Dr Anne Preston
SOLE Centre Research Fellow

Introduction

I’m a Research Fellow in SOLE Central. I hold an MA in Applied Linguistics and Research Methods and a PhD in Applied Linguistics. My PhD looked at how teachers and students communicate in classrooms and how this can have an impact on their motivation as a dynamic construct rather than a fixed 'mind-set'.

For the past four years, I’ve been working around the design and evaluation of technologies to support the future of learning and digital education. I started off collaborating on the design and evaluation of a context-aware system for language learning (LanCook). This got me interested in how technologies like sensors can more seamlessly be integrated into different learning environments to make learning more interactive and student-led.

Building on this work which involved collaborating with researchers in Open Lab, I’m interested in the development of evaluation approaches to group interactions with and around multitouch tabletop technologies for collaborative learning. Now I’m working with researchers and practitioners in education and the third sector to develop different approaches to self-organised learning and the integration of Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLE) into in- and outside school, Higher Education, Adult and work-place learning contexts.

In the all of these areas, I have a particular interest in micro-analytical and empirically-driven approaches to understanding the role of technology for education in everyday life as well as the development of new research methodologies to enable more open, inclusive and democratic ways of designing for and representing people’s experiences with new technologies in education. Tweet me @Prestontales

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

2015: ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, a knowledge exchange with the Workers’ Educational Association, a national charity providing adult education. Project involves designing approaches to integrate Self-Organised Learning into the organisation.  Find out more here

2013: 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. Project involved studying self-organised approaches to collaborative content creation. Find out more here

2004-2008: As part of the Centre for Applied Language Research at the University of Southampton, I was awarded an ESRC Quota Award Studentship in Linguistics (fees, maintenance and allowances) for a 1+3 programme, which included my MA Applied Linguistics Research Methodology (MAALRM) and subsequent PhD programme. 

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 been involved in teaching for more than 10 years and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

At Newcastle, I have previously contributed to 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've also co-led the Second Language Learning and Teaching module as part of the MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL pathway with Prof Vivian Cook for the past two years. I have supervised more than 30 MA dissertations on TESOL/Applied Linguistic/Technology subjects related to classroom theory and practice and mentored and advised PhD students doing studies on learning using digital technology since coming to Newcastle.  

Recently, I have turned my attention to flipping the conventional and more traditional approaches to HE teaching by re-designing and leading a module on Task-Based Language Learning blending Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLE) with online and face to face teaching methods. I'll be sharing some of my findings at BERA 2015 as part of a Symposium and Innovation Session I'm leading.  

More broadly, I regularly lead workshops on Technology Enhanced Learning in iLab:Learn for postgraduate students, teacher trainees, teachers, visiting academics and many more!


 

 

 


I’m a Research Fellow in SOLE Central. I hold an MA in Applied Linguistics and Research Methods and a PhD in Applied Linguistics. My PhD looked at how teachers and students communicate in classrooms and how this can have an impact on their motivation as a dynamic construct rather than a fixed 'mind-set'.

For the past four years, I’ve been working around the design and evaluation of technologies to support the future of learning and digital education. I started off collaborating on the design and evaluation of a context-aware system for language learning (LanCook). This got me interested in how technologies like sensors can more seamlessly be integrated into different learning environments to make learning more interactive and student-led.

Building on this work which involved collaborating with researchers in Open Lab, I’m interested in the development of evaluation approaches to group interactions with and around multitouch tabletop technologies for collaborative learning. Now I’m working with researchers and practitioners in education and the third sector to develop different approaches to self-organised learning and the integration of Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLE) into in- and outside school, Higher Education, Adult and work-place learning contexts.

In the all of these areas, I have a particular interest in micro-analytical and empirically-driven approaches to understanding the role of technology for education in everyday life as well as the development of new research methodologies to enable more open, inclusive and democratic ways of designing for and representing people’s experiences with new technologies in education. Tweet me @Prestontales