June 6th 2018 | Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh


Dr Natalia Kucirkova

Senior Research Fellow, UCL Institute of Education

Natalia’s research concerns innovative ways of supporting children’s book reading, digital literacy and exploring the role of personalisation in early years. Her research takes place collaboratively across academia, commercial and third sectors. She co-edits the Bloomsbury Academic Book Series ‘Children’s Reading and Writing on Screen’ and chairs the UKLA Children's Digital Book Awards. She currently works as a Senior Research Fellow at the University College London, Institute of Education.

David Goutcher

Owner and Founder, Polybius Games

David, is a former law enforcement officer who spent most of his career working under cover and incovert surveillance. He trained fellow officers in trade craft and survival skills and went on to work alongside UK Security Services. He also travelled abroad, liaising and collaborating with International Intelligence Agencies on covert operations.

Drawing from his experiences, he has created Spy Quest, an award winning, online interactive game and book series, that replicates the excitement and exhilaration, that he found from real life experiences.

The innovative concept has won many major awards including a ‘John Logie Baird’ innovation award and the Barclays ‘Take One Small Step’ UK competition to find the next big business idea. Just recently Spy Quest was named within in the UK EdTech 50, which was a competition to find the best 50 people, projects and products shaping the future of technology in UK education and beyond. The Spy Quest book series has broken sales records in Waterstones stores across the country and the second book ‘The Cursed Diamond’ is the first book in the world to incorporate augmented reality features that allow children to read the book and watch the movie at the same time.

Heather Thomson

Head Teacher, Kinlochleven Primary School

I am passionate about using digital technology to build confidence and love of learning; developing skills that our young people need for becoming the workforce of the future. I have been a Head Teacher since August 2015. Prior to this, I was Depute Head at an ASN school in Renfrewshire and held the post of Principal teacher in North Lanarkshire for 9 years. I trained as a teacher and taught for a year in London. 

Andrew Gallacher

Mathematics Education Co-ordinator, Course Leader PGDE Learning & Teaching in the Secondary Curriculum, University of Glasgow

Andrew Gallacher is an experienced maths educator having work for 12 years at the University of Glasgow and prior to that being Principal Teacher of a very successful Secondary Maths department. I have also been seconded to Education Scotland and undertaken a number of roles for Scottish Qualifications Agency.

My present work involves coordinating all maths education courses, as well as technical education, so that ensures wide-ranging experience on curricular issues from ages 3-18. I also work and lead on a number of other education courses as well as providing CPD and undertaking a number of consultancy roles.

My research interests include mathematical pedagogy, classroom technologies and STEM education.

At present I am developing a New Routes into Teaching for Scottish Government that involves upskilling existing PGDE Primary students to enable them to also teach Broad General Education maths in Secondary Schools.