Mobile learning and Special Education

Guest Editors


Enrico Gandolfi, Peña Bedesem, Richard E. Ferdig, and Cheng-Chang Lu, Kent State University


Important dates


• Deadline: February 28, 2016 -> March 7, 2016 (extended)

• Notification to the authors: March 30, 2016

• Camera ready paper: April 20, 2016

• Publication of the special issue: end of May, 2016




The widespread distribution of mobile devices as well as the massive availability of mobile apps has created innovative opportunities for teaching and learning in both general and special education.  Special education here means “specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including: (i) Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and (ii) Instruction in physical education” (20 U.S.C. 1401(29)). This framework concerns every type of disability, physical as well as cognitive, from autism to speech/language and hearing impairments.

Mobile Learning has the potential to positively impact special education for at least three key reasons.   First, it allows and promotes the use of multi-sensorial inputs able to overcome possible problems of communication, improving the resulting capacity of comprehension. Second, the personalized support offered by mobile technology is especially important for a child with special needs, who usually requires individualized support. Third, the cooperative dimension that mobile devices can create through their dynamics is a key-front in disability studies. 

Although research has supported mobile learning, the field lacks a significant body of research in the use of mobile devices and applications for supporting students in special education.    This is not to discredit existing studies; however, the field needs more research (theoretical and empirical) to further support researchers, designers, teachers, parents, teacher educators, etc. 

In light of these considerations, the special issue on Mobile Learning and Special Education aims to stimulate proposals from researchers, developers and educators.  Suggestions from Special Education and Educational Technology fields are particularly encouraged. However, the issue addresses also scholars and practitioners from Design, Art and Computer Sciences in order to stimulate creative efforts able to push beyond the frontiers of the topic. Finally, experts from disciplines like Game Studies, Media Studies and STS (Science and Technology Studies) are welcome due to related contribution in terms of engagement, cultural analysis and oriented social/technological infrastructures. 


Topics of Interests


• Mobile development (programming, development, production, promotion) toward special education

• Special education teaching and learning based on mobile apps and infrastructures for disability categories

• Assessment of the experience of the user with a disability (ID, usability, etc.)

• Technology-mediated social patterns concerning special needs

• Participative design dealing with disabilities

• Best practices in involving, linking and supporting online individuals, stakeholders, groups and communities connected to special education

• Exploration of online networking opportunities to disseminate results, support operators and stakeholders, and enable community feelings are particularly appreciated. 


Submission procedure 


All submissions (abstracts and later final manuscripts) 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 .

More information on the submission procedure and on the characteristics of the paper format can be found on the website of IxD&A Journal the where information on the copyright policy and responsibility of authors, publication ethics and malpractice are published.

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

• egandol1 [at] kent [dot] edu


marking the subject as: 'IxD&A issue on Mobile learning and Special Education''.