Digital Civics Lab

Digital Education and Society

As a transdisciplinary research group, the Digital Education and Society Research Group is engaged in research, knowledge exchange and pedagogical projects on the use of digital technologies and their impact on culture and society across a range of areas of inquiry including, but not limited to, education, health, digital humanities, politics, youth and community work, literacy studies, special educational needs, engineering, the law and social work, to name a few areas of concern.

The Centre has evolved over several past iterations since 1998, in Germany (1998-2002), Japan (2002-2009) and the UK (2010-current). Over the course of this period it has undertaken funded external research projects, publication activity and consultancy work, both nationally and internationally, with a wide range of partners in education and industry.

The Digital Education and Society Research Group includes a group of international academics and researchers engaged in transdisciplinary teaching, research and knowledge exchange. Members undertake research projects across several areas from the Arts and Humanities to Sciences, but particularly in the following areas:

  • Critical digital pedagogy
  • Digital parenting and families
  • ICT for Development (ICT4D)
  • Digital technologies and learning
  • Immersive Virtual and Personal Learning Environments
  • Digital literacies
  • Digital-games based learning
  • Digital health
  • Digital humanities
  • Digital technologies and sport
  • Learning analytics
  • Online learning

In terms of impact, members:

  • Participate in international forums about the role of digital technologies
  • Commission leading book series and service on international editorial boards
  • Contribute to international projects in teacher training
  • Coordinate the “Distance Learning & Digital Technologies” LinkedIn Group (ca. 5,000+ members)
  • Founded the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments
  • Organiser of over fifty international conferences, symposia and workshops in the field
  • Participate as frequent keynote speakers around the globe
  • Contribute to the international media as subject experts on digital technologies and cultures

Please contact the Director if you wish to become a member of the Digital Education and Society Research Group: Professor Michael Thomas (


Meet the members of this group.

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Current work


Examples of the Digital Civics Lab research projects include:

  • In Tandem (Internet Tandem Exchange) (1998-2000)
  • On Task (Online Computer-Assisted Language Learning) (1998-2002)
  • DIALANG Project (1999-2001)
  • Digital Language Lab (2008-2010)
  • Wireless Ready (2007-2012)
  • Access Permitted: Developing Open Access Journals (2012)
  • Digital Education and Learning (DEAL) (2010-2012)
  • Mobile Learning in Language Education (2012)
  • Advances in Digital Language Learning and Teaching (2012)
  • Open Educational Resources in Languages (2012-2013)
  • Digital Methodologies in Educational Research (2013)
  • Massive Open Online Courses in the Arts and Humanities (2014)
  • Evaluating the Digital Shift (2012-2014)
  • CAMELOT (2013-2015)
  • VITAL (2015-2017)
  • Developing the Postgraduate Research Student Experience (2017)
  • Developing Postgraduate Research Student Employability (2017)
  • GUINEVERE (2017-2019)
  • Teacher Resilience and Capabilities Network in Sub-Saharan Africa: Phase 2 in Ghana (ASPIRE) (2020-21)
  • Minimum Academic Standards and the English Language Curriculum in Nigerian Universities: Benchmarking, Implementation and Evaluation (MERLIN) (2021-22)
  • Evaluating gender equity and equality in the English language teacher curriculum, ICT policies and learning materials in Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa (THEMIS) (2021-22)

External affiliated members

Dr Samuel Amponsah (University of Ghana)

Dr Henry Hunjo (Lagos State University, Nigeria)

Prof Maureen Kalane (University of Botswana)

Dr Oris Tom-Lawyer (Igbenidion University, Nigeria)

Prof Mark Peterson (Kyoto University, Japan)

Prof Micheal Van Wyk (University of South Africa)


Thomas, M. (2021)Worlding Higher Education: From the Corporate Digital University to the University of Global Citizenship and Social Justice. In J. R. Di Leo & C. Moraru (Eds.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of World Theory. London & New York: Bloomsbury.

Miller, B., & Thomas, M., (2021). Accessing Learning Management Systems with Smartphones: What is the Effect on Learning Behavior and Student Engagement? In Crawford, C., & Simons, M.A. (Eds.), eLearning Engagement in a Transformative Social Learning Environment. Hershey, New York: IGI Global.

Thomas, M., & Cinganotto, L. (2021). Comparing two teacher training courses for 3D game-based learning: Feedback from trainee teachersIn G. Panconesi & M. Guida (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Teaching with Virtual Environments and AI. Hershey, PA: IGI.

Thomas, M. (2021). Learning analytics and educational data mining in research on learning beyond the classroomIn Reinders, H., Lai, C., & Sundqvist, P. (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Language Learning and Teaching Beyond the Classroom. London & New York: Routledge. 

Benini, S., & Thomas, M. (2021). Project-based Learning and Telecollaboration: A Review of the ResearchIn Thomas, M., & Yamazaki, K. (Eds.), Project-based Learning and CALL: From Virtual Exchange to Social Justice (pp. 27-56). Sheffield: Equinox.

PhD and Postgraduate Research Students

Phil Rothwell

Miguel Saona-Vallejos

Gareth Townsend