My research and development focus is on
both nationally (UK) and internationally. I am particularly interested in the connections between teacher learning and student learning. For instance, the exploration of the connections between teachers learning (with technology, in enquiry-based settings) and students learning about mathematics and science (with technology, also in enquiry-based settings). The three concepts of interactive pedagogy, OER, and digital technology also relate to Open education, Open development, participation and participative education. My motivation for exploring these ideas is to address a key question in international education: How can low-resourced education systems offer an unprecedented quantity of education, at radically low cost, without compromising quality, access or inclusion?
One of our projects that puts some of these ideas into practice is OER4Schools programme (which I co-lead together with Sara Hennessy), introducing interactive teaching and digital technologies in Zambian primary schools. The programme revolves around a professional learning resource for teachers, focusing on interactive pedagogy for teaching with and without digital technology. A key feature of this resource is the use of video as a stimulus for discussion. The video used has been produced mainly in the Zambian primary school context, but we anticipate other video materials to become available, and we hope the material will be useful in other contexts too. The resource introduces and illustrates interactive teaching – using interactive teaching techniques itself. These include asking teachers participating in the programme to brainstorm, reflect, collaborate, discuss, make personal sense of new ideas, and ultimately and try out such new classroom practices. "Interactive" in this context does not mean technically interactive (in the sense of interacting with a computer), but pedagogically interactive: learners are interacting with each other and the teacher rather than being passive consumers of content. Another unique element of the programme is that digital technology use of teachers during professional development activities is tightly linked to digital technology use in the classroom. The programme has a high potential for scalability due to the peer-facilitated OER4Schools resource, which constitutes a fully developed year-long in-service professional development programme for teachers, aimed at raising quality of education. OER4Schools also incorporates outcomes from the DfID-funded Appropriate New Technologies for Interactive Teaching project.
Previous projects included JISC-funded ORBIT project, which produced an Open Resource Bank on Interactive Teaching for teacher education, focussing on innovative digital technology use in mathematics and science education. The project presents lesson ideas, organised by teaching approach, subject content, and digital technology used. Both OER4Schools and ORBIT are hosted on the Faculty OER site, http://oer.educ.cam.ac.uk, which we specifically developed for these projects, and which uses the mediawiki software (also used for Wikipedia). Other projects have included moderating the Access to Open Educational Resources discussion of the international UNESCO OER Community, as well as several digital technology and development projects in Zambia, including projects on rural women's education. I have made substantial contributions to the international academic video community, and also consult for businesses, professional societies and non-governmental organisations.