Meet the Co-Chairs

Melissa Highton

Assistant Principal and Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services, University of Edinburgh.

Melissa leads the University of Edinburgh’s strategic priorities for open educational resources, digital and distance learning, MOOCs, blended learning, virtual learning environments, technology enhanced learning spaces  and use of the web for outreach and engagement. Under her leadership the University has made significant investments in

online media environments, student digital experience, lecture recording, learning analytics, digital skills training, professional accreditation for learning technologists and use of wikimedia in education.

Previously, Melissa was Director of Academic IT at University of Oxford and held learning technology leadership roles at University of Leeds and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Louise Jones

Having worked in education for 20+ years Louise was responsible for ICT in Learning in The Highland Council, Scotland. Through a large scale consultation Louise developed an ICT in Learning Strategy which drove the direction and vision for ensuring all 220 schools in Highland move to Technology Rich Environments. Louise was also responsible for the successful globally recognised Highland Chrome Pilot and the use of Chromebooks in a 1-1 model, alongside a range of technologies in learning.

Louise has always been driven by changes in youth culture and the impact technology has on the way young people, live and learn. In the emergence of digital she led on e-safety and cyber security in Scotland and also supported national developments being awarded a Scottish Education Award in 2006 for ‘Making a Difference’. An original Glow Mentor in 2008, Apps for Good Ambassador and Digital Schools Award Scotland Validator. Louise then went on to join the Google for Education Team working at a country level as Scotland Lead and specialising in Accessibility within the Global Team.

Now in a new independent role Louise currently partners with countries and learning communities across the globe to support transition and transformation. 2019 has been a year of celebration, becoming a finalist – Edufuturist of the Year 2019.

Keith Smyth

Keith is Professor of Pedagogy at the University of the Highlands and Islands, where he leads the Learning and Teaching Academy and works with colleagues across the university on strategic learning and teaching developments, and supporting staff to engage in educational scholarship and research. Keith has particular interests in digital practice in relation to co-creative pedagogies and curriculum models, open education, and critical approaches to academic development. He has written and presented widely in these areas, as well as being involved in related cross-institutional and sector wide projects and initiatives. Keith is one of the founding editors of the open access Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, and the openly licensed 3E Framework for technology-enhanced learning he developed is widely used across further and higher education. Beyond the university, Keith has been involved in a number of third sector education initiatives.