Dr Anne Preston
SOLE Centre Research Fellow

Introduction

I am a Research Fellow in SOLE Central which is a global hub for research into Self-Organised Learning  Environments (SOLEs), bringing together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and entrepreneurs. In my research around SOLEs, I bring my research expertise and experience to probing how learning with and around technology can increase access, participation and motivation in learning and education.

My research looks at the role that language plays in interactions between learning and motivation with and around technology. I am motivated by collaborative and innovative research which works towards finding solutions to real-world issues, I collaborate with people from both inside and outside the university to develop knowledge and understandings which includes students of all ages (and abilities), teachers, community workers, computer scientists, programmers, digital interactionists and applied linguists. 

Research Interests and Expertise

I'm passionate about doing innovative multidisciplinary academic research which has a practical relevance and utility. Some examples are:

- The design and evaluation of smart language learning environments using digital sensors. You can read about it here

- Thinking skills for second language users on digital tabletops in Higher Education, you read about it here

- Teachers' understanding of pedagogical and technological models for technology enhanced learning

- Young people's understanding and feelings about the role and use of new technologies used for educational purposes, read a summary of the project here

- Teachers and students' motivation to co-create their own technological tools and environments for learning

-  Self Organised Learning Environments in adult learning 

 

You can follow me on Twitter @Prestontales where I am usually engaged in some online debate about technology, language, learning and education!

Roles and Memberships

I am convenor for the iLab:Learn Research Cluster where I encourage students and staff from across the university to share their work and get involved in discussions about what technology, and its relationship to learning and education, means to them. To join the mailing list for this group, you can contact me on anne.preston@Newcastle.ac.uk

I also review academic articles for Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) Journal and NordiCHI (the main Nordic forum for human-computer interaction research)

I am a member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) and the British Educational Research Association (BERA).

Funding

Economic and Social Research Council: As part of the Centre for Applied Language Research at the University of Southampton, I was awarded an ESRC Quota Award Studentship in Linguistics for a 1+3 programme, which included my MA Applied Linguistics Research Methodology and subsequent PhD programme. 

Newcastle Institute of Social Renewal: funding to lead an interdisciplinary team on a project called: Young people as Researchers in Digital Learning Technologies: Conceptualising, Authoring, Using and Evaluating Digital Mysteries

I previously led the day to day coordination of a large scale EU-funded FP7 Lifelong Learning project for 3 years which involved partners from Spain, Italy, Germany and Finland: www.europeandigitalkitchen.com

Background

After graduating with a BA (hons) in English and French from Salford University, I worked as a teacher of undergraduates at Université de Haute Alsace in the East of France where I delivered undergraduate English Language Teaching modules on written and oral communication, French-English translation, Literature, Culture and Civilisation and Academic Skills. I then went on to study under an ESRC studentship for a MA (Applied Linguistics and Research Methods) and a PhD (Modern Languages) at the University of Southampton. I have worked in language education for many years including two online MA courses in TESOL and Applied Linguistics. I joined Newcastle University in 2011. 

 

I have contributed to a number of teaching areas across the School including specialist seminars on learning technologies for students on the MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL pathway (Computer Assisted Language Learning, e-learning for Language Teaching and Task-Based Language Learning). 

I have supervised more than 30 MA dissertations on TESOL/Applied Linguistic/Technology subjects related to classroom theory and practice and mentored PhD students doing studies on learning using digital technology.

Most recently, I have re-designed and led a module on Task-Based Language Learning blending Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLE), online and face to face teaching methods. 

I lead workshops on educational technology in iLab:Learn for postgraduate students, teacher trainees, teachers, other academics and many more!


 

 

 

I am a Research Fellow in SOLE Central which is a global hub for research into Self-Organised Learning  Environments (SOLEs), bringing together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and entrepreneurs. In my research around SOLEs, I bring my research expertise and experience to probing how learning with and around technology can increase access, participation and motivation in learning and education.

My research looks at the role that language plays in interactions between learning and motivation with and around technology. I am motivated by collaborative and innovative research which works towards finding solutions to real-world issues, I collaborate with people from both inside and outside the university to develop knowledge and understandings which includes students of all ages (and abilities), teachers, community workers, computer scientists, programmers, digital interactionists and applied linguists.