Dr. Emma Mercier, a research associate working on the SynergyNet project based at Durham University, has been shortlisted for the prestigious World Technology Network awards, in the Education category. She will attend the World Technology Summit in New York, which will include the awards.
Emma’s work focuses upon how individuals use technology, how those individuals interact with others in the same context, and how the technology fits within, or alters, the system in which it is used. Describing her current work within the SynergyNet project, Emma writes:
“In my current work with the SynergyNet project at Durham University, I am investigating the use of multi-touch tables in classrooms. With networked multi-touch tables and interactive whiteboards, rather than asking what single applications this hardware can be useful for, I am exploring how it can become a permanent and integrated part of a classroom. This requires consideration of the changing role of the teacher, and the creation of tools to manage the hardware and take advantage of the data that is produced. It also requires consideration of how to prepare students to work in collaborative groups – a pedagogic technique that research finds to be highly effective, yet is rarely used in classrooms – to take full advantage of these learning opportunities. It requires consideration of how collaborative tasks fit within the broader curriculum, and how they can be used to engage students in knowledge creation and innovation. It requires considering how these – tools, teacher, teams and tasks – work together within the classroom, and the types of changes that need to take place in how we think about learning in schools and the purpose of education.”