EC-TEL 2021 Bozen/ Bolzano

Sixteenth European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning

Technology-Enhanced Learning for a Free, Safe, and Sustainable World

Online (Bozen-Bolzano, Italy), 20-24 September 2021

Conference Theme

Technology-Enhanced Learning for a Free, Safe, and Sustainable World

The world faces challenges, which require strong educational responses: globalised economies undermine achievements of democratic societies; tendencies towards totalitarian regimes put freedom at risk; the distribution of fake news and conspiracy theories destroy trust in scientific processes and results; growing global populations and demographic changes in developed countries hinder the fair distribution of chances; and environmental consequences of human activity, such as climate change, lead to global consequences for humanity as a whole.  At the same time, new opportunities arise due to new technological developments, increased computational power, and the availability of technological and computational resources worldwide, new research results and discoveries.

In response to these tendencies and newly available opportunities, education needs to outreach to global communities of learners, needs to connect people world-wide, needs to strengthen learners in their understanding of science, democracy, economy, ecology, and freedom. Education needs to help learners, independent of their individual situation, to stay involved in continuous learning, in active involvement in learning communities, and in supporting the transfer of skills, knowledge, and insights into daily activities. 

At the same time, we observe that the increasingly fast technological developments impact many aspects of our daily lives and challenge educational routines. Digitalisation as one of the key trends at global scale only very abstractly describes the consequences and changes routines and processes undergo. Artificial intelligence, increasing computer power, immersive interactive environments, fast internet everywhere, synchronous and asynchronous ways of communication and collaboration enable new work situations and professional careers. 

Likewise, educational technologies emerge in a plethora of forms supporting new forms of learning, teaching, tutoring, supervising, and collaboration. These technologies allow to scale up learning processes, to individualise learning paths, to support remote, face to face, and hybrid forms of learning, or to better analyse learning progress and success. They promise to support all stakeholders of the educational ecosystems (learners, teachers, educational institutions, employers, and whole societies).

How do these technologies help to address the global challenges? Which benefits do they offer to whom? Which new risks do they impose and how do we handle these risks? Addressing questions like these, the European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL) is targeted at the intersection of technological innovation, educational challenges, and global impact. EC-TEL is a unique opportunity for researchers, practitioners, educational developers and policy makers to address current challenges and advances in the field. 

This year’s theme of “Technology-Enhanced Learning for a Free, Safe, and Sustainable World” addresses how emerging and future learning technologies can be used in a meaningful way to address the global challenges in an increasingly digitised world.

The conference calls for papers focusing on this theme and addressing many topics: applications of TEL in various application domains, evaluation of TEL applications and technologies,  intermediation between learning systems, learners and educators; guidelines and methodologies to enhance learning experience through technologies; bridges between technology and learning; assessment of technologies’ educational added value; promotion of coherence and unity of technology and learning; and improvement of complementarity between technology and learning. 

We encourage participants to extend the debate around the role of and challenges for cutting-edge 21st century technologies and advances such as artificial intelligence and robots, augmented reality and ubiquitous computing technologies and at the same time connecting them to different pedagogical approaches, types of learning settings, and application domains that can benefit from such technologies under the umbrella of the general conference theme.

We invite contributions for research papers, demonstrations and posters as well as practitioner papers and workshops. A doctoral consortium will be organised concurrently with the workshops.

Conference Topics

From both research and innovative practice perspectives the following topics of interest to the conference include, but are not limited to:

Pedagogical and theoretical underpinning

  • Active learning
  • Problem-and project-based learning
  • Competency-based education and training
  • Inquiry-based, exploratory, and discovery learning
  • Computer-supported collaborative learning and cooperative work
  • Tutoring and student support
  • Communities of learners and communities of practice
  • Learning design and design approaches
  • Teaching techniques and strategies for digital learning
  • Game-based and simulation-based learning
  • Storytelling and reflection-based learning
  • Technology-enhanced orchestration of learning
  • Learner well-being, affect, motivation, engagement, skills, attitudes, and values

Technological underpinning

  • Mobile, wearable, and pervasive technologies 
  • Sensors, sensor networks, and Internet of Things
  • Roomware, ambient displays, and ubiquitous devices
  • Robots
  • Remote and virtual labs 
  • Augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality
  • Serious games, simulations, and 3D virtual worlds
  • Interactive, context-aware, personalised, and adaptive learning systems
  • Visualisation techniques and dashboards
  • Learning analytics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Recommender systems
  • Natural language processing and latent semantic analysis
  • Semantic Web
  • Social computing and social media
  • Infrastructures and architectures
  • Large-scale learning systems
  • Specifications and standards
  • Interoperability and sharing of devices, tools, architectures and data

Individual, social & organisational learning processes

  • Cognitive and metacognitive mechanisms in knowledge acquisition and construction
  • Self-regulated and self-directed learning
  • Reflective learning
  • Strategies for the development of 21st century skills
  • Computational thinking
  • Social processes in teams and communities
  • Bring your own device (BYOD)
  • Group and collaborative work 
  • Assessment of/for/as learning (formative, summative, self-, peer- assessment)
  • Social awareness
  • Sensemaking and Meaning Making
  • Knowledge management and organisational learning
  • Collaborative knowledge building

Ethics, privacy, regulations and policies

  • Ethics and privacy for data gathering, storage, processing, and presentation
  • Data privacy
  • Regulations and policies related to educational data
  • Strategies to handle ethics and privacy for handling educational data

Learning communities and contexts

  • Formal education: K-12
  • Formal education: higher education
  • Lifelong learning
  • Informal and non-formal learning
  • Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Learning
  • Vocational education and training
  • Seamless learning
  • Teacher education and professionalization
  • Tutoring and student support

Global teaching and learning

  • Global challenges
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)
  • Smart Learning Environments (SLEs)
  • Open educational resources (OER)
  • Learning Networks
  • Teacher Networks
  • Learning ecologies, learning ecosystems, fitness and evolvability of learning environments
  • Business models

Quality education for underrepresented groups

  • Digital and generation divide and learning
  • Teaching and learning in rural and isolated areas
  • Inclusive, equitable, and accessible learning
  • Standards about accessibility and learning
  • Promotion of learning and employability within underrepresented groups and communities
  • Learning of students of underrepresented groups, including students with disabilities
  • Psycho-pedagogical support for users