My name is Michael Gallagher. I am Senior Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects.
I work quite a bit on digital education in emerging contexts with projects currently underway in Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Many of these projects are aimed at developing pathways for refugees or displaced persons into higher education.
I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously I worked on the GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. My doctorate is from University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.
My research focuses on the critical examination of the mobilities exhibited by groups and sectors in flux and how technology is used to both structure and manage these mobilities. Post-Brexit, with greater concentrations of international students and refugees, with the unbundling of labour and education, with a global edtech regime emerging in developing contexts largely unmooring local educational expertise and displacing higher education as a vehicle for social mobility, this research focus provides a framework to investigate these movements holistically and to begin to address the larger intractable challenges that may stunt educational progress in development contexts. I routinely employ mobilities frameworks and sociomateriality to identify “the distribution of agency between people, places, and material assemblages of connectivity” (Sheller, 2017) and the role digital education might serve in an increasingly unbundled environment.
I am or have been a consultant on several learning design projects, including ones for UN Habitat, the World Bank’s Open Learning Campus and others. Previously, I was the Education & Outreach Manager, Research & Learning Environments at a very large academic database. In this capacity, I focused on the creation of scholarly networks of activity surrounding the sciences. I also conducted much of our organization’s social media presence. Formerly, I worked for Aluka, a not-for-profit digital library of scholarly materials by and about Africa. In that capacity, I worked often throughout Africa conducting workshops on information literacy and online research. I have a background in education, having worked as a teacher for many years both in the United States, Korea, and the UK. I have a Masters in Library and Information Science degree (MLIS), with a concentration in the management of digital information. I also have a Masters in Education (digital education) at the University of Edinburgh.
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