Our group brings together academics and students in the Department of Education, and we work closely with other academics across the University of Oxford who are engaged in research and practice in this area.

Group Convenors

nw-imgDr Niall Winters
Dr Niall Winters is an Associate Professor of Learning and New Technologies at the Department of Education, University of Oxford and a Fellow of Kellogg College. He is joint convenor, with Dr Rebecca Eynon, of the Learning and New Technologies Research Group and currently supervises eight PhD students.

His main research interest is in understanding how educational interventions can help to address inequality, especially for people who are marginalised, by focused on how technology can support the strengthening of education and training capacity, particularly in health. More specifically, Niall works to design, develop and evaluate technology enhanced learning (TEL) interventions that support the professional development of learning practitioners, primarily healthcare workers in the Global South and in the UK. He is motivated by the need to improve TEL intervention design to provide new insights into learning practices, in support of equitable access to educational opportunity.

Niall’s research is interdisciplinary in nature. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin and has been a visiting researcher at the Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon and MIT Media Lab Europe. Before joining the Department of Education, Niall was a Reader in Learning Technologies at the London Knowledge Lab (LKL), Institute of Education, University of London and Deputy Head of the Department of Culture, Communication and Media.


rebecca_eynonDr Rebecca Eynon
Dr Rebecca Eynon holds a joint academic post between the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. Since 2000 her research has focused on education, learning and inequalities, and she has carried out projects in a range of settings and life stages.

Rebecca is co-editor of Learning, Media and Technology and has published a number of academic articles, reports and conference papers. Her publications include Teenagers and Technology (Routledge, 2013). Her work has been supported by a range of funders including the EC, BECTA, the ESRC, Google and the NominetTrust. She held a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship exploring the links between Internet use and social mobility in Britain (2013-2014).

Rebecca graduated in Psychology with Statistics from Royal Holloway, University of London in 1995 and gained a distinction in her Masters in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester in 1997. She completed her PhD in 2003 at City University, London. Prior to joining Oxford in 2005 Rebecca held positions as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, City University (2004-2005); as a Research Fellow, Department of Education, University of Birmingham (1999-2000) and as a Researcher and part-time Lecturer, Centre for Mass Communication Research, University of Leicester (1997-1999).

At the Department of Education she is a lecturer for the MSc Education (Learning and Technology) and co-convener of the Learning and New Technologies Research Group and at the OII Rebecca teaches on the MSc Social Science of the Internet. At both departments, she supervises DPhil students interested in learning, education and / or digital exclusion.


Academic Staff

Chris-Davies-profile-232x300Dr Chris Davies
Chris graduated in English at Selwyn College, Cambridge and gained a PGCE at the West Midlands College of Education. He taught for several years in comprehensive schools in Oxfordshire, and was Head of English at Bartholomew School, Eynsham until 1985.  He took an MSc in Educational Studies at the Department of Educational Studies in 1983 and gained his DPhil, entitled “Ideologies of the subject and the professional training of English teachers”, in 1994.  He is Vice President of Kellogg College, Oxford University’s college for part-time students.


AnneDr Anne Geniets
Anne is a post-doctoral researcher on the mCHW Project – a mobile learning intervention for community health workers in Kenya. She is a developmental psychologist and a political communications and media scholar. Her research is of interdisciplinary nature and looks at communication and development in different contexts, focusing particularly on inequalities, poverty, and social (in)justice: media consumption and socio-economic deprivation; structural inequality and structural violence; audience research across the socio-economic spectrum in developing countries; effects of poverty on children and adolescents; effects of homelessness; and poverty, structural inequality and psychological well-being/mental (ill)health in low income countries. She recently completed her theological studies (MTS) in the United States (HDS).

Anne has carried out projects in the UK, Africa and South Asia. She completed her doctorate at the Department of Education at the University of Oxford and has published a number of research articles, conference papers and reports. Her recent publications include The Global News Challenge: ­ Market Strategies of International Broadcasting Organizations in Developing Countries (Routledge, 2013).



