Smart Learning Ecosystems: toward the polyphonic construction of a new normality

Guest Editors


• Mihai Dascalu, Poiytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania

• Patrizia Marti, University of Siena, Italy

• Francesca Pozzi, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy



Important dates


• Deadline: December 15, 2022 -> January 23, 2023 (extended - hard deadline) 

• Notification to the authors: February 28, 2023

• Camera ready paper: March 15, 2023

• Publication of the special issue: end of March 2023




The guest editors are proud to invite and welcome contributions from researchers and practitioners from all over the world involved in the development of Smart Learning Ecosystems and Smart Education, as engines of social innovation and territorial development. At the core, the adjective “smart” comprises terms like intelligent, purpose oriented, supportive, artful, clever and the like. Thus, smart does not necessarily include the usage of technology (neither does it exclude technology!).

After the shock of the pandemic, learning ecosystems – and in particular schools, universities, and territorial learning communities – all over the world – are facing a new phase characterized by the search for and the experimentation of ways to their “new normality“. In such a context, collaboration is emerging as an approach and an attitude of considerable relevance that stays also at the basis of the polyphonic construction of the future of learning ecosystems. Alongside collaboration, on the technological side, it continues to rise the relevance of intelligent systems, generically collected under the label of Artificial Intelligence (AI); concurrently, on the pedagogical side, competences have become the goal of future education, also in the attempt to close the skill gap, which represents one of the greatest dangers for the transition towards smarter productive systems and societies. Competences and AI, by the way, are also topics that intersect and influence each other and rise questions of ethical nature.

So, what should we expect for future learning ecosystems? How “smart learning ecosystems” are changing? How such changes may be related to the achievement of “a better learning for a better world” as a contribution to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? How will they contribute to the reduction of inequalities and, at the same time, to the empowering of each individual according to his expectations and talents? 

This special issue, which is supported by the Association for Smart Learning Ecosystems and Regional Development (ASLERD), welcomes papers that report on work aimed to contribute to the discussion about these issues. 

Submission of substantially extended version of the papers presented at SLERD 2022, are welcome.         


Topics of Interest


General topics of interests can be grouped under three big themes: places for smart education, people in place centred design for smart education, supportive learning technologies and tools for smart education

Places for smart education

  • future of institutional learning
  • interplay between formal and informal learning
  • new educational models and settings
  • continuity-discontinuity of time, technology, place/space, process in learning
  • role of and case studies of games and gamification in smart education
  • dual education and other alternate scheme approaches
  • monitoring and benchmarking of smartness (individual, institution, city, region)

People in place centred design for smart education

  • general frameworks and methodological advancement
  • competence based learning, evaluation and certification
  • design, data and other relevant literacies
  • literacies, skill and competences of future citizens
  • communities and co-design in smart learning ecosystems
  • sharing & participatory practices
  • open access to any resource and disparity
  • cultural influences

Supportive technologies and tools for smart education

  • intelligent tutoring systems and interfaces
  • semantic web technologies and applications
  • text/opinion mining and sentiment analysis
  • AI for smart learning ecosystems: critical aspects and opportunities
  • real/virtual communities and social network analysis
  • interoperability and application of open/smart data and services
  • safety & security in education
  • IoT, ubiquitous and wearable technologies
  • adaptability to educational contexts and citizens
  • role of VR in education


Submission procedure 


All submissions must be original and may not be under review by another publication.

The manuscripts should be submitted anonymized either in .doc or in .rtf format. 
All papers will be blindly peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Perspective participants are invited to submit a 8-20 pages paper (including authors' information, abstract, all tables, figures, references, etc.). 
The paper should be written according to the IxD&A authors' guidelines .

Submission page -> link
(when submitting the paper please choose the section: 'SI: Smart Learning Ecosystems: toward the polyphonic construction of a new normality')

For scientific advices and for any query please contact the guest-editors:


• mihai [dot] dascalu [at] upb [dot] ro
• marti [at] unisi [dot] it
• fracesca [dot] pozzi [at] itd [dot] cnr [dot] it  


marking the subject as: 'IxD&A special issue on Smart Learning Ecosystems: toward the polyphonic construction of a new normality'.