I live in Brighton but work remotely conducting research at the Raspberry Pi Foundation in the Raspberry Pi Computing Education Research Centre. The research centre is a super joint initiative with the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. As well as working at the research centre, I am completing a part-time PhD in computer science education. I have been studying for some seven years for my PhD with Professor Paul Curzon at Queen Mary University of London. It’s a privilege to be able to undertake a PhD, and I love learning and working with teachers to discover what we should teach and how.
With regard to jobs, I have had a varied career that has gradually led to my computer science education research focus. I started as a developer, mainly working with large-scale banking databases. After 20 years of corporate life and commuting to London, I moved into education and became a primary school teacher. At this time, ICT (information and communication technology) was taught in schools, and I naturally became the ICT coordinator and got involved in related teacher professional development. Overtime, there has been drive to change the ICT curriculum and increase the programming element. Because of my background in computer science, I was very fortunate to be asked to be involved in several government projects to look at what should be taught and to help teachers with the new computing curriculum.
For example, in 2014, I was selected to work on the Barefoot Project, writing resources to demystify the primary computing curriculum. Following this, I worked as the Computing At School (CAS) London lead for Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London, again funded by the Department for Education. CAS London was a support network for computing teachers, providing community activity and teacher professional development.
I then worked as the Techpathways project manager for Queen Mary University London. This programme was funded by the Mayor Of London and provided computing professional development for educators in Art, Design and Technology, Geography and other subjects, as well as for industry professionals. I also worked on Institute of Coding activities, supported by the Office for Students (OfS). For the later large-scale NCCE programme, I helped out in various ways, including developing teacher professional development, reviewing resources and writing research papers.
Throughout my time working for Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London, I have worked on numerous research projects and taught undergraduate and graduate computer science and education modules. I am particularly proud of the work I have done writing for cs4fn and supporting Teaching London Computing.
Most recently, in April 2020, I started work with the Raspberry Pi Foundation as a researcher. I now manage a team of 6-7 people working on various computing education research studies.
Over the past ten years, I’ve investigated a wide range of computer-related topics, such as computational thinking, programming, design, education, and machine learning. I have been very fortunate to work with and write with many superb researchers and have published book chapters, journal and conference papers, as well as resources for practitioners (see my publications here).
I am a member of the CAS board and the Chair of the Research and Universities Working Group. I am a member of the BCS curriculum and assessment board and a member of a couple of the NCCE Hub steering boards.