Throughout my career in the technology sector, I have been driven by a passion to bridge the digital divide and create inclusive learning environments for all. My journey began at Nottingham College, the third biggest Further Education (FE) provider in the UK, where I embarked on a career path that would shape the way I perceive the role of technology in education.

Early in my career, my role was to assist students at the College; the majority were underprivileged young people who suffered from the digital divide, especially young women who not knowing what educational path to take and were enrolled on childcare courses with typically “female” career paths.

Early on, I became acutely aware of the lack of female representation in the technology sector. Recognising the importance of diversity and the need for female empowerment, in 2013, I actively engaged in the Technovation program, the global tech education nonprofit that inspires girls to be leaders and problem solvers in their lives and their communities.

This experience laid the foundation for my progression to a Learning Technology Coach position. In this role, I obtained my Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) qualification, which enabled me to facilitate access to technology and digital resources across the organisation for all stakeholders.

I strongly believe that every young person leaving our college should be equipped with high-standard digital life skills, enhancing their prospects for success in any career path they choose, and an understanding of the basics of computer science should be standard to be successful in today’s society. I began teaching the ” Hour of Code” program, which aimed to teach the basics, and the importance, of computer science and coding to all learners, regardless of their chosen discipline.

My interest in gamification and game-based learning stemmed from the belief that not all learners absorb information in the same way. To promote engagement and foster creativity, I single-handedly advocated for the introduction of Minecraft Education as a learning platform across all campuses.

To ensure the continuous growth of digital skills within Nottingham College, I spearheaded the Digital Ambassador program. This program empowered both staff and students to develop the necessary skills to foster a culture of digital innovation and proficiency.

I have been a speaker at technology-focused conferences and events around the country. I also speak at Teach Meets with other FE colleges. Through these platforms, I highlighted the implementation of gamification and the transformative potential of immersive technologies in shaping the future of education.

My efforts were recognised through nominations for two STAR awards. The first nomination acknowledged the achievements of my team in embedding digital culture into college life; the second celebrated the innovative digital initiatives that I spearheaded.

I take pride in the impact I have made in creating equitable learning opportunities and promoting digital literacy at Nottingham College. My journey has been fuelled by a commitment to empowering learners, driving innovation, and ensuring the message that technology is for the many, not just the few, is heard loud and clear.