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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Panos Papoutsis | Project Manager
Panos holds a diploma in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences and a Master of Arts degree in European Studies, from the University of Reading in the UK. Since 2007, he has participated in various projects related to education and training under the H2020, Erasmus+, FP6, CIP, and Lifelong Learning Programme as Project Manager or Project Coordinator (School on the Cloud), supporting all project aspects (including financial, administrative or dissemination aspects). Moreover, he has been the Financial Manager (financial programming, reporting & recording) in more than 30 EU & National projects in education and training for the University of Athens, private secondary education establishments and NGOs. Panos holds the position of European Project Manager in UCL European Research and Innovative Office (UCL ERIO).
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.
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.
Nelly Joye | Researcher at UCL-IOE Psychology and Human Development
Nelly is a final year PhD student at the UCL Institute of Education. She trained as a speech and language therapist at the University of Lyon (FR) and has experience supporting the needs of diverse students in primary and secondary schools, both in mainstream and special settings. Nelly’s research interests are in language and literacy development, and in particular in cross-linguistic differences in reading and spelling acquisition. She is also interested in evidence-based practice to best support language and literacy learning at large and in atypical development. Nelly is part of the European COST action “European Literacy Network” to build capacity for literacy research across European languages.
Dr Yvonne Vezzoli| Researcher at UCL-IOE Psychology and Human Development
Yvonne holds a PhD with distinction in the area of Educational Technologies from Ca’ Foscari University. She has a background in Linguistics and Applied Cognitive Sciences. Yvonne’s research interests are in the design of innovative pedagogies integrating new learning technologies in educational contexts, and in the design and evaluation of technologies for reading and learning. She is particularly interested in understanding learning processes to inform design, and in the inclusion of neurodiverse learners and stakeholders in the design process.