Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is a very broad and increasingly mature
research field. It encompasses a wide variety of research topics, ranging from
the study of different pedagogical approaches and teaching/learning strategies
and techniques, to the application of advanced technologies in educational
settings such as the use of different kinds of mobile devices, sensors and
sensor networks to provide the technical foundation for context-aware,
ubiquitous learning. The TEL community has also been exploring the use of
artificial intelligence tools and techniques for the development of intelligent
learning environments capable of adapting to learners’ needs and preferences
and providing learners with personalized learning experience. Recognizing the
potential of online social networks, social media, and web-based social software
tools as learning platforms for online education, the TEL community has devoted
significant time and effort into researching how these popular technologies
could be combined with appropriate pedagogical approaches to make learning
experience more engaging, satisfying, and successful.
Among the most important results of these research endeavors
are personal learning environments that allow learners to create mash-ups of
diverse social software tools based on their own needs and preferences as well
as to create and maintain their online learning networks. Undeniably,
technological advancement is making education more accessible to an increasing
number of people worldwide. To fully exploit the huge benefit the technology is
offering, the TEL community is exploring effective approaches for adapting
learning resources to address language, generation, and cultural specificities.
Aiming to make learning accessible to all, the community has also focused on
the development of solutions for learners with special needs. Finally, it
should be noted that all the above mentioned research efforts of the TEL
community are finding their applications in different learning contexts and domains,
including formal education and informal learning, as well as workplace learning
in small, medium, and large organizations.
Since the scope of TEL research is constantly evolving, the
above given overview of the current research efforts does not aim to be
exhaustive by any means. Instead, its purpose is to give some insights into the
breadth of research topics and challenges that this edited book aims to cover.
The book comprises 14 chapters, which are topically organized into several
sections. However, this division of chapters into sections is not strictly
definitive as each of the chapters itself presents a comprehensive research
work that often spans across diverse TEL areas and thus could be categorized
into more than one section of the book.