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We would like to start this editorial with sincere gratitude. In putting out a call with such a tight turnaround we were acutely aware of the pressure that we were putting on the contributors, the reviewers and ourselves as editors. However, we were equally cognisant of the rapidly changing nature of the world of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) and its impact on the world of education. Thus, we wanted to publish a timely issue by compressing the whole process from the call, to review, to copyediting and finally to publication into a timeframe of approximately 11 weeks. (Ultimately from call to publication the process took 81 days.) First, thank you to all who took the time to submit manuscripts for consideration. A good portion of academic labour is invisible and unrecognised and we want to acknowledge and thank you for the time you dedicated to creating submissions. Second, thank you to the reviewers who turned things around very quickly in a professional and supportive manner in order to meet our ambitious timetable. Finally, thank you to the authors who appear in this issue and who worked quickly to turn around revisions and edits. As an editorial team, we learned a great deal about our own procedures, processes and patterns which we will carry forward to continue to improve the Irish Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning.
In the issue that follows, we hope to provide a snapshot of a moment in time. When ChatGPT was released in November 2022 it created ripples in education that had not been seen in quite some time. Countless articles about it being the downfall of education (Devlin, 2023; Chomsky, 2023) to the solution (Heaven, 2023; Seetharaman, 2023) and all things in-between (Leaver & Srdarov, 2023) flash across our screens daily. Places of education are scrambling to create policies and there has been a swift reaction to GenAI at national, European, and global level. In Ireland, the Quality and Qualification Agency (QQI) issued broad advice for tertiary education providers on GenAI in the context of assessment and academic integrity and reworking assessment strategies (National Academic Integrity Network, 2023). In Europe, The European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI) published very useful recommendations on the Ethical use of Artificial Intelligence in Education in May (Foltynek et al., 2023). At the global level, UNESCO (2023) published a simple guide for educators called ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence in higher education: Quick start guide in April. In November, Australia produced a national framework for the use of GenAI in schools (Commonwealth of Australia, 2023.) One clear throughline has been the need for faculty to increase their digital literacy and understanding of GenAI (Laupichler et al., 2022; Farrelly & Baker, 2023; Southworth et al., 2023). This was the driving force for this special issue. As a journal, we wanted to create a safe, open and scholarly platform for engaging with GenAI. The hope is that this issue can serve as a mentor text for discussion and experimentation.
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