Education and Human Development). Professor Esteban-Guitart’s research activity spans the fields of cultural psychology and educational research, and he has published widely on issues of identity (“funds of identity”), cultural diversity, education, and emergent cultural practices grounded in the high connected and digital mediated societies (“Mobile Centric-Society”). His most recent books are: Funds of Identity. Connecting meaningful learning experiences in and out of school (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Familia, escuela y comunidad en las sociedades del siglo XXI (Barcelona: Horsori, 2017).

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Dr. Javier González-Patiño, Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain)

Lecturer at the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education in the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain) with an extensive experience as digital creative and founder of Mediática, a collective that advises and investigates the digital transformation of learning communities. The intersection between professional and academic background focuses his research interests, tending to engage in action research projects in different socio-cultural contexts that allow to promote technological mediation in educational and communication processes through a transdisciplinary perspective. He also has published widely on issues of family and school relationships, digital culture and children´s active participation in design processes. Through Mediática, he develops projects for communities or groups (educational centers, research groups, companies, institutions, etc.) to innovate in their knowledge creation practices, exploring and taking advantage of the affordances and dynamics of social web as networked publics. As a regular contributor at Medialab-Prado Madrid, a city council institution with international prestige devoted to digital culture, and board of the newly created Autonomous University of Madrid School of Educational Architecture, among others, he frequently participates in activities of open innovation and scientific knowledge transfer.

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Dr. James Gee, Arizona State University (USA)

Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies and Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education. His book Sociolinguistics and Literacies (1990, Fifth Edition 2015) was one of the founding documents in the formation of the “New Literacy Studies”, an interdisciplinary field devoted to studying language, learning, and literacy in an integrated way in the full range of their cognitive, social, and cultural contexts.  His book An Introduction to Discourse Analysis (1999, Fourth Edition 2014) brings together his work on a methodology for studying communication in its cultural settings, an approach that has been widely influential over the last two decades. Professor Gee’s most recent books deal with video games, language, and learning.  What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (2003, Second Edition 2007) argues that good video games are designed to enhance learning through effective learning principles supported by research in the Learning Sciences.  Situated Language and Learning (2004) places video games within an overall theory of learning and literacy and shows how they can help us in thinking about the reform of schools.  Women as Gamers: The Sims and 21st-Century Learning (2010) and Language and Learning in the Digital Age (2011), both written with Elisabeth Hayes, have continued his earlier work on games and learning.  His most recent books are: The Anti-Education Era: Creating Smarter Students through Digital Learning (2013); Unified Discourse Analysis: Language, Reality, Virtual Worlds, and Video Games (2014); Literacy and Education (2014); The Essential James Gee: An Introduction to Discourse Analysis (2015); and Teaching, Learning, Literacy in Our High-Risk High-Tech World: A Framework for Becoming Human (2017).  Professor Gee has published widely in journals in linguistics, psychology, the social sciences, and education.

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