picture of ultralab staff

Ultralab -Anglia Ruskin University - where I was a Principal Lecturer 2000-2006: (Picture September 2005)

Sadly ARU closed Ultralab down at the end of December 2006 - a tragic loss of a great team and some good friends .

I am now a Principal Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at ARU.


The Journey.........My professional profile is here

Masters Degree Dissertation -Computing In Fife Schools (out of date now but still a good source for History of Computing in schools) or the whole paper as a PDF

My formal qualifications include a BSc, Dip Ed, TQ Computing Studies, MEd. I was initially a teacher of Chemisty and Biology but requalified in Computing then set up and ran the Computer Studies Department in a large Scottish Secondary - Queen Anne High, with a spell as Assistant Headteacher. As can be seen I still managed to involve music with the 'day job'. I also published a few books along the way: the latest can be seen here at Leckie & Leckie.


school ceilidh bandMe with the School Ceilidh Band circa 1996

abseiling picture

Abseiling with the 6th form. 1997

Having taught in Secondary schools in Scotland for 20 years I needed a change. This came in the form of a wonderful project called Tesco Schoolnet 2000 - now Schoolnet Global where a group of 40 experienced educationalists - including me -helped children all over the UK to create the biggest educational website in the world. They put up their own stories and pictures based around a variety of templates provided by Bob Hart and friends at Intuitive Media.

tesco schoolnet picture

me with the entire pupil roll of a small school in the Scottish Highlands

It was a fantastic opportunity to work with many different schools - over 200 in my case, Education Authorities - I covered Aberdeen, Highland, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles - and others. It also gave me an excuse to tour Scotland - a country I love - and take lots of pictures. Some of the most remote areas I visited were Scoraig - on Little Loch Broom on the West Coast and Foula in the Shetland Islands: two of the most remote communities in the UK. Both of these made a lasting impression on me and I still feel grateful to my hosts on each of these fascinating communities.

Some of pictures from these can be seen here - Scoraig and here with other Shetland pictures - Foula.

There are also some other favourites here. One of the great benefits was seeing all the kids work. Many of them gave me pictures they had produced such as these

drawing of house   drawing of Jack's deer

Some more of these are here.

Sadly that project ended in January 2000 but I was offererd a post at the Lab, working on a whole new idea - an Online Community for Head Teachers - or 'Talking Heads' as it was known: a DFES sponsored pilot, which quickly became a full project, soon to offer all English Headteachers a private space for professional online discussion. Ownership of this has now passed to NCSL - the National College for School Leavers. Hosted in innovative software - talk2learn - the range of communities on offer is ever growing.

Having successfully piloted this Online Headteachers community in England, the Lab was asked to do the same in Scotland so a colleague and myself - set up 'Heads Together' in partnership with LTScotland from 2002. This is an online community with Headteachers from all over Scotland eligible to join. It has become a huge success with over 2000 members.

Our hands on role in the pilot finished in 2004 and now LTScotland run the community themselves but I retain a consultancy role with them. I also represent the lab on other projects in Scotland and beyond. We have pioneered work in professional online communities and our latest venture on which I work as recruitment officer and facilitator - Ultraversity - a genuine UK degree which is 100% online and gives a BA Hons in Learning Technology and Research in 3 years.

ultraversity logo

As a lab we are always looking for new projects and challenges so if you think we can help you with online community, online degrees, or any other cutting ICT projects then drop me a line. Kevin.Thompson@anglia.ac.uk


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