My research interests are primarily focused around educational technology. I am currently studying for my PhD – focusing on secondary school staff development and digital literacy. I also have expertise in games-based learning, forms of open education and alternative accreditation. The DigiLit Leicester Project, for which I worked as Research Lead, was recognised as an international exemplar in open educational practices. My work around Open Badges also resulted in my being invited to attend the Mozilla Summit 2013.
PhD, Educational Technology
De Montfort University, Leicester October 2014 – Ongoing
‘A critical evaluation of continuing professional development strategies for digital literacy in compulsory education in England’
Supervisors: Professor Richard Hall, Dr Sarah Younie and Chris Goldsmith
In response to the increasing drive for the effective use of technology to support teaching and learning in compulsory education, my thesis presents a ground-up investigation of CPD for digital literacy. Of particular interest is the use of teacher voice to generate theory and recommendations for future practice. Using a grounded theory approach, I have collected the experiences and opinions of in-service school staff relating to their professional development of digital literacy. Issues relating to professional identity and status, and how these effect expectations of professional development, are explored alongside teachers’ experiences of professional development and learning in order to consider how current strategies are supporting staff. I am now in the final year of my PhD and am writing up my findings and theory.
MA Learning, Technology and Education
University of Nottingham October 2011 – September 2012
‘Assessing the Digital Literacy of Children in Upper Primary Education’
BA Dance and Education Studies, Joint Honours
De Montfort University, Leicester September 2008 – July 2011
‘Exploring the Educational Potential of the Nintendo DS Console’
Awarded First Class Honours
Hall, R., Atkins, L. and Fraser, J. (2014) Defining a self-evaluation digital literacy framework for secondary educators: the DigiLit Leicester project. Research in Learning Technology, vol.22: 21440
Atkins, L., Fraser, J. and Hall, R. (CC BY-NC 3.0) DigiLit Leicester Project Reports:
2013 Initial Project Report 2014 Project Activities Report
2013 Survey Results 2014 Survey Results
MA Education Practice
- Module tutor for Technology Enhanced Practice, a 30 credit module.
- One two-hour workshop per week for 13 weeks.
- Maintenance of the virtual learning environment.
- Marking of assignments.
Professional Development Workshops
2012 Augmented Reality in the Learning Resource Centre
2012 Blogging for Educators
2013 Prezi: A User’s Guide
2013 Open Badges Hands On Session
2013 iPad for Teaching and Learning, The City of Leicester College
2013 Open Badges sessions, Mozilla Summit and Mozilla Festival
2017 Social Media for Researchers
- Student representative for DMU Health and Life Sciences faculty ethics committee.
- Organising committee member for Student-led Health and Life Sciences PhD Conference, The Impact of PhD Research, 2nd March 2017. This included confirming a keynote speaker for the social sciences strand of the conference.
Peer-Reviewer for Research in Learning Technology (December 2013 – Present)
Peer-Reviewer for British Journal of Educational Technology (May 2015 – Present)
2014 5th annual TEAN conference
2014 HEA annual conference
2014 BERA annual conference
2015 6th annual TEAN conference
2016 Digital Participation and Health Literacy conference
2017 8th annual TEAN conference
De Montfort University January 2015 – July 2017
- Module tutor for Technology Enhanced Practice, as part of the MA Education Practice. Responsible for the maintenance of the virtual learning environment, delivery of weekly workshops and marking of assignments.
Digital Literacy Research Associate
De Montfort University & Leicester City Council Sept 2012 – Sept 2014
- Project Lead for the DigiLit Leicester Project – developing a self-evaluation framework, focusing on digital literacy skills and practices, for Secondary school teaching and teaching support staff.
- Responsible for the management of the project, building and maintaining relationships with partners, curating and delivering CPD and general promotion of the project through various channels, including social media. I also led on the collection and analysis of data and project report writing.
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council Sept 2011 – Sept 2012
- My duties in this role were highly varied – from creating learning materials, to organising personalised schemes of work for particular groups of pupils. During the SATs assessment period I supported a pupil by reading for their maths assessments. I also regularly provided one-to-one support for a child with special educational needs.
Training and Skills
- Attended formal training on:
- the design and implementation of online surveys, led by Dr Tabetha Newman
- project management at DMU
- beginning to teach in Higher Education at DMU
- the use of GradeMark at DMU.
- Through my degrees I have developed research skills related to:
- designing, conducting and analysing focused and group interviews
- conducting observations and the design of observation schedules
- designing and implementing tests
- grounded theory methodology
- using analysis software for both quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative (NVivo) research
- carrying out literature reviews.
- Engaged with the Graduate School Researcher Development Programme, which develops academic skills in relation to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework. This includes:
- Three Minute Thesis Competition
- Writing skills
- Planning and managing research
- Presenting research
- Publishing research
- Grant funding
- Intellectual property and data management
- Research ethics
- Confident in use of software packages such as: Office, Adobe Creative Suite, video and audio editing software.
- Experienced in presenting to both academic and non-specialist audiences.
ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Award (2014) The DigiLit Leicester Project Team were identified as runners up in the Team Award category.
Reclaim Open Learning – Innovation Contest (2013) The DigiLit Leicester Project was recognised as representative of one of the best examples of open innovation in education globally by the MacArthur Foundation, the Digital Media and Learning Hub, and MIT Media Lab.
References: available on request