My interest in ‘digital’ goes back to my degree in Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence, a fair few years ago. I started off my career in IT, firstly with IBM, followed by a mobile software start-up company. I’m not a ‘tecchie’, but I am interested in how we use technology, how it affects us individually and as a society. My IT career ended with the dot-com bubble, when I moved into the public sector, gained an MBA and worked closely with colleagues in education, health, children’s services, police and the voluntary sector to plan and transform services and prepare for inspection.
I became a CEOP Ambassador and began volunteering with the NSPCC, delivering school workshops, and latterly, parents online safety workshops. I maintained my interest in technology throughout, became an Online Safety Mark Assessor, and now I work as an independent consultant, specialising in online safety and digital citizenship in Scotland.
As well as educating young people and parents/carers in schools, I support a wide range of organisations and professionals to improve their knowledge, policies and practice in this area. My focus is to ensure young people thrive and survive online. I help professionals recognise and respond to online risk, but also help them support young people to become ethical, critical, responsible and engaged digital citizens. I create educational resources for use across the UK and I also translate educational and awareness-raising resources used elsewhere into a Scottish context (with regard to legal, structural, policy and cultural differences). I work with, and on behalf of, a wide variety of organisations, including key nationwide Scottish and UK organisations. I have been awarded the NSPCC Childhood Champion Award as Schools Volunteer for Scotland 2018.