Smart learning environments (SLEs) utilize a range of digital technologies in supporting learning, education and training; they also provide a prominent signpost for how future learning environments might be shaped. Thus, while innovation proceeds, SLEs are receiving growing attention from the research community, outputs from which are discussed in this paper. Likewise, this broad application of educational digital technologies is also the remit of standardization in an ISO committee, also discussed in this paper. These two communities share a common interest in, conceptualizing this emerging domain with the aim to identifying direction to further development. In doing so, terminology issues arise along with key questions such as,‘how is smart learning different from traditional learning?’Presenting a bigger challenge is the question,‘how can standardization work be best scoped in today's innovation-rich, networked, cloud-based and data-driven learning environments?’In responding, this conceptual paper seeks to identify candidate constructs and approaches that might lead to stable, coherent and exhaustive understanding of smart learning environments, thereby providing standards development for learning, education and training a needed direction. Based on reviews of pioneering work within smart learning, smart education and smart learning environments we highlight two models, a cognitive smart learning model and a smartness level model.These models are evaluated against current standardization challenges in the field of learning, education and training to form the basis for a development platform for new standards in this area.