IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Professor John Potter

Professor John Potter is a Professor of Media in Education in the Department of Culture, Communication and Media.

What attracted you to take up your position at IOE? 

I was attracted by its leading-edge research into meaning-making in the digital age and by what I perceived as its mission, to create research in education for social change. 

How long have you been at IOE?

17 years, since 2007, but my actual association with IOE goes back much further in time to my MA and PGCE in Primary Education.

What do you most enjoy about your position and why?

The team that I work with, the talented people who are great to be with, and to learn from; the international colleagues and networks I take part in and the chance to teach and research in such a compelling and fascinating field.

My doctoral students from whom I have learned a lot and have been proud to support, and my MA students through the years…

I am really happy to be directing the ReMAP Centre!

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of? 

Keeping teaching and research closely connected, leading the MA through several years of changes, the achievements of the wonderful students through the years. 

What is the focus of your research and what benefits do you hope your discoveries and/or insights will bring?

Media in Education and its connection to play.

I research new literacies, media education, play on and offscreen, curation and agency in social media, and the changing nature of teaching and learning in the context of digital media.

I am most proud of my work on Playing the Archive and on the Play Observatory, a national observatory of children’s play during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What's the most important thing you've learned from your students about the subjects you teach?

To keep learning, researching and exploring, to be a lifelong learner…

Do you think being in London and at UCL benefits your work and why?

Yes, because of the international links, local diversity and the excitement of the city.

What other subject outside of your area of specialism interests you?

Art and Art History (all kinds).

What might it surprise people to know about you?

I run a radio show once a month in a small town south of Adelaide (South Australia).

Is there anything else you would like to add about your experiences at UCL or IOE?

IOE continues to be a special place made up of wonderful staff and students. In one way or another, as a student teacher, as a postgraduate student and now as a professor, I have been here virtually all my working life. 

Last updated 19 May 2023.