Since 2009 my main role has been that of independent consultant specialising in the space where learning, technology and innovation intersect.

Clients have included  blue chip technology companies (Cisco), major publishers (Oxford University Press and Pearson) , higher education (Abertay University),  a managed service provider (Northgate), professional associations (Educational Institute of Scotland and BCS), an educational games publisher (KNeoWorld/KneoMedia), an innovation agency (Nesta), a dementia focused start-up technology charity (The Memory Box Network), a games company (4J Studios) and a charitable trust (Northwood).

Although learning and technology are my main areas of interest I am also fascinated by the role of play as learning through life, the importance of positive psychology in particular and mental health more generally.

Educational technologies are typically ‘pushed’ into the classroom as the latest set of must-have gadgets. This approach is in stark contrast to what we have known for many years – that in order to get the best return on investment and maximise the impact of digital technologies in education they need to be ‘pulled’ into meaningful contexts with a relentless focus on enhancing learning and teaching.

Change is inevitable, but in my experience innovation that leads to improvement, rather than just shuffling the deck-chairs on a sinking ship, requires deep engagement with people. Much harder work than most leadership theories would suggest but the changes that result tend to be more meaningful and sustainable.

My strong preference is work on medium or longer-term projects putting my advice into practice rather than producing written reports that gather dust on a shelf with multiple recommendations that are never implemented.