The SMILE lab is a multidisciplinary research, development and training lab at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. SMILE (Smart Mobile Interactive Learning Environments) was officially established by the Greek Government in 2017. It is headed by Prof. Anastasios A. Economides. Previously, its activities were performed via the CONTA lab since 1999.
SMILE main activities are in the area of Mobile Learning (and in general, E-Learning, Online Learning, Technology-enhanced Learning, Educational Technologies, Learning Technologies). SMILE addresses real-life challenges in education (learning, teaching, training, assessment) using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It tackles problems such as the need for everywhere and anytime continuous learning, disconnection between education and work, massive numbers of learners, uninterested and unmotivated learners, high dropout rates in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), low skilled workforce, unemployment, digital divide, etc.
SMILE is an incubator of Open Innovative Mobile Learning Technologies, Pedagogies, Interventions, Applications, Resources and Environments aiming at increasing the learners’ learning, knowledge, motivation, and 21st century skills. This demands a broad range of expertise across Education, Information & Communications Technologies (ICT), Media, Foreign Languages and Psychology. SMILE brings together researchers, developers and trainers from such diverse disciplines.
SMILE designs, develops, delivers and evaluates Educational Interventions (Methodologies, Strategies, Pedagogies), Open Educational Resources and Practices (OERs, OEPs), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Algorithms, ICT, Interactive Mobile Applications and Environments to improve education and wellbeing. For example, SMILE creates mobile interactive learning systems that enable learners to learn whenever and wherever they need to, taking into account their existing knowledge, skills, experiences, preferences, goals, emotions and behaviour. Then, Smile evaluates the developed interventions and systems by performing empirical studies and experiments in the lab and in the real-world (such as classrooms or educational trips to the field).
SMILE provides blended teaching, training and assessment to students, educators, workers, entrepreneurs, professionals and unemployed on subjects such as Business Information Systems, E-Commerce, Informatics, Foreign Languages, Entrepreneurship, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). It trains educators (at all levels of Education) on Digital Skills and on how to use ICT tools in the Educational Practice. It develops high skilled and high qualified researchers on E-Learning and M-Learning capable of following an academic career, establishing a startup business, or managing an educational unit. It empowers entrepreneurs with Digital and Entrepreneurship Skills to develop innovative businesses. It trains workers and employees to develop their Digital and Work-related Skills for their organizations growth.
SMILE’ Vision is enabling “Open & Quality Education for All”.
SMILE strives for excellence on research, development and training on Open & Quality Mobile Interactive Learning & Assessment. It aims at achieving International recognition as a Center of Excellence on Mobile Learning.
SMILE is devoted to improving education, learning and assessment in schools (from primary and middle school to university) and workplaces (vocational, informal, non-formal, continuing, lifelong education) using ICT. It aims at making the teaching, training and learning more effective, useful, interesting and enjoyable using ICT. Advancing education will enhance Personal and Society Growth, Workforce Skills, Employability, Entrepreneurship and Innovativeness, as well as Multilingualism and Culture Dialogue.
SMILE activities include research, development and training on educational technologies that will help learners, educators, unemployed, workers, and professionals to develop 21st century skills (digital skills, critical thinking & problem solving, creativity & innovativeness, communication & collaboration, etc.), and improve learning in schools, workplaces and on-the-field across various disciplines.
SMILE is a responsible partner in collaborations and partnerships with other research labs, businesses, companies, schools, private and public organizations and associations.