Dr Laura Hakimi has an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in Evidence for Public Policy and Practice from the Institute of Education. She has worked in a number of public policy contexts, where she has  mainly worked in the fields of education and social care.  Through the Pearson Publishing group, she has also had experience in designing and delivering educational resources on mobile devices. She  has run a number of projects that support the learning and social inclusion of marginalised communities in the UK.

She completed her DPhil in 2015, entitled: Enhancing the English language learning of disadvantaged young people in Dharavi, Mumbai, using mobile phone software.

This study employed the principles of action research to design and trial a piece of language learning software with young people in Dharavi, a large slum in Mumbai. The young people were enrolled on an NGO-led Youth Empowerment Programme. The study sought to understand the ways in which students engaged with the software to support their learning of English, and the technological, pedagogical, societal and institutional factors that determined the sustainability of such an intervention in a developing world context.


James ProfileDr James Robson
Dr James Robson is Learning and Technology pathway leader for the Foundations of Educational Research modules on the MSc Education and teaches and supervises on the Masters in Learning and Teaching.  He teaches digital ethnography on the Engagements in Research in Educational Technology module on the MSc Education and coordinates the Learning and New Technologies Research Group.

James completed his DPhil in Oxford University’s Department of Education in 2014, where he undertook a digital ethnography investigating Religious Education teachers’ engagement in online social space.  Using the concept of professional identity as an analytical framework, the thesis highlights the ways in which economic, discursive and design structures embedded in online social spaces shaped online engagement and the ways in which users understood themselves as professionals.  James is interested in online methods, professional learning, embedded power relations, and structures in technology, particularly social media and online social spaces.  He is also the Knowledge and Online Manager at Culham St Gabriel’s Trust where he manages the trust’s research agenda and suite of technology related educational resources. He sits on the DfE funded Expert Advisory Group for RE and the RE Teacher Recruitment Strategy Steering Group as a social media expert.  He is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts where he worked as an educational technology consultant on the RSA research project, Schools with Soul.




DPhil Students


Imogen Casebourne is Director of Learning at Epic, a UK educational technologies company. She has a background in designing educational software to support adult learners. She is researching the potential of mobile phones to support adult learners undertaking professional development in workplace contexts.

Imogen Casebourne is Director of Learning at Epic, a UK educational technologies company. She has a background in designing educational software to support adult learners. She is researching the potential of mobile phones to support adult learners undertaking professional development in workplace contexts


Tracey Pic

Tracey Denton-Calabrese is a former teacher and technology curriculum coordinator.  She earned her M.A. in Instructional Technology & Media from Teachers College at Columbia University.  She is interested in how school culture and school structures shape the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

DPhil Title: Creating a Culture for 21st Century Learning: An Ethnographic Study of the New Technology High School Model.

Her thesis examines school culture as it shapes and is shaped by the New Technology High School model (or “New Tech” model), a prominent school reform model in the United States that combines project-based learning with extensive use of ICTs.  She uses ethnographic methods to understand the everyday experiences and practices of school leaders, teachers and students as they implement and maintain the New Tech model.  The study is framed using a sociocultural perspective, examining the culture of New Tech High Schools and its contextualization within broader cultural ideologies, social patterns and influences.

Tracey has worked as a research assistant on the Home Internet Access Initiative, a project conducted in secondary schools in Oxford City. She currently teaches the school ethnography session for the MSc Education (Learning and Technology) programme.


Profile_Pic_Paul_W_GrovePaul W. Grove has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the creative arts from Coventry University’s School of Art and Design, and a second Masters degree awarded with distinction in Information and Communications Technology and Education from the University of Leeds.

Working full-time in Higher Education for the last eight years, Paul has both practical and theoretical experience of implementing learning technology for both distance and blended learning environments. Passionate about empowering those with learning disabilities to engage fully in education, Paul’s personal and professional experience of dyslexia have influenced his understanding technology can play in supporting students.

DPhil Title: In what ways do assistive learning technologies shape the learning experiences of university students diagnosed with dyslexia?

