Advisory Group

The conference advisory group is chaired by Graham Brown-Martin, founder of Handheld Learning.

Graham Brown-Martin is the founder and managing director of Handheld Learning whose mission is to make learning personal and universally accessible. The companies vision is that within 5 years every child will have a personal computing and communications device.

As part of this mission, the company has provided tools to bring together an active online, free to access community of leading academics, practitioners and developers to share ideas, knowledge and experiences ( The company hosts an annual platform for individuals and organisations to share and promote their thinking via the world's largest conference on learning using mobile and ubiquitous technologies.

Prior to this Graham has enjoyed a career spanning the education and entertainment software industries, having built a number of creatively and technologically innovative enterprises that were sold to larger corporations including Philips Electronics and Virgin Interactive. Before starting his own companies Graham worked with the Open University and Research Machines. Graham has also worked in several developing nations.

Aside from his work and entrepreneurship in technology, Graham has also directed music videos for The Fall, Malcolm McLaren, Salt Tank and Future Sound of London amongst others and with artist, Buggy G Riphead, he designed the ship's computer for the feature film, "Lost in Space".

Graham has also appeared in a variety of media including The TES, The Assignment, Trace, Transculturalism, the BBC Money Programme, The Guardian, Management Today and The Times.

Graham has 4 children and lives in a leafy enclave between Peckham and Deptford in South-East London.


Doug Brown, Expert Consultant, BECTA.

Doug has been involved in educational computing since starting as a teacher in the early 1970s. He joined the renowned Birmingham Educational Computing Centre in1981 and as computing use spread Doug took on the role of managing the in-service training and then headed the advisory team for ICT before acting for a short spell as director of the whole of Birmingham’s Educational Support Services. In 1991 he took on the role of schools ICT adviser in Birmingham and developed responsibility for the strategic direction of ICT in schools across the Local Authority.

In 2000 Doug moved to lead the Government’s ICT in schools’ policies in England for the Department for Education and Skills. His team had responsibility for infrastructure, connectivity, content development, skill development, teacher in-service support and embedding good practice in the use of ICT in all aspects of school life. The systemic national developments in England continue to cause great interest and since 2004 the UK have hosted a world ministerial seminar on ICT with the 2008 event attracting over 60 ministers of education, and over 150 delegates from more than 70 different countries. Doug’s role developed to include looking at how technology may influence the future of the education system in the years to come and in 2008 he moved to BECTA the Governments lead agency of technology in Education, to lead on this and their international work.


Tony Richardson, BECTA.

Biography - Tony Richardson joined Becta in February 2006 after leaving his role as Director of Online Learning at the National College for School Leadership (NCSL). Previous roles have included primary headteacher; education adviser specialising in Information and Communications Technology; senior primary adviser and Chief Education Adviser in Northamptonshire Local Authority. As Director of Online Learning at NCSL, Tony led the development of the College's virtual presence and online learning in conjunction with the DfES and private sector partners, including BT, Logica CMG, Fronter and the BBC. In January 2005, NCSL's virtual learning environment, the Learning Gateway, won the Award of Excellence at the first e-Government National Awards. Whilst at the NCSL he worked closely with Becta, and other agencies on the roll out of the SLICT (Strategic Leadership of ICT) and teamSLICT programmes, two professional development programme for heads and leadership teams for leading and developing ICT policies in their schools.

We know that handheld and easily portable technology is opening up fantastic, and revolutionary new opportunities for learners of all ages to communicate, collaborate and learn together in fun and exciting new ways. Our campaign - Next Generation Learning – is calling on all in education, training and teaching to get on board and to transform learning and exploit the benefits of mobile, ubiquitous and personal, hand-held technology. That’s what HHL08 will all be about and so we at Becta are really pleased to play our part in supporting this revolution.


Tony Parkin, Head of ICT Development, Specialist Schools & Academies Trust.

Tony Parkin isworking within Leadership and Innovation at the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. During his early career as a Science teacher he became intrigued by methods of improving learning and teaching through technologies, and joined the Inner London Education Authority as an education technologist in 1978. After working at several London schools and a college, his enthusiasm for the potential of ICT as learning technology and helping teachers and leaders develop their capability drew him to ILECