Ros Walker

…learning, education, disability and stuff

Introduction

Ros Walker MSc

My name is Ros Walker and I am a mother,  learning-technologist, teacher and euphonium player!  From a degree in Modern Languages (Russian), I have had a varied career, with almost 25 years in various education posts, many connected with educational technology. This page is a ‘potted summary’ of the work I have done so far

My career 

  • BA(Hons) Russian and Soviet Studies at Manchester University.
  • Price Waterhouse, London, Trainee Accountant (only 6 months!)
  • English Teacher (Kyiv Mohyla Academy, Ukraine) and Anglo-Continental School of English
  • PGCE in Modern Languages (French and Russian). During the course, I became very interested in how computers were making a difference to the way that pupils learned languages.
  • Set up an Open Learning Centre for Languages at Surrey University. I was very fortunate in having a manager who fully supported new technologies in language learning.
  • I  moved to CILT (Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research)  I was the first national adviser on computer-assisted language learning. Having written a bid to run their NOF (New Opportunities Fund) ICT training program for teachers of languages, I took up a post to deliver specialist tuition for teachers of MFL in UK secondary schools. We did this using ‘blended learning’ – a format that was new to the participants at the time.
  • I led a research project at Hull University, funded by ‘nesta’ , called the REVIEW project (Research and Evaluation of Interactive, Electronic Whiteboards), to find and disseminate best practice in the use of interactive whiteboards. We observed 200 lessons taught by really inspirational teachers, who were all pioneers – early adopters – of whiteboard technology.
  • Promethean (UK-based interactive whiteboard company) – 1 year in the UK as a Teaching and Learning Adviser and 1 year overseas (China, Russia, Denmark) and some other European work. Whilst very exciting, living out of a suitcase was not something I wanted to do long-term…..
  •  United Learning (formerly UCST and ULT) From 2006 – 2014, I was a Learning Technologist, based in the North of England and supporting schools throughout the group. United Learning owns and manages independent schools and sponsors Academies in the UK. In May 2013, I was offered the role of Project Manager for Mobile learning across the United Learning group (40+ schools). This was an exciting and fast-moving area as we tried to harness the best of the technology available to most pupils, whilst taking into consideration some of the difficulties in managing mobile devices in schools.
  • Masters Degree at Huddersfield University in Multimedia and E-learning (2013). My dissertation was on pupil perspectives on mobile learning. I learned a huge amount from speaking to pupils and it has had an impact on my work since I completed it.
  • University of Sheffield: Learning Technologist in Central Services and as Faculty Learning Technologist for Social Sciences
  • I am currently at Huddersfield University, leading work on Assistive Technology and Accessibility, making our courses universally accessible to all our students.

I have always had a passion for education. I never set out to go into ‘technology’, but when I realised my pupils were learning better, it was something I wanted to explore and, unexpectedly, I have now followed this career for almost 25 years! My focus has always been very firmly on the ‘teaching and learning’ side of the technology that we use and my heart is firmly set on creating the best environment we can for all learners.

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