This study takes an in-depth qualitative approach investigating how assistive learning technologies shape the learning experiences of university students diagnosed with dyslexia. The fundamental objective for investigating students’ experiences of assistive learning technologies is to examine how they use technology to support their learning and the wider influential strategies they use in different institutional environments.


IMG_0198Kinga Petrovai is researching the potential of mobile technology to support adolescents learning mathematics in informal contexts. Kinga is an electrical engineer with over five years of corporate experience in Canada. She is also a certified secondary teacher and she earned her M.Ed. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Pinkerton.Laura.jpgLaura Pinkerton holds a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and completed an MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at Oxford University in 2015. Prior to coming to Oxford, Laura taught English as a foreign language and worked for several years in education technology research. Her research interests centre on the interplay between education, social stratification, and social mobility, especially as they occur in computing education.

Provisional thesis title: Computing inequality: an ethnographic study of computing education, class culture, and social mobility in English primary schools


JulianneJulianne Viola’s research interests focus on civic education and engagement, and teen social media use. Under the supervision of Rebecca Eynon, Julianne will investigate how teens develop their own civic identities and use technology for civic engagement.



Jade Vu Henry has a background in programme evaluation and health services research. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Master of Public Health at Yale University. She is completing her PhD at University College London where she is supervised by Martin Oliver, along with Niall Winters from the University of Oxford.

Dissertation Title: An ethnography of design practice in ICTD-How does mutual learning emerge during a participatory design project for mobile learning in Kenya?

Mutual learning is often cited as a key component in the participatory design of successful new technologies, yet the construct remains under-theorised. By drawing from the concept of boundary objects and from Actor-Network Theory, this ethnography of an m-learning project for Kenyan health workers aims to provide a systematic and practice-oriented account of how mutual learning emerges within a globally-distributed assemblage of diverse human and non-human design actors.


ErinYoung_DPhil_WebProfileErin Young is a doctoral student in Education, specialising in digital technologies and interdisciplinary collaboration. She is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Prior to her doctoral studies, Erin was awarded a distinction for the MSc in Education (Learning and Technology) at the University of Oxford. She completed a BA (Hons) in Classics at the University of Cambridge, during which time she was Vice-President of her Junior Common Room and also worked for the Admissions Office in Educational Outreach. She holds a PGC in International Business Administration and Practice, and has earned scholarships to study at the British Schools of Athens and Rome.

Alongside her doctoral work, Erin works part-time for the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO. She is also a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute, exploring the digital transformation of teaching through objects, and has previously worked as a Research Assistant for the University IT Services on a project exploring the student digital experience.

Between her periods of study, Erin has worked as an Analyst for The Futures Company (WPP) in London, and within the Finance division for Thomson Reuters in New York City. Erin is fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek. She is very interested in entrepreneurship, and in her spare time she practices yoga and Ballet.

Research Topic Summary – Erin’s current research investigates the use of digital technology for interdisciplinary collaboration between the social sciences, applied sciences and humanities within Higher Education. Using a mixed methods approach and theoretical framing drawn from Science and Technology Studies (STS), Erin is exploring how researchers from different disciplines appropriate digital technologies to support their interdisciplinary practice and break down interdisciplinary boundaries. Through case studies, this research also investigates the implications for interdisciplinary research of innovative technologies on research methodologies.


Graduates from our research group go onto a wide range of roles inside and outside of academia.

Steven AlburySteve Albury is a former Head of Department at a Further Education college. He completed his doctorate in how teachers’ research in the FE sector can be combined with ideas from e-science and the requirements of the Post-16 National Quality Assurance Framework to develop a new teaching quality reporting system.

DPhil Title: Further Education College Quality Systems: A framework of design principles for the development of teaching quality improvement processes

This qualitative study explored the idea of a college as a sociotechnical system and suggested principles for the design of quality systems where technology infrastructure and social interaction are seen as co-constructors of high quality teaching practice. The collection of design principles can be used to develop context-sensitive approaches to developing quality systems in different institutions. The design knowledge gathered in a design principle helps ensure any new system will retain the essential traits needed to create good teaching and learning while also meeting the data needs of managers.


get-attachment-7.aspx - Version 2Kelsey Finkel is interested in writing and technology. Under the supervision of Chris Davies, her doctoral research examined how writing surfaces and implements relate to composing processes.

