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Dr Anne Preston

Lecturer

I'm a Lecturer in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) in CHERP. Prior to joining Kingston University in 2016, I was Senior Research Associate and Research Fellow in digital learning and education at Newcastle University for five years where I worked across the Schools of Education (SOLE Central) and Computing Science. I've also held in teaching roles at Universities of Southampton (UK) and Haute Alsace (France). I am currently a visiting researcher at Open Lab, Newcastle University.

Qualifications and memberships

  • 2015: FHEA Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (admission by experiential route)
  • 2009: PhD in Educational/Applied Linguistics, funded by an Economic and Social Research Council student scholarship, University of Southampton, UK
  • 2005: MA Applied Linguistics and Research Methods (Distinction) funded by an Economic and Social Research Council (1+3) student scholarship, University of Southampton, UK
  • 2002: BA(Hons) English and French (2:1), University of Salford, UK

Grants/projects funded

  • 2015/16: European Commission, £286,743, Principal Investigator for EUROSOLE, Promoting Young People's Transition through Engagement in European Self-Organised Learning Spaces (now led in SOLE Central, Newcastle University, ends 2018)
  • 2015/16: ESRC IAA, £2,598, Principal Investigator for Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLE) and Self Advocacy for adults with diverse needs at the Workers' Educational Association (WEA)
  • 2013/14: Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal, £1,800, Principal Investigator for: Young people as Researchers in Digital Learning Technologies: Conceptualising, Authoring, Using and Evaluating Digital Mysteries
  • 2011–14: European Commission, £364,738.50, Research Associate for LanCook: Learning languages, cultures and cuisines in digital interactive kitchens (Principal Investigator: Professor Paul Seedhouse)

PhD and MA supervision

I have been an academic supervisor to more than 30 MA education dissertations originating from classroom-based studies spanning motivation, discourse analysis and digital technology. I have also been part of a number of PhD supervisory teams for students carrying out research into educational technology and higher education.

Teaching and associated workshops

I have worked in higher education teaching for more than 10 years, leading and co-leading modules designed to support teachers' academic and scholarly development in the area of language teaching and learning, where digital technology has played a major role. I have also been part of teaching teams in research methods, computer-assisted language learning and e-learning. I have led university-wide workshops on technology and education in university settings for other academics, postgraduate students, teacher trainees, support staff and teachers.

External roles

I play an active role in sharing and merging the outputs of my research with the educational technology industry and third sector. Recent engagements have included invited talks and workshops at large-scale (25,000 +) leading educational technology conferences BETT (the British Educational Training and Technology Show) and EdTech Europe. Based on my work on SOLE, engagements have included invited workshop at Association of Colleges in the Eastern Region Annual Conference and keynote at Learning Through Technologies, a national technology and education conference for Scotland. 

Prizes and awards

For engagement work on digital kitchen projects, I led activities leading to the following recognitions:

  • 2014: Shortlisted by the English Speaking Union for the ESU President's Award
  • 2013: Finalist in the category of most innovative software for e-learning by E-Learning awards
  • 2012: Winner of European Union Language Label in the Higher Education category for The French Digital Kitchen

Research interests

My research, teaching and scholarship revolves around the emerging challenges and opportunities inherent in learning with, through and around digital technology, with a particular focus on higher education. I am interested in how teachers and students can be better enabled to take the lead in understanding and innovating in how technology can be designed, used and evaluated in their own learning spaces – from online to face-to-face interactions. I collaborate with people interested in technology from a whole range of education fields, from primary, secondary, higher and adult learning to industry leaders. My practice-based research therefore brings together a range of perspectives merging ideas from psychology to software engineering to arts, design practice and human computer interaction.

My work focuses on the different ways in which teachers and students make sense of technological innovation and how they develop an evidence-base for the kinds of decisions they enact through practice. My current projects span geographical borders to focus on how teachers and researchers document and track learning experiences through a range of technologies (like digital video and wearable sensors). I'm also developing new research methodologies to enable more open, inclusive and democratic ways of designing for and representing people's experiences with new technologies. In all of the above, I work with a dynamic network of collaborators including Shaimaa Lazem (SRTA-City, Eqypt), Pasi Tiihonen (Lamk, Finland), Aibhin Bray (B21 SOLE, Trinity College Dublin), Patrick Olivier, Anna Vasilchenko, Ahmed Kharrufa & Jonathan Worth (Open Lab, Newcastle University), Diane Holmes (WEA tutor), Chris Carr (Primary STEM co-ordinator), Caroline Afolabi (Success4All) Mei Lin and James Stanfield (School of Education, Newcastle University).

Publications

Publications include monograms and conference/keynote presentations – read more in Kingston University's Research Repository (a digital archive of published research produced by Kingston University staff and researchers).

Contact details

Contact us

Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice
Kenry House
Kingston Hill campus
Kingston University
Kingston Hill
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT2 7LB
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5645

Contact us

Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice
Kenry House
Kingston Hill campus
Kingston University
Kingston Hill
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT2 7LB
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5645

Contact us

Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice
Kenry House
Kingston Hill campus
Kingston University
Kingston Hill
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT2 7LB
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5645

Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice