University College London (UCL) has a global reputation for excellence in research and is committed to delivering impact and innovations that enhance the lives of people in the UK, across Europe and around the world. Based on a research strategy that is oriented around a series of ambitious “Grand Challenges”, including Human Wellbeing through education, UCL nurtures thriving and engaged communities of world-leading academics across the entire research and innovation spectrum, from arts and humanities to the basic and applied sciences and healthcare.

Complementing its leading research and innovation portfolio, UCL is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for science communication. This has been recognized through UCL’s selection as one of six national Beacons for Public Engagement in the UK, funded by the UK government to deliver a step change in outreach and impact activities.

UCL is the iRead Project Coordinator.

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Dr Asimina Vasalou | Senior Lecturer at UCL KL

Asimina holds a PhD in human-computer interaction from Imperial College London. Mina has participated in European projects since 2005 and has been PI/co-PI on several FP7 Projects. Before embarking her career in academia, Mina worked in industry mainly as an interaction designer and user experience researcher, and is well positioned to work at the intersection of academia and industry. This is evidenced by recent industry grants from Innovate UK (2014), a Google Research Award (2012) and a recent collaboration with the Social Learning Network (2015). Mina’s background is in the social sciences and design. She has extensive experience researching and designing technologies for social and learning contexts. In her work she takes a ‘design thinking’ approach to innovation using participatory methods that involve end users and stakeholders in the design process. Her interest in literacy was established through two recently funded projects (EU FP7 iLearnRW and Innovate UK Safereads) focusing on developing literacy technologies for students with dyslexia.

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Dr Manolis Mavrikis | Reader in Learning Technologies at UCL KL

Manolis holds a PhD and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence in Education with distinction from the University of Edinburgh. His research interests, and more than 15 years of experience, lie at the intersection of technology-enhanced learning, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. His experience and leading role in the EU-funded Metafora and the multi-awarded iTalk2Learn project all revolving around the design and integration of Learning Analytics.

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Dr Kaśka Porayska-Pomsta | Reader in Adaptive Technologies for Learning at UCL KL

Kaśka is a Research Councils UK Academic Fellow at the UCL Knowledge Lab. She holds an MA Joint Honours in Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence both from the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on developing adaptive interactive environments for learning and communication that are underpinned with user and context modelling, and learning analytics. She has close to twenty years of experience of working with diverse students, including children with and without special needs, using participatory design as well as knowledge elicitation methods. She has also substantial experience of working with a variety of educational and clinical practitioners on defining and representing domain knowledge for intelligent learning environments and finding the best ways in which to embed the new technologies in the existing practices.

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Dr Andrea Révész | Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Andrea holds a doctorate in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her main research interests lie in the area of second language acquisition (SLA), in particular, the roles of tasks, input, interaction, and individual differences in instructed SLA. She is additionally interested in the cognitive processes underlying second language performance. Her work regularly appears in journals such as Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Applied Psycholinguistics, Language Learning, The Modern Language Journal, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, and TESOL Quarterly. She also contributes to edited collections with chapters addressing issues on second language pedagogy, SLA, task-based language teaching (TBLT), and applied linguistics research methods. Andrea is associate editor of the journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition and Vice-President of the International Association for Task-based Language Teaching. She also serves on the advisory board of IRIS, a digital repository of instruments for research into second languages.

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Dr Laura Benton | Post Doctoral Researcher at UCL KL

Laura holds a PhD in human-computer interaction from the University of Bath. Her research focuses on education technology design for children and she has worked on several projects in this area including iLearnRW and ScratchMaths using design approaches such as participatory design and design-based research. She has extensive experience engaging and supporting primary and secondary schools in research projects, primarily in the areas of literacy, computing and mathematics. Within her research she is particularly interested in exploring different ways to support the involvement of neurodiverse children, such as those with autism and dyslexia, in the technology design process.

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Anna Szathmary | Project Manager

As a European Project Manager, Anna is responsible for the management of contractual, financial and administrative matters for various projects funded by the EU Framework Programmes (both FP7 and H2020). Anna graduated in International Business Economics at Budapest Business School, Hungary. She has more than 10 years of experience in proposal preparation, grant preparation, financial and administrative project coordination tasks, reporting and audit. She has been involved in the preparation, validation and coordination of several EU projects under FP6, FP7 and H2020.

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Elisabeth (Liz) Herbert | Lecturer at UCL Centre for Inclusive Education

Liz has a practitioner background with over 13 years teaching experience in mainstream schools and in an advisory SEN capacity in special school settings. She also spent 10 years as a senior advisory teacher for language and literacy in a London Local Authority and has since been working as a lecturer on the SpLD (dyslexia) Masters programme. Currently she is the joint programme leader and leads some of the modules on the SpLD (dyslexia) Masters. She is also a facilitator on the MITA (Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants) and PALAC (Promoting the Achievement of Looked after Children) projects and is involved with the new SSLIC (Supporting Spoken Language in the Classroom) project. She works as part of the UCL Centre for Inclusive Education team to support the inclusion and improve outcomes for children and young people with SEN and in care. Her key areas of interest are dyslexia, literacy, language, ICT and the education of children in care. She runs sessions for Masters students on the use of technologies and run workshops looking at how Ipads can be used to support the development of literacy skills in learners with dyslexia.

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Dr Emma Sumner | Lecturer at UCL-IOE Psychology and Human Development

Emma holds a PhD in psychology from Oxford Brookes University. She has a keen interest in special educational needs (SEN) and linking research and practice. She has published in international peer-reviewed journals on topics related to dyslexia, autism, and developmental coordination disorder. Specifically, her research has focused on spelling and writing development, and the relationship between cognitive and motor skills. Her research has considered both children and adults with literacy difficulties. Emma is a lecturer in psychology and SEN at UCL, teaching largely on the SpLD (dyslexia) Masters programme and co-leading the Assessment module. Her teaching emphasises the importance of evidence-based practice when working with children experiencing language and literacy difficulties. She also runs CPD courses for practitioners working with such groups.

UntitledDr Amelia Roberts | Deputy Director of UCL Centre for Inclusive Education

Dr Amelia Roberts is a lecturer in education Deputy Director of UCL Centre for Inclusive Education. She is the Research Engagement and Impact Lead for the Psychology and Human Development Department at UCL Institute of Education and is undertaking research in Lesson Study for Special Educational Needs. Amelia is also joint Programme Leader MTeach SEN (Special Educational Needs); Programme Lead on the PG Cert in Inclusive Education and accredited programmes in Research-informed Professional Practice and Module Leader on Psychological Theories of Counselling. Amelia leads on consultancy projects such as ‘Embedding the SEND Code of Practice’ in Enfield and SEN School Development in the Falkland Islands. She is currently working with UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in Oman to write a teacher training programme to support inclusive classrooms. Amelia is on an advisory panel for the DfE overseeing SEND Research; the Resident Expert for the Labour Party review on SEND Policy and author of a BETT Award-winning online programme with TES on High Quality Teaching for SEND.