Kelsey Finkel is interested in writing and technology. Under the supervision of Chris Davies, her doctoral research will examine how writing surfaces and implements relate to composing processes.

 Kelsey Finkel is interested in writing and technology. Under the supervision of Chris Davies, her doctoral research will examine how writing surfaces and implements relate to composing processes.

Wayne HolmesWayne Holmes received his DPhil degree in 2013, with his research involving a design-based investigation of a prototype digital game for children low-attaining in mathematics. Currently, he is a post-doctoral researcher at the London Knowledge Lab (Institute of Education, University of London), where he is working on the EU funded iTalk2Learn project. This is an international project, involving academics and commercial organisations from the UK, Germany, Italy and Austria, which is developing and researching an open-source intelligent tutoring platform that supports mathematics learning for primary school children. Wayne also teaches research methods and technology in education on the MSc ‘Education, Technology and Society’ at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol; and in his spare time he is Head of Education for zondle, an online and mobile learning with games platform, which effectively grew out his research in the Learning and New Technologies Research Group at Oxford and currently has around a million users worldwide.

NinaNina Hood Nina began her career as a high school history and social studies teacher in New Zealand. She completed the MSc in Education – Learning and Technology at Oxford in 2012 before commencing her doctoral work.

She completed her DPhil in 2015, enitled: Understanding the knowledge mobilisation process across online teacher networks and its impact on teacher learning and classroom practice

This work focused on how the Internet can support teacher-to-teacher knowledge sharing. She worked with two US-based education organisations that have created online platforms for their teachers. Her research investigated the nature of the knowledge being shared by teachers on online platforms, how and why teachers engaged with the platforms and the processes through which teachers utilised and integrated the resources they found online in their school-based practice and the influence this has on their professional learning.


Ariel Liu

Ariel Liu is a postdoctoral research fellow working for Professor Roy Pea at Stanford University. Their current research is to employ user-generated videos for sparking and engaging student inquiry into STEM topics in an effort to bridge understanding of these topics across formal and informal environments. Liu received her master and doctoral degrees in education at Oxford University. Her previous research explored how hands-on interactive devices can be used to increase school children’s learning and engagement in a museum setting. She is interested in the creative use of technology that enriches educational activities for deeper learning.


Wan-Ying-TayWan-Ying Tay received her DPhil degree in 2012 and is currently working as a Teaching Fellow at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. Prior to her postgraduate studies, she taught Chinese language in a secondary school in Singapore. Her doctoral work examines how learning occurs in social virtual worlds. Through applying group development and group dynamics theories together with learning theories, Wan-Ying explains how learning occurs at individual, interpersonal and group levels as a group develops and matures over time. Her interest in the topic stems from her involvement in a research project at the Oxford Internet Institute in 2008, where she examined science and language education in the social virtual world, Second Life. Presently, Wan-Ying is involved in research projects examining online-based formative assessment practices, teacher professional learning communities and seamless learning.


jingjingJingjing Zhang is an Associate Professor at Beijing Normal University (BNU), China. Dr. Zhang earned her DPhil at Oxford under the supervision of Chris Davies and Rebecca Eynon. She also completed her MSc at Oxford in the Learning and New Technologies programme, being among the first students to acquire this credential. As a doctoral student, she was a Clarendon scholar and an HCR member of Brasenose College (funded by the ORS scholarship). Before joining the Faculty of Education at BNU, Dr. Zhang was trained at the OECD in Paris, followed by an internship at the UN headquarters in New York. Her research has been cross-disciplinary and spanned the fields of psychology, sociology, computer science and statistics. Dr. Zhang’s current work focuses on developing data mining techniques (e.g. social network analysis) to explore human relationships and activities online, particularly in the learning sciences. This includes the impact on learning and collaboration in using open educational resources (OERs), massive open online courses (MOOCs), and knowledge visualization. For more information, please visit