Photo of Nicky at the beach

Check out my latest collaboration, a book about science, and superheroes!

I have been online for what seems like forever, but actually it is only from 1993. That is the year that I started university and I truly discovered the Internet. In those dark ages you could read the Internet in one day, keeping up to date with what was new. I had email at home, for which I paid the princely sum of over £100 a year, but I did have free access to the Internet from UCLan’s computing centre, which was then based in Adelphi Building. If you want to know more, have a look at the Web History Timeline, read about the History of the Internet in a Nutshell or take a video tour of the Internet in 1993.

It was very exciting times, and having lived through them, it still makes me stop and think of how far the online world has progressed, becoming what we have available to us right now. If you’ve ever watched Halt and Catch Fire, it felt a little bit like that!

I’ve had many websites, some good, some not so good. This is my current offering.

I’m currently a Principal Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Central Lancashire. I was born and bred in Gibraltar and came to Preston when I was 18 to study in the UK. 

My background is in Computer Science. I’ve also got qualifications in Education and in Management.

As if that wasn’t enough I am currently studying for my doctorate part-time, and I’m proud to say that all of my academic studies have been at UCLan, apart from my teaching certificate, which I studied at Preston’s College.

On a day-to-day basis, my main focus is educational technology. I am passionate about how we can transform pedagogy in the classroom in new and innovative ways. The main focus of my doctorate is the use of social media, and specifically Twitter, in education.

I love my work as a STEM Ambassador, and I am currently a designated UCLan Engagement Catalyst award holder. I work towards trying to engage more young people with Computer Science, and more specifically, girls. I would like to see an increase in the number of girls studying computing, and I work towards trying to address the gender stereotypes around professions in the discipline.

My current research interests are based around pedagogy and the use of social media. I’m also interested in gaming and perceptions of gaming in society.

Please get in touch if you wish to discuss collaboration.

Additionally, I am a founder member of The Computing Challenge, an award-winning module designed to enhance the curriculum and help students engage with the subject, tackling the feeling of isolation that affects retention figures at many institutions. The team I work with are currently carrying out pedagogic research with First Year undergraduate Computing students, specifically around the areas of retention and engagement. If you are interested in implementing the challenge in your own institution please get in touch.

I am the Placements Manager for Computer Science and responsible for students who are on a sandwich year out in industry. If you are interested in taking on a placement student email us on STPlacements@uclan.ac.uk

I am on the University’s Board of Governors.

As a University Review Panel Member, I am involved with validations and periodic reviews in the University and its partner colleges. As well as participating in internal validations I have been an external examiner for Sheffield Hallam University, Kingston University and the University of Wales. I am currently an external examiner at University Academy 92 (U92), co-founded by Lancaster University.

I was an editor of IMPACT, a project to examine the impact of our School’s research on its teaching. We produced a book of case studies which demonstrated the dynamic relationship between research and teaching at UCLan. Similarly, I am also the founder and editor of our 1st Year Computing undergraduate research journal.

As can be seen from my cheesy photo, I love to cycle. I’ve got dodgy knees and a fragile back, so cycling is very helpful. I also enjoy travelling, and I am lucky enough, on occasion, to travel on behalf of the university. Sometimes, I almost wish I could take my bike with me! I do always take my Kindle. I enjoy cooking, and am always keen to try my hand at authentic local cuisine when I go travelling.