About me

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*New book out! Digital Children: A Guide for Adults is available here*


This is a popular science guide to the digital world, a place where even the most informed parents and teachers can feel one place behind children. Bombarded with scare stories about the risks of everyday internet interactions for young people, those caring for them are frequently left to navigate online minefields more or less on their own. Andy Phippen and I have written this book to help. 

I am an Associate Professor in Education at the UCL Institute of Education, which is part of the University of London. I teach on MA, PhD and EdD programmes, supervising students researching topics such as big data and children’s privacy rights, artificial intelligence and education, curriculum, educational attainment, teacher careers, education technology, and educational sociology.

I have written widely on the contemporary sociology of education. I am the author of the books Teachers Under Siege (2006) Invisibly blighted: the digital erosion of childhood (2017, with Andy Phippen) Curriculum Reform in the European Schools: Towards a 21st Century Vision (2018, with Peeter Mehisto and David Scott, and Digital Children: A Guide for Adults (2021, with Andy Phippen). (To buy them, visit the ‘My Books’ section of my store front at https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/drleatongray).

I also have research interests in digital time poverty, education futures, the sociology and ethics of technology, biometrics, artificial intelligence, Big Data, and education in the professions. I am a member of the UK Government’s College of Experts for the Ministry of Culture, Media and Sport, and I regularly advise leading organisations on matters relating to education, training and assessment, such as the BBC, the NHS, the European Commission, Kaplan, Royal Colleges of Medicine and universities both here and in China. I am a member of the Privacy Expert Group of the Biometrics Institute, an industry body, and also of the Advisory Council of defenddigitalme, which advocates for children’s data digital privacy rights.

I am Principal Investigator of the IOE’s research project Moving Up: secondary school transition processes during the COVID-19 pandemic and you can see the project website here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/departments-and-centres/departments/curriculum-pedagogy-and-assessment/moving-optimising-secondary-school-transition-processes-during-covid-19-pandemic

I am also Principal Investigator of the IOE’s research project The Future of the Artificially Intelligent Examination and you can see the project website here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/departments-and-centres/departments/curriculum-pedagogy-and-assessment/future-artificially-intelligent-examination

I am Chair of the Artificial and Human Intelligence Group of the British Educational Research Association, and I am on the advisory board of the child advocacy organisation defenddigitalme.

Twitter @drleatongray

UCL personal web page https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=SHLEA94

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