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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
I had 16 years full time classroom experience as a teacher of geography and humanities at secondary level, including being for several years Head of Humanities faculty in a large comprehensive school, before I took up a two year seconded position as Advisory Teacher for Humanities. I subsequently took up my current position at the University of Nottingham School of Education.
My ICT interests began when, for some reason I cannot recall, I took an optional course in Fortran Four programming whilst studying for a geography degree at Hull long, long ago. Piles of punched cards and a computer the size of a holiday chalet, you know the sort of thing. I tried to make progress with the use of computers in my teaching and learnt quite a lot through my early efforts.
I wrote part of a book using a BBC computer, but did most of my main learning on an Acorn Archimedes - fond memories. When I moved to the University I began using a PC but couldn't believe how impenetrably non-friendly a DOS-based approach (which at that point we were using) was after the intuitive windows-mouse-pointer RISCOS-based approach on an Arc.
Thankfully Microsft discovered Windows - after it had been invented by everyone else! I'm currently ICT coordinator for the School of Education, with an overall responsibility for developing ICT use in the School.
I'm involved in developing web-based distance learning for one of our taught doctorates in education, and I teach various ICT-related components of a range of courses.
I was fortunate enough to be involved as a field researcher in the evaluation of the Multimedia Portables for Teachers Pilot, and that is where my interest in the relationship between the uptake of ICT and conceptions of teacher professionalism began. I hope eventually to complete a PhD on this topic.
I'm currently working on three evaluations for BECTa:
- The ImpacT2 evaluation,looking at the impact of networked ICT on pupil attainment. As a 'link researcher' I am a member of the core team. I am based in the east and north-east region, and am working particularly with ten schools in the region.
- The technical evaluation of the NGfL Pathfinder LEAs. As a field researcher I have particular responsibility for tracking the rollout of the NGfL in two LEAs in northern England, paying particular regard to any emerging technical issues.
- The evaluation of the KS3 Online Courses project, in which three developers have been contracted to the DfEE to create online courses in Maths, Japanese and Latin.
All three evaluations bring me into contact with schools and the teachers working in them, and in two I also get to talk to students. Each is deeply interesting in its own right, but for me the bonus is to stand in the overlap between them and to start to see some of the connections. In addition my ongoing work at the School of Education is to support and assist in the development of our use of ICT as an organisation and in our various teacher education programmes.
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