Category Archives: IET

Catwalk technology

This page is all about what we call “catwalk technology” and how it relates to revolutionary and evolutionary design processes.

Our video here explains one proposed aspect of the work – “Sex sells: manufacturing catwalk technologies from the crowd” and its link to engineering designers of the future.


  • Our new paper is due for release any day now! you can get a pre-print here.
    Full citation: FitzGerald, Elizabeth and Anne Adams (2015) Revolutionary and evolutionary technology design processes in location-based interactions. International Journal of Mobile Human-Computer Interaction 7 (1): 59-78.
  • Our original ACM Transactions on CHI paper is in the ACM Digital Library:
    Of Catwalk Technologies and Boundary Creatures. You can get a pre-print here.
    Full citation: Adams, Anne; FitzGerald, Elizabeth and Priestnall, Gary (2013) Of Catwalk Technologies and Boundary Creatures. ACM Transactions of Computer-Human Interaction, 20 (3), article 15.

Horizon spotting


CC rosmary (Flickr)

I have been invited to serve on the the Horizon Project Europe Expert Advisory Board for 2014. The Horizon Project Europe is a partnership between the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the European Commission’s Directorates-General on Education and Culture (EAC), along with the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS); Inholland University; QIN AS; and CellCove, Ltd. The goal of the project is to create an ongoing process for understanding the trends and challenges impacting strategic technology planning and policy-making in education across Europe. The inaugural report, to be published in early 2014, will focus on schools.

The Horizon Project Europe’s Expert Advisory Board will provide vision and stimulus to the effort, and will be of critical importance as we identify and describe the key emerging technologies that will be influential for teaching, learning, and creative expression in European schools over the next five years.

I am very excited to be involved with such an influential and high-profile project and will of course share the project findings on this blog in due course.

Innovating Pedagogy 2013 – new report out now!

innovating_pedagogy2Out now! This is the second in a series of reports from The Open University that explore new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers.

This second report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. To produce it, a group of us at The Open University (from the Institute of Educational Technology and the Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology) compiled a long list of new educational terms, theories, and practices. We then pared these down to ten that have the potential to provoke major shifts in educational practice, particularly in post-school education. Lastly, we drew on published and unpublished writings to compile ten sketches of new pedagogies that might transform education.

The 2013 report updates four previous areas of innovation (MOOCs, badges to accredit learning, learning analytics and seamless learning) and introduces six new ones (crowd learning, learning from gaming, maker culture, geo-learning, digital scholarship and citizen inquiry).

The report can be downloaded from

Situ8 web portal demo at the OpenScience Lab launch

The Situ8 web portal was demonstrated as situ8-web-portal-explore part of the OU’s OpenScience Lab launch, held at the Royal Society in London today. The launch was attended by over 150 delegates from academia, industry, funding bodies, the media, and scientific organisations such as the Royal Geographical Society, Earthwatch, British Antarctic Survey, Royal Society of Chemistry and the British Science Association.

More information about the launch – and the Situ8 demo – can be found on the ScienceOmega website. The OpenScience Lab website is at The OpenScience Lab is an online platform for practical science and is jointed funded by The Open University and the Wolfson Foundation.

New book chapter: Weaving location and narrative for mobile guides

My colleague Mike Sharples and I have had a new book book_smchapter published, entitled “Weaving location and narrative for mobile guides”, published in “Museum Communication and Social Media: The Connected Museum” edited by Kirsten Drotner and Kim Christian Schrøder.

The chapter is co-authored with Paul Mulholland and Rob Jones and a pre-print can be found here, or alternatively click here to request a review copy of the book from the publishers.

‘You Heard It Here First’ talk: catwalk technologies

As part of my department’s internal seminar RDR-modelseries, I was invited, with Anne Adams, to give a talk about our forthcoming paper in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ToCHI). The paper is entitled ‘Of catwalk technologies and boundary creatures’ and examines the role of both researchers in working with communities ‘in the wild’, how they act as facilitators/providers of innovative, ‘hi tech’ solutions, which we have termed ‘catwalk technologies’, and how they juggle the expectations of different stakeholders in ‘in the wild’ research, including end users, funders and academic colleagues.

In the paper, we refer to a ‘researcher design roles’ model, where we look at both interaction practices and the design of innovative/bespoke/hi tech solutions vs scalable/sustainable solutions.

Slides from the talk can be found here and the pre-print of the paper is here (or view it on the ACM Digital Library.)

Royal visit to the OU

HRH The Duke of York, Prince Andrew visited the OU visit1-smyesterday, with his visit being hosted in the Jennie Lee Building where I work.

The Duke has been keen to find out more about the University’s innovative work after hearing Martin Bean (our Vice-Chancellor) interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme when FutureLearn was launched in December last year.

During the visit, the Duke took part in a round-table discussion with graduates and industry partners. He also viewed some interactive demonstrations of our innovative educational technologies, as well as speaking to OU colleagues and some of our current students.

Sadly I wasn’t one of the honoured few who got to meet our Royal visitor but he seemed to enjoy his time spent at the OU. He was especially engaged by discussions with OU staff at the OpenScience Laboratory stand and he took a particular interest in our Accessibility stand (he is patron of several organisations to support blind and deaf people, and is keen to see technology doing as much as it can to help out).