At UON since 2013 Helen has been the research lead and lead bid writer on ten funded projects and a member of the project team for a further ten funded projects. Many of these projects were aligned with the University’s strategic plan through digital innovation, developing others and social impact. They include:
- 2019-2022: Digital Learning Across Boundaries (DLAB) 2: Developing Changemakers. This is a three-year Erasmus+ European partnership project aimed at combining changemaking with digital making to develop changemaker attributes and impact, and intercultural awareness among school pupils, university students, teachers and lecturers across five European countries. The research strand of this project has demonstrated that the use of virtual and augmented reality tools in combination with other technologies can enable participants to develop empathy and have an impact on an identified social challenge. Emerging findings were presented at the Merged Futures conference, June, 2020 and at the Institute of Teaching and Learning conference, June 2020.
- 2016-19: Digital Learning Across Boundaries (DLAB) 1: A three-year Erasmus+ European partnership project aimed at using technology in innovative ways to cross physical, curricular and cultural boundaries through the themes of technology outdoors, STEM to STEAM and CLIL across four European countries. Project intellectual outputs included three MOOCs and online communities for educators.
- 2018-19: Cyber-Safe Generation (CyGEN) Erasmus+ funded project: developing a collaborative educational package aimed at enhancing the digital citizenship and well-being of children across four European countries.
- 2018-19: Future Focused Teachers course: development of a free online course supporting UoN third year trainee teachers’ and NQTs’ personal and professional development.
- 2017-18: Hong Kong Summer Camp and Changemaker project: develop student skills and enhance employability through linking the Changemaker award to the 6-week HKSC experiences for students from the ITT and BASENI programmes.
- 2017: Learning without borders: Mobile Technologies in fieldwork in Northern Thailand: using mobile and pervasive technologies in remote, outdoor, non-formal settings to improve outcomes for local schools, the environment, tourism and heritage.
Recent research publications:
Caldwell, H., Whewell, E., and Heaton, R. (2020). The impact of visual posts on creative thinking and knowledge building in an online community of educators. Thinking Skills and Creativity. Elsevier, 36(4).
This research investigates how creative visual content in online community posts supports relational idea exchange in interconnected cognitive, physical and digital domains. It presents an original conceptual framework that combines three facets of visual arts learning to analyse visual data and an analysis of the process of collective knowledge building in online communities.
Caldwell, H., Whewell, E., Bracey, P., Shelley, C., Crawford, H. and Heaton, R. (2020). Teaching on insecure foundations? Pre-service teachers in England’s perceptions of the wider curriculum subjects in primary schools. Cambridge Journal of Education. Taylor & Francis (accepted for publication)
This is a timely case study with primary initial teacher education (ITE) students that investigates learner perceptions of their training in under-represented foundation subjects. It proposes that if ITE students explore and take on the dispositions of changemakers, they will become equipped with the self-efficacy and adaptability needed to develop secure bases for teaching foundation subjects as they begin their careers.