Tom Stacey's Profile
Tom Stacey's Profile Description
I joined Ultralab in 2002 from Anglia Ruskin University's Faculty of Science and Technology where I spent my time tutoring and as a research student. Previously I was a student here, and gained my BSc in Business Information Systems and MSc in e-Commerce.
The first project I was involved with was called TforT (Teachers for Teachers) and you can experience the website here. Funded by the DfES, the concept was to create an online forum where every teacher in the country could discuss their classroom experiences with each other, create classroom plans and then share them to reflect on their effectiveness as a tool for other teachers. It was whilst working on this project that I first discovered the principle of "action enquiry" which was core to the project.
I then moved on to a project which looked at finding what the limits of community software and VLEs are within the constraints of a web browser. We called this research JellyOS and it became a piece of software that has been invaluable in the implementation of Ultraversity, which offers the opportunity to study for an honours degree online. The software saw further success when we open-sourced the code and shared it with an organisation called Gemin-i.org, who now use it to link schools across the world as part of the BBC's WorldClass project.
In 2005/6 a large part of my life was consumed by heading up the Every Object Tells A Story project (in association with Channel 4 and the V&A museum). My challenge was to manage the design, creation and delivery of a portable, multimedia recording studio built inside (of all things) a London Taxi! The final product was staffed by curators from our partner museums and captured stories from members of the public in all weathers and locations! A programme of continuing, iterative improvement created an incredible proof of concept which was then sold to Channel 4 at the end of the project and is still running. The V&A have also adopted the findings of our research and now use it to capture stories from the public in all their events. Oh, and you can see me driving the cab on the left of this page!
Currently, I am working with several lab project teams in addition to undertaking independent research. Primarily, I'm working with the faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences on creating an online degree in Public Service (aimed at firefighters, police and the armed forces). This is a knowledge transfer project, taking what we have learned from the research undertaken in Ultraversity and passing this on to other departments within Anglia Ruskin.
I am also working on mGBL (mobile games-based learning), an EU-funded project to support young adults in progressing their learning via mobile games. My role in this project is to identify suitable game categories which could support learners in e-Commerce, e-Health and careers guidance during crisis situations. The output of this will be game models that can be turned into reality some time in 2007.
Games-based learning is very much becoming my primary area of research- I am working on a paper on how video games based learning can aid the development of disaffected teenagers. For the last few months I have been mentoring a group of students from the local grammar school which has been immensely insightful for me. In 2006, I presented my research so far to at the CEA Islington conference, Raising the Achievement of Boys in Inner City Schools.
I am also looking at new types of assessment online, especially using visual tools to increase engagement and delight in assessment. I have been heading up a team called "Gearbox" and our ideas have been used in websites for Unity City Academy, Edunova, The Design Council and Creative Partnerships.
I enjoy sharing the knowledge that I've gained about innovation in Information Systems and the Internet with the technical staff at Ultralab. In that capacity I also work with the Director of Ultralab and the technical team to help shape the direction of our own use of Information Technology.
I am a proud member of BAFTA and was fortunate enough to be invited to judge on the 2004 and 2005 BAFTA Interactive awards in the Design and Technical Innovation categories.
I have an inherited, fanatical interest in all things motor vehicle, and in my leisure time I love tinkering with my latest car. This passion extends to model cars and I can often be found out racing with fellow enthusiasts. Predictably I am also into video console gaming and I enjoy moderating a number of online forums in relation to my hobbies and interests.
Oh, and you can keep up to date with my diary above, or my blog below (to know what i'm up to in my down-time!). My COS profile is here: myprofile.cos.com/stacey100