June 6th 2018 | Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh


Keith Aitken

Journalist and Broadcaster

Keith Aitken is an award-winning journalist, author, broadcaster and one of Scotland’s busiest conference facilitators.  After 16 years in senior editorial posts on The Scotsman he launched a successful freelance business in 1995, and has since written for numerous UK and overseas publications, not least as a columnist for The Herald, Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, and Holyrood Magazine.  He currently writes a weekly column, now in its 18th year, in the Scottish Daily Express, for which he also compiles a weekly crossword and reviews opera.  Keith is Scotland Correspondent for Public Finance magazine, author of an acclaimed history of the Scottish labour movement, and has worked extensively as a BBC radio presenter. He is a visiting lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University.

Mark Anderson

ICT Evangelist

Mark Anderson, also known as the ICT Evangelist, is a former lead teacher for Computing, head of department, senior leader and school governor and renowned for his successful work with mobile technology in education. He is now an international keynote speaker, consultant and winner of the UK education blog of the year. Mark is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Innovator and Microsoft Certified Educator.  He also writes for the TES about technology and is the author of the best-selling book, ‘Perfect ICT Every Lesson’. Mark is also an Independent Thinking Associate. 

Andrew Howie

Acting Principal Teacher, Mearns Primary School

Graduated with a PGDE(Primary) in 2012, I have taught in Moray and East Renfrewshire. I am currently in my second Acting Principal Teacher role, with a key part of my remit being the implementation and management of Digital Technologies. I am interested in all areas of the remit and have recently started online training with Apple, Microsoft and Google. I regularly share my practice with others within the school and the authority through CLPL sessions, Twitter and Yammer.

Catherine Dillon-Ruddy

Headteacher, Mearns Primary School

Graduated with B.Ed (Primary) in 1989. Completed M.Ed (Psychology) from Glasgow University . Taught in a range of local authorities throughout my career as class teacher, Principal Teacher , Depute Head and now in my second permanent Head Teacher post. Currently Head Teacher in the largest Primary school in Scotland with a roll of 950 children including the nursery. Had a recent secondment to the East Renfrewshire Council Quality Improvement Team with responsibility for Additional Support Needs as well as pastoral support for several Primary establishments. A mother of three children, one at Secondary and two at University!

Fiona Lawson-Ross

Head teacher, Masham CE Primary School

Fiona Lawson-Ross is currently Head teacher at Masham CE Primary School in North Yorkshire She began teaching as an Early Years specialist over fifteen years ago and since then has taught in every stage of the primary age range. Fiona has worked as a leading teacher throughout the county and worked with several universities to deliver initial teacher training. Throughout her career Fiona has led school improvement in schools of varying sizes, from 45 to 450, and supported other schools in the county to develop their curriculums. Masham is her second headship.

 Fiona is relatively new to SOLE having only taken up post recently but already can see the benefits the children are reaping from this initiative. Learners are confident, engaged and inquisitive, believing there are no limits to their knowledge – just as it should be.   

Graeme Clark

Head of Digital Assessment Services, SQA

Graeme has worked in the Education sector for over 25 years, with a significant portion of that involved in the teaching of Mathematics and Computing.  For the past 12 years he has led the development and delivery of the SOLAR e-Assessment service for SQA and has more recently moved into a role heading up the team responsible for Digital Assessment Services to support and enhance the assessment of SQA qualifications using technology.  He is interested in the use of technology to make a positive impact on learners engagement and ultimately achievement.

Helen Gorman

Acting Depute, Stirling High School and Team Leader in the Skills and Youth Employment Team (secondment), Stirling Council

Helen has been with Stirling Council for 7 years - Biology Teacher, Faculty Head, Acting Depute and currently on secondment as a Team Leader in the Skills and Youth Employment Team. She has always been an early adopter of digital technology in the classroom and as part of her current role is leading the development of a digital learning strategy and teaching for Stirling and supporting schools to embed digital tools and skills in the classroom across the curriculum. 

Lee Dunn

Lecturer in Education Studies and Technology, University of Glasgow

Lee Dunn is a Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Education Studies and Technology at the University of Glasgow, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is a technologist, with a focus on education, future life and humanity. Lee is the Degree Programme Leader for Technology Education (initial teacher education) and the School of Education Academic Lead for Digital Learning. He has been teaching for 16 years within mixed educational and policy settings as a secondary school Principal Teacher of Guidance and two years seconded to The Scottish Government. He is a Programme Validator for the Digital Schools Awards, accredited by Education Scotland and supported by HP, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Intel.

Michael Conlon

Digital Learning & Technology Officer, Perth & Kinross Council

Michael started his career in Larbert High School in 1993 as a teacher of Computing Science in the days where there were two pupils to a machine (Acorn Archimedes – yes, he’s that old!) but each had a floppy disc all of their own. He moved to a PT role at Perth Grammar School in 1998 and has enjoyed a wide variety of roles since then including Depute and Quality Improvement Officer. Michael has always had a great passion for technology, from games consoles and programming to assistive technologies and movie making and believes that the creativity tools available now for engaging in learning can transform the classroom.

In his current role Michael supports the 82 schools in Perth & Kinross and leads on the strategic response to the Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland.

Simon Hay

Co-Founder, Firefly 

While studying for his GCSEs, Simon and his friend Joe Mathewson were frustrated by their school's over-complicated intranet, to solve the problem they built Firefly, enabling their teachers and fellow students to share resources quickly and easily. Usage soared and by the time they’d completed their A-levels, several schools had invested in it.

Simon went on to read Computer Science at the University of Oxford, continuing to develop Firefly and rowing for the Oxford lightweights alongside his degree.
 After receiving his BA, Simon completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge in ubiquitous computing. On graduating, he worked for Goldman Sachs in the City as a quantitative expert on the trading floor before leaving to work on Firefly full time in 2009.

The Firefly team has since grown, with offices in the UK and Australia, and is now helping hundreds of schools around the world, enabling teachers, students and parents to learn more together. Simon’s current responsibilities include product management, support and client experience. In his spare time, he works as a flying instructor with the RAF Reserves.

Suzy Smart

Senior Teacher, Masham C.E. Primary School

Suzy Smart has been teaching for 17 years, across Key Stage 2, though latterly in Years Five and Six. In her current role as Senior Teacher at Masham Church of England Primary School, she leads English, MFL (Modern Foreign Languages), History and Geography.  Suzy is also an SLE (Specialist Leader of Education) for English and works with her Local Authority Writing Moderation team.  

Suzy has been working with Professor Sugata Mitra for nearly three years now, helping colleagues in school to introduce and develop the SOLE method in Masham School.  She has seen first hand the impact which this method has had on pupils' thinking, listening and speaking skills across all areas of the curriculum.
Suzy is a passionate advocate for the need for schools to prepare their pupils to become global citizens, to encourage them to develop their voice and use it confidently in an increasingly tech-savvy world and to equip our children with the overarching learning skills which they will be able to apply to any new situation.  SOLE works brilliantly across all three of these areas.

 Suzy strives to be a fire-lighter, rather than a bucket-filler!