Laurie O'Donnell

I used to blog as a way of trying to capture where I had been and where I am going. Now tending to use Twitter more often as a way of  keeping track of some of the people, places and ideas that I have come across along the way.

Since the summer of 2009 I have been working as an independent consultant/adviser in the area of learning and technology futures; working with a range of public, private and not for profit organisations. I have worked for multinational IT corporations, small start-up companies and charities as well as national and local public sector organisations.

I usually to work through my own company Laurie O’Donnell Ltd but am also happy to work as an associate on projects.

Since 2014 I have been involved in a couple of  startups and recently spent some time getting a new way of learning to read and write in English published as a series of playful apps. Hoping to really get this moving as soon as funds allow.

I do a little bit of public speaking but prefer the role of trusted adviser working on long-term projects and programmes. I like to work with my clients to put any advice I offer into practice by building capacity and supporting change – rather than doing short ‘inspirational’ inputs or writing long-winded reports destined to gather dust with recommendations that will never be implemented.

My long-term contracts have included working as an independent consultant to Cisco Systems in India and the UK (from 2009-2011), communications adviser to the Educational Institute of Scotland and consulting chief operating officer at The Memory Box Network – the home of Our Big Box the free online reminiscence platform for those caring for people with dementia.

I also hold the title of visiting Professor of Learning Innovation and Technology at the Abertay University Dundee – working within the Institute for Media, Arts and Computer Games. Since November 2016 have been working as Director of Development (Future Learning) to support academic staff explore innovations in learning and teaching.

From July 2009 until January 2012 I was Associate Director at Futurelab UK. Since the organisation was taken over by NFER I have not been involved.

I was until June 2009  Director of Learning and Technology at Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) [now Education Scotland] and led the Glow national schools intranet project as corporate director.

At LTS I had a wide ranging remit apart from Glow, including the LTS Online Service, Scottish Learning Festival and Corporate ICT support to LTS staff. I joined LTS in June 2001 as Head of Future Learning and Teaching and held the posts of Head of ICT Development, Director of ICT Development and Director of ICT before a reorganisation left me with the title Director of Learning and Technology.

Before LTS I was with Dundee City Council in the role of ICT adviser having worked in schools for 13 years as secondary school teacher, head of department and school leader.

I also have had experience of local government as an elected member of Dundee District Council, serving as Convener of Community Services and Deputy Convener of Finance.

Following my masters degree in education I was invited to become an honorary fellow and part-time lecturer teaching the postgraduate MSc/MEd at the University of Edinburgh.

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