Institute of Education


VIRTUAL EVENT: Navigating digital technology for learning

06 July 2020, 3:30 pm–4:10 pm

Boy slouches on a sofa while playing an educational game on a tablet #IOECoffeeBreaks

The switch to online learning has been swift. Are we making the most effective use of digital technology? Are we fully informed on data security and privacy? What are the benefits, and the risks? Join our experts to discuss these issues with us.

Event Information

Open to





Kate Thomas

Watch the discussion

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muQv2TE14Nc


Listen again

You can also listen to or download the discussion from:

To a far greater extent than before the COVID-19 outbreak, young people of all ages are learning online as well as using social media to connect with their peers. This switch has been swift, leaving little time to assess the digital tools, platforms and apps that have become much more ‘part of the furniture’ for more of us.
Are we making the most effective use of the learning opportunities that digital technology, including social media, presents? Are we fully informed users of that technology when it comes to matters of data security and privacy? What benefits and risks does this brave new world of schooling online present us with?  

We’ve asked our experts to take your questions on these issues, including:

  • The benefits and drawbacks of the technology now available to children and young people for learning and socialising.
  • How we can make best use of the technology, as teachers, learners and home schoolers?
  • Where the technology is heading?


About the Speakers

Professor Dame Celia Hoyles

Chair of Mathematics Education at UCL Institute of Education (IOE)

Celia was awarded a first class honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Manchester and holds a masters and doctorate in maths education.  She taught maths in London schools from the late 60s before moving into higher education, where her research has been inspired by the vision of using digital technology to open up access to maths. 

Celia, now based in the UCL Knowledge Lab, has led many research and development projects to promote this aim, including, most recently, Cornerstone Maths and ScratchMaths.  As well as publishing widely, Celia has always worked to change the public face of mathematics, initially by co-presenting the popular TV mathematics quiz show 'Fun and Games'.

Her expertise in and contribution to maths education has been recognised in many appointments and awards, including: UK Government Chief Adviser for Mathematics (2004-07); President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (2014-15); Royal Society Kavli Education Medal (2011); OBE (2011), Dame Commander (2014), and Suffrage Science award for Communications (2016).

More about Professor Dame Celia Hoyles

Professor John Potter

Professor of Media in Education at UCL Institute of Education (IOE)

John is based at the UCL Knowledge Lab, which is part of the IOE’s Department of Culture, Communication and Media.  Before moving to the IOE in 2007, John worked in primary teacher education at Goldsmiths College and the University of East London. Prior to that he was a primary school teacher in East London and a local authority advisory teacher for ICT.

His specific research interests include: media education, creative activity and learner agency; digital video and animation production by young learners; the use of social software and online networks for learning; and the changing nature of teaching and learning in response to media technologies.

John has published widely on these topics, including for teachers and teacher-educators. He is also a founder member of the DARE Collaborative (Digital Arts Research in Education), editor of the journal Learning, Media and Technology, and programme leader for the IOE’s Digital Media: Education MA.

More about Professor John Potter

Dr Sandra Leaton Gray (Chair)

Associate Professor of Education at UCL Institute of Education (IOE)

Sandra is an applied sociology of education specialist and has published extensively on issues of education professionalism, professional training, education policy, the knowledge economy, curriculum, biometrics and children, artificial intelligence in education and conceptions of time in education. 

She has served as an education consultant and advisor to national and international organisations including the UK Government, the European Commission, the International Baccalaureate Organisation and the UK's Royal Colleges of Medicine. Sandy is currently directing the My Life Online research project, investigating young people and their social media algorithms.

Prior to joining the IOE, she held posts at the Universities of East Anglia and Cambridge. Her recent publications include Invisibly blighted: the digital erosion of childhood (2017, with Andy Phippen) and Curriculum Reform in the European Schools: Towards a 21st Century Vision (2018, with David Scott and Peeter Mehisto).

More about Dr Sandra Leaton Gray (Chair)