My passion for transforming learning harnessing digital technologies has directed my career path from classroom teacher to university researcher. I was an early adopter of computers in the 90s who enthusiastically experimented with simulation software and online curriculum projects. My innovative classroom approaches were recognised by leading a district ICT Lighthouse Project and ultimately led to being awarded a competitive APAI scholarship on an ARC linkage grant. Since then my focus has been on providing leadership and professional learning in defining new ideas, approaches and methods for engaging with digital technologies in schools and higher education.
My PhD examined models of teacher ICT professional development that empower multiliterate classroom practices at the time when The New London Group shifted our thinking towards digital literacies. Ongoing industry grants, participation on a second large-scale ARC and commercial research projects over the past 10 years have all contributed to my research, teaching and service roles focused on development of digital technologies in educational settings (tertiary, work place, classroom). I have developed strong theoretical frameworks which conceptualise ‘best practice’ with digital learning and teaching; I have theorised key principles of transformative PD and I have identified a new ‘self-generating’ model of professional learning through social media. I have also developed a validated instrument to assess student’s self-regulation for online learning. Student’s ability to self-regulate their learning is a key capability for preparing future-ready students.
Further, my leadership in digital literacies has provided me with a unique opportunity to innovate with tertiary level teaching staff in the largest program offered in Education at Griffith University. With over 10 years of consecutive leadership as Program Director of this degree, I have been able to design and support the implementation of an innovative approach to curriculum development. My leadership has fostered a culture of collaboration and vibrancy which has led to the pedagogical growth of my colleagues and flexible learning pathways for students. Under my leadership there has been an increase in student-to-student interaction, a decrease in course sites as content repositories and a significant increase in the use of digital technologies for purposeful, collaborative learning activities. Additionally, within my own teaching of first year and final year undergraduate students, I have embedded innovative practices over the last decade to build my student’s digital literacies through exploration of Second Life and Illuminate, while more recently through the use of Microsoft Teams, Twitter and Facebook. These digital tools support the creation of a community of learners for collaborative knowledge engagement.