Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
Tech 100: Education

Tech 100: Education

New Noreen Adams, Head of Metadata, BBC; Board member, National Library of Scotland (NLS)

Adams is responsible for promoting and developing metadata standards that enable audiences to access BBC broadcast services. She previously developed and implemented the innovative digital archive for BBC Scotland. Adams is also chair of the UK Public Service Broadcasters’ Digital Production Partnership Metadata Standards Group. Appointed to the Board of the NLS earlier this year, Adams will bring her expertise to improving access to the library’s vast resources.

Professor Bill Buchanan, Director, Centre for Distributed Computing, Networking and Security; Professor of Computing, School of Computing, Edinburgh Napier University

An expert in online security, Buchanan is working on next generation user interfaces, web-based infrastructures, e-Crime, intrusion detection systems, digital forensics, e-Health, mobile computing, agent-based systems, and simulation. A prolific academic author, he is recognised for his excellence in knowledge transfer, including extensive engagement with the public sector, SMEs and industry and recent patents and spin-outs related to computer security.

Professor Alan Bundy, Professor, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

Bundy is a leader in the development of artificial intelligence. His work on automated reasoning has been used in hardware and software systems development and in 2008 he was a recipient of an HP Labs innovation research award. Bundy was a founder and convener of the UK Computing Research Committee, which plays an advocacy role for computing research in the UK. His research combines artificial intelligence with theoretical computer science and applies this to practical problems in the development and maintenance of computing systems.

Peter Burnhill, Director, EDINA (JISC UK National Data Centre)

After establishing Edinburgh University’s data library, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2013, Burnhill became co-director of the Economic and Social Research Council Regional Research Laboratory for Scotland to promote the value of geographical information systems. He heads the national academic data centre which delivers online services and tools to students, teachers and researchers in higher and further education.

Professor Muffy Calder, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government; Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering, University of Glasgow

A champion of computer science – and science in general – in schools, Calder is a Royal Society Leverhulme Research Senior Fellow and Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award Holder. She led a review of Scotland’s schools intranet, Glow, which will re-launch in October. Earlier this year, Calder cautioned against the focus on making our interaction with computers, phones and other devices as seamless as possible: “We just become passive consumers. Having a better understanding of how these systems work, and crucially, how to program them, will ultimately mean they can work better for us.”

New Quintin Cutts, Senior Lecturer, School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow

Cutts’ research centres on computer science education and extends to the use of technology to enhance face-to-face teaching and learning environments. He is involved in the development of school curricula for computer science, contributing to the new Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, as well as initiatives further afield in England and internationally.

Gerry Dougan, Adviser, College Development Network

Prior to joining the college sector, Dougan worked in education, business and industry, latterly, as an ICT systems architect and project manager in retail and financial services. Joining West Lothian College in 1997, he was responsible for academic computing provision and the delivery of technical ICT services across the college. He joined the SFEU, now known as the College Development Network, in 2004 as lead specialist eCollege. Dougan’s focus is the application of ICT in learning and teaching and business processes.

Professor Peter Edwards, Director, dot.rural, RCUK Digital Economy Hub Professor of Computing Science, University of Aberdeen

Between 2006 and 2012, Edwards was Director of the ESRC-funded ‘PolicyGrid’ Digital Social Research node – a collaboration with human geographers which investigated how technology could be used to make the evidence underpinning policy decisions more transparent. He leads a team of over 80 researchers across a range of academic disciplines exploring how rural areas can, through the user-led application of digital technology, be more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

New Kate Farrell, Digital Education Manager for Scotland, Nesta; Chair, Computing at School Scotland

After many years pioneering the use of digital media computing in schools, Farrell was seconded to Nesta in 2013, working with teachers, colleges, universities, the SQA, industry and government to support digital education across Scotland. She also has an interest in mobile learning, virtual worlds and assistive and augmentative communication technology.

Alisdair Gunn, Project Director, Interactive Scotland; Advisory Board Member, Institute of Creative Technologies and Applied Computing, University of the West of Scotland

With experience in the private and public sectors, Gunn heads this start-up accelerator programme supporting new technology ventures across the creative industries and digital media sector. The aim is to help entrepreneurs and companies develop their vision to innovate and develop next generation platforms, services, applications and content across the creative industries, new media, mobile, wireless and digital media sectors.

Professor Jeff Haywood, Vice-Principal for Knowledge Management, Chief Information Officer and Professor of Education & Technology, School of Education, University of Edinburgh

Haywood specialises in the effectiveness of ICT in enhancing learning, especially in higher education, cultural and political factors in uptake and use of ICT in education and the evaluation of national and institutional strategies for the implementation of ICT-supported education. He is a past chair and current member of the Coimbra Group of Universities’ e-Learning Task Force.

Charlie Love, Education Support Officer, Aberdeen City Council

Educational technologist, entrepreneur, author and developer, Love regularly blogs about technology and learning. He is a member of the Open Badges In Scottish Education Group which, in partnership with the Mozilla Foundation, has developed new approaches to recognising achievement and learning. He is a committee member of Computing at School Scotland and a member of the SQA Computing and IT Sector panel providing strategic advice and direction on future qualifications. He has contributed to the future of computing science teaching and is supporting mobile technology and cloud-based services for learning at the council.

Professor Michael Fourman, Chair, Computer Systems, University of Edinburgh

Fourman started his academic career as a mathematical logician, “viewed by mathematicians as a kind of philosopher, and by philosophers, somewhat more accurately, as a mathematician.” He created the School of Informatics at Edinburgh, “all with a lot of help from my friends.” In addition to his continuing research in informatics, Fourman co-chaired the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s inquiry into digital participation which published its report in April.

John McClelland, Chair, Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Funding Council; Author, Review of Scottish Public Sector ICT Infrastructure (2011)

Working across the private and public sectors, McClelland was Vice President of Worldwide Operations for IBM’s personal computer company before joining the Digital Equipment Corporation in 1995 where he was a Senior Vice President. He was also Global Chief Industrial Officer and board member of Philips Consumer Electronics and latterly, President of 3Com’s Business Networks Company. His review of the Scottish public sector ICT infrastructure became a benchmark by which organisations are measured. Earlier this year, he was part of the launch of the ICT and digital technologies skills investment plan.

Professor Greg Michaelson, Professor of Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University

Michaelson’s research and teaching specialisms include programming languages and systems. He is a member of the Scottish Government Computing Science Professional Learning Reference Group, the SQA Computer and Information Science Qualifications Development Team and the BCS/RSE’s Computing Exemplification Advisory Group. Michaelson is also a regular contributor to UK events organised by the Technology Strategy Board Knowledge Transfer Network on the Multi-core Challenge.

New Professor Andrew Morris, Vice-Principal Data Science, Edinburgh University; Chief Scientist, Health, the Scottish Government

Edinburgh University approved the creation of a new data science role earlier this year, appointing Morris – a leading authority on medical informatics. He will work closely with Professor Richard Kenway, Vice-Principal High Performance Computing, to develop Edinburgh Data Science, a university-wide initiative that will be launched this year to create cross-disciplinary opportunities for education, research, innovation and commercialisation.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal, University of Edinburgh

Sir Timothy has been instrumental in positioning Scotland not only as one of the best educators in the world, but one of the most modern practitioners of education enhanced by technology. O’Shea has a PhD in Computer Based Learning from Leeds University and worked as a researcher at the Systems Concepts Lab, Xerox PARC, California. He founded the Computers and Learning Research Group at the Open University. After a period of higher education leadership in England, he was appointed principal at Edinburgh in 2002.

Dr Claudia Pagliari, Convener, eHealth Interdisciplinary Research Group; Director, MSc in Health Informatics and MSc in Global eHealth, University of Edinburgh; Senior Lecturer Primary Care

An interdisciplinary researcher in health informatics, Pagliari has a background in psychology and health services research. She leads the eHealth Interdisciplinary Research group and directs MSc programmes in Health Informatics and Health Information Governance. Her research explores the design, diffusion, and impacts of healthcare ICT, from the perspective of clinicians, organisations, patients and society.

Derek Robertson, Lecturer, University of Dundee

Robertson’s career has included primary school teacher, ICT staff tutor in a council education department, National Adviser for Emerging Technologies and Learning with the Scottish Government’s educational agencies, He’s now back at Dundee as a member of the lecturing/research team at the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education. Robertson is looking at how social media is being embraced by schools and also at how games such as Minecraft can enable learning and teaching.

Jeremy Scott, Project Officer, Computing Science Education, Royal Society of Edinburgh & British Computer Society; Principal Teacher of Computing Science, George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh

On secondment since August 2011, Scott has developed computing science materials for teachers and learners to support the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence and the new national qualifications in Computing Science. This work is ongoing and the intention is to open-source the existing materials so that they may be sustained and further developed by the computing science community.

Sally Smith, Head of School of Computing, Edinburgh Napier University

As project director on e-Placement Scotland, Smith champions the placement initiative calling on businesses to offer paid work experience to computing and IT students. “With CS graduate unemployment and a growing skills shortage, our message is that student placements are a win-win.” She has worked in the telecommunications and aerospace industries in the UK and Europe and her research interests include the development of IT leadership capabilities.

Fraser Speirs, Head of Computing and IT, Cedars School of Excellence

Cedars was the first school in the world to roll out the Apple iPad on a 1:1 basis and Speirs was responsible for the planning and successful execution of that project. A well-known public speaker at events such as the Apple Leadership Summit and Macworld Mobile, he works with schools around the world focusing on the deployment of educational technology, teaching practice and curriculum.

Professor Joseph Sventek, Executive Committee Member, UK Computing Research Committee; Head of School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow

Prior to joining Glasgow, Sventek had a distinguished research career as an engineer and research fellow at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies. Glasgow University has built a reputation for the excellence of its computing science research and its graduates. Among its current projects are three which aim to unlock the potential of cutting-edge computer processors and could contribute to applications including more accurate weather predictions and improved robot explorers.

Joe Wilson, Head of New Ventures, SQA

Wilson has a keen interest in educational technology and has served on the Executive of the Association of Learning Technology and represented Scotland on the National Information Learning Technologies Association executive. He has in the past worked on projects with the Education World Forum and a number of UK and overseas agencies in and around learning technology. Recent work has included promoting the use of digital Open Badges in schools.

Steve Watt, Chief Information Officer, St Andrews University

Watt was voted ICT Leader of the Year at the 2013 Holyrood Connect ICT Awards.  Appointed in 2010, he began a transformation project aimed at revitalising the St Andrews IT Services department and improving services for users. At the same ceremony, the St Andrews department also won the Green Award – for “effective use of ICT to deliver environmental benefits. “IT provision in universities and the public sector is changing dramatically – and we need to embrace ‘Scotland’s Digital Future’ – supporting the transition to a world-leading digital economy,” said Watt.

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by - Gang of Four: What do Scotland's Lord Provosts really do?.



Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top