Hilary Smith worked as a Research Fellow on the Learning Spaces project, part of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design (CETLD).
The Learning Spaces project investigated what matters about space for teaching and learning in post-compulsory education – how does creative space support and challenge learners both in and outside of the formal learning space?
Hilary Smith worked as a Research Fellow on the Learning Spaces project, part of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design (CETLD). The Learning Spaces project investigated what matters about space for teaching and learning in post-compulsory education – how does creative space support and challenge learners both in and outside of the formal learning space?
Smith’s background is in Psychology and Computer Science (BSc, University of Dundee, 1994) leading to a strong interest in how people interact with, appropriate and behave around technology. This led to a Masters in Human-Centred Computer Systems from University of Sussex in 1997.
Smith’s experience includes IT consultancy roles in the defence and energy sectors, flight simulation programming, and research encompassing the design, development and evaluation of a variety of user-interface products. These include a communications device for non-verbal children based on Makaton symbols, a system for managing social contact details across multiple devices, and investigations around technologies that could support teaching and learning in a variety of contexts. Most recently she investigated the role of social networking technologies for supporting secondary science teaching and learning, including in schools, science festival, after-school clubs and other informal learning contexts.
Hilary Smith’s research has focussed on how technology e.g. familiar devices such as mobile phones, can be used to support teaching and learning across a range of age groups in unfamiliar contexts. At the University of Sussex she investigated the role of mobile and social technologies in stimulating playful and informal learning for example, how can mobile technologies support peer communication and collaboration on a digitally augmented woodland fieldtrip? (Equator project); how do people manage social contacts and communication across multiple devices? (InTouch); and how what role could Augmented Reality technology play in children’s reading practice in school and at home?
In exploring mobile devices and social web technologies to support science learning, what can these technologies add to learners’ experiences of scientific enquiry in secondary education? (e-Science related projects); and in what ways can maths learning vocabulary be shared with parents and carers of primary aged children between school and home life? For example, the Homework project researched whether and how children can use a tablet PC, enhanced with adapted educational software, for maths learning and homework. Can the device be further used to encourage parental engagement at home by them choosing to reinforce school learning through use of maths terms in family conversations?