Lifelong learning as a tool for the development of smart cities: technology enhanced learning as an enabler

Ken Brown, Viola A. Larionova, Vic Lally


This paper considers the ubiquity of technology as an enabler for lifelong learning in modern society and the impact this dependence on technology has on the strategic design of learning systems. The role of lifelong learning in modern economies and the diversity of activities associated with lifelong learning requires targeted resourcing and understanding of the meaning of lifelong learning. The dominance of technology enhanced learning in modern education is accepted as a de-facto component in the design of any learning programme. The literature on the technology enhanced learning – smart city nexus explores the technology in depth with a strong focus on learning analytics and big data applications. Evidence of the pedagogical paradigm requirements is not quite so visible and this lack of understanding of the complete model creates tensions in the design of lifelong learning systems. The agency of active learning is considered in the sense of the triune of human, education and economic, systems for the sustainable growth of a knowledge economy. Structured approaches to learning are demonstrated and comparison is drawn with smart city projects in Ireland and the United Kingdom.


lifelong learning, technology enhanced learning, smart cities, e-learning, smart learning, massively open online courses, Russia, Ireland, United Kingdom

Full Text:



Andone, D., Holotescu, C., & Grosseck, G. (2014). Learning Communities in Smart Cities. Case Studies. In 2014 International Conference on Web and Open Access to Learning (ICWOAL), 25-27 Nov. 2014. Dubai: United Arab Emirates, IEEE. doi: 10.1109/ICWOAL.2014.7009244

Giffinger, R. et al. (2007). Smart Cities: Ranking of European Medium-Sized Cities. Centre of Regional Science, Vienna UT. Retrieved from

Albino, V., Berardi, U., & Dangelico, R. M. (2015). Smart Cities: Definitions, Dimensions, Performance, and Initiatives. Journal of Urban Technology, 22(1), 3–21. doi: 10.1080/10630732.2014.942092

Turcu, C. (2013). Re-thinking Sustainability Indicators: Local Perspectives of Urban Sustainability. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 56(5), 695–719. doi: 10.1080/09640568.2012.698984

Angelidou, M. (2015). Smart Cities: A Conjuncture of Four Forces. Cities, 47, 95–106. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2015.05.004

Anthopoulos, L. G. (2015). Understanding the Smart City Domain: a Literature Review. In M. P. Rodríguez-Bolívar (Ed.), Transforming City Governments for Successful Smart Cities (pp. 9–21). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-03167-5_2

Gianni, F., & Divitini, M. (2015). Technology-Enhanced Smart City Learning: a Systematic Mapping of the Literature. Interaction Design and Architecture(s) Journal, 27, 28–43.

Hammad, R., & Ludlow, D. (2016). Towards a Smart Learning Environment for Smart City Governance. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing – UCC ’16 (pp. 185–190). Shanghai, China: ACM Press. doi: 10.1145/2996890.3007859

Goodchild, T., & Speed, E. (2018). Technology Enhanced Learning as Transformative Innovation: a Note on the Enduring Myth of TEL. Teaching in Higher Education. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2018.1518900

Skinner, B. F. (1965). Review Lecture: the Technology of Teaching. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences, 162(989), 427–443. doi: 10.1098/rspb.1965.0048

Shannon, C., & Weaver, W. (1964). The Mathematical Theory of Communication. The University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

Traxler, J. (2018). Learning with Mobiles: The Global South. Research in Comparative and International Education, 13(1), 152–175. doi: 10.1177/1745499918761509

Brown, K., & Lally, V. (2017). Myths, Rhetoric and Opportunities Surrounding New Teaching Technologies: Engineering Mathematics Education. In EDCRUNCH Ural: New Educational Technologies at the University: Proceedings of the International Scientific and Methodological Conference. 25–27 Apr. 2017 (pp. 2–10). Ekaterinburg: Ural Federal University. Retrieved from

Marshalsey, L., & Sclater, M. (2018). Critical Perspectives of Technology-Enhanced Learning in Relation to Specialist Communication Design Studio Education within the UK and Australia. Research in Comparative and International Education, 13(1), 92–116. doi: 10.1177/1745499918761706

Lally, V., Sclater, M., & Brown, K. (2018). Technologies, Learning and Culture: Some Emerging Themes. Research in Comparative and International Education, 13(1), 227–235. doi: 10.1177/1745499918770951

Bystrova, T. Yu., Larionova, V. A., Osborne, M., & Platonov, A. M. (2015). Introduction of Open E-Learning System as a Factor of Regional Development. R-Economy, 1(4), 587–596. doi: 10.15826/recon.2015.4.021

Fischer, G. (2014). Beyond Hype and Underestimation: Identifying Research Challenges for the Future of MOOCs. Distance Education, 35(2), 149–158. doi: 10.1080/01587919.2014.920752

Czerniewicz, L. (2018). Inequality as Higher Education Goes Online. In B. N. Dohn, S. Cranmer, J.-A. Sime, M. de Laat, & Th. Ryberg (Eds), Networked Learning: Reflections and Challenges (pp. 95–106). Springer, Cham. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74857-3_6

Liyanagunawardena, T. R., Williams, S. A., & Adams, A. A. (2013). The Impact and Reach of MOOCs: a Developing Countries’ Perspective. eLearning Papers, 38–46. Retrieved from

Honeychurch, S., & Patrick, F. (2018). Massive Open Online Courses as Affinity Spaces for Connected Learning: Exploring Effective Learning Interactions in One Massive Online Community. Research in Comparative and International Education, 13(1), 117–134. doi: 10.1177/1745499918768112

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Quinlan, O. (2017). Changes to Academic Practice in the Twenty-First Century. In N. Kucirkova, & O. Quinlan (Eds), The Digitally Agile Researcher (pp. 1–11). London, UK: Open University Press.

Redecker, C., & Johannessen, O. (2013). Changing Assessment – Towards a New Assessment Paradigm Using ICT. European Journal of Education, 48(1), 79–96. doi: 10.1111/ejed.12018

Flavell, J. H. (2004). Theory-of-Mind Development: Retrospect and Prospect. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50(3), 274–290. doi: 10.1353/mpq.2004.0018

Lockl, K., & Schneider, W. (2006). Precursors of Metamemory in Young Children: the Role of Theory of Mind and Metacognitive Vocabulary. Metacognition and Learning, 1(1), 15–31. doi: 10.1007/s11409-006-6585-9

Schwab, K. (2015, December 12). The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means and how to respond. Foreign Affairs. Retrieved from fourth-industrial-revolution

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-Efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191–215. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.84.2.191

Artino, A. R. (2012). Academic Self-Efficacy: from Educational Theory to Instructional Practice. Perspectives on Medical Education, 1(2), 76–85. doi: 10.1007/s40037-012-0012-5

Dearden, R. F. (1979). The Assessment of Learning. British Journal of Educational Studies, 27(2), 111–124. doi: 10.1080/00071005.1979.9973540

Vroom, V. H., & Deci, E. L. (1992). Management and Motivation (2nd ed.). London, UK: Penguin Group.

Azeiteiro, U. M., Akerman, M., Leal Filho, W., Setti, A. F. F., & Brandli, L. L. (Eds.) (2018). Lifelong Learning and Education in Healthy and Sustainable Cities. Springer, Cham. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-69474-0

Boud, D., & Molloy, E. (2013). Rethinking Models of Feedback for Learning: the Challenge of Design. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 38(6), 698–712. doi: 10.1080/02602938.2012.691462

Narciss, S., Sosnovsky, S., Schnaubert, L., Andrès, E., Eichelmann, A., Goguadze, G., & Melis, E. (2014). Exploring Feedback and Student Characteristics Relevant for Personalizing Feedback Strategies. Computers & Education, 71, 56–76. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2013.09.011

Brown, K., & Lally, V. (2018). Rhetorical Relationships with Students: A Higher Education Case Study of Perceptions of Online Assessment in Mathematics. Research in Comparative and International Education, 13(1), 7–26. doi: 10.1177/1745499918761938

Pachler, N., Daly, C., Mor, Y., & Mellar, H. (2010). Formative e-Assessment: Practitioner Cases. Computers & Education, 54(3), 715–721. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.09.032

Wang, T.-H. (2010). Web-Based Dynamic Assessment: Taking Assessment as Teaching and Learning Strategy for Improving Students e-Learning Effectiveness. Computers & Education, 54(4), 1157–1166. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.11.001

Gikandi, J. W., Morrow, D., & Davis, N. E. (2011). Online Formative Assessment in Higher Education: A Review of the Literature. Computers & Education, 57(4), 2333–2351. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2011.06.004

Markkula, M., & Kune, H. (2015). Making Smart Regions Smarter: Smart Specialization and the Role of Universities in Regional Innovation Ecosystems. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5(10), 7–15. doi: 10.22215/timreview/932

Fischer, G. (2014). Beyond Hype and Underestimation: Identifying Research Challenges for the Future of MOOCs. Distance Education, 35(2), 149–158. doi: 10.1080/01587919.2014.920752

Holotescu, C., Slavici, T., Cismariu, L., Gotiu, L. O. L., Grossek, G., & Andone, D. (2016). MOOCs for Innovative Entrepreneurship in Smart Cities. World Journal on Educational Technology, 8(3), 245–251. doi: 10.18844/wjet.v8i3.832

Yeager, C., Hurley-Dasguptaand B., & Bliss, C.A. (2013) cMOOCs and Global Learning: an Authentic Alternative. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(2), 133–147. Retrieved from

Vygotskij, L. S. (1996). Pedagogical psychology. Moscow: Pedagogika-Press. (In Russ.)

Genisaretskiy, O. I. (2010). Design Culture and Conceptualism. Retrieved from (In Russ.)

Drysdale, J. J., Graham, Ch. R., & Borup, J. (2014). An Online High School «Shepherding» Program: Teacher Roles and Experiences Mentoring Online Students. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 22(1), 9–32.

Delors, J. (1996). Learning: The Treasure within. Report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-First-Century. Paris: UNESCO.

Jones, J. Ch. (1970) Design Methods: Seeds of Human Futures. Wiley, UK.

Bake, J.-I. (2010). The Project Method (Die Projektmethode). Theory and Practise. Seminer paper. GRIN-Verlag.

Frey, K. (1997). Die Projektmethode. Berlin: Baeltz.

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the Theory of Formative Assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5–31. doi: 10.1007/s11092-008-9068-5

Thomas, V., Wang, D., Mullagh, L. & Dunn, N. (2016). Where’s Wally? In Search of Citizen Perspectives on the Smart City. Sustainability, 8(3), 207. doi: 10.3390/su8030207

Kitchin, R., Coletta, C., Evans, L., Heaphy, L., & Mac Donncha, D. (2017). Smart Cities, Urban Technocrats, Epistemic Communities and Advocacy Coalitions. The Programmable City Working Paper 26. doi: 10.31235/

Cardullo, P., & Kitchin, R. (2018). Being a “Citizen” in the Smart City: Up and Down the Scaffold of Smart Citizen Participation in Dublin, Ireland. GeoJournal, 1–13. doi: 10.1007/s10708-018-9845-8

O’Brolchain, N., Ojo, A., Porwol, L., Minton, D., & Barry, C. (2018). Examining the Feasibility of a Smart Region Approach in the North West Atlantic and Borders Region of Ireland. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, April 4–6, 2018 (pp. 568–574). Galway, Ireland. doi: 10.1145/3209415.3209512

Borkowska, K., & Osborne, M. (2018). Locating the Fourth Helix: Rethinking the Role of Civil Society in Developing Smart Learning Cities. International Review of Education, 64(3), 355–372. doi: 10.1007/s11159-018-9723-0

UNESCO Recommendation. (2015, October 22). Retrieved from


Copyright (c) 2019 Ken Brown, Viola A. Larionova, Vic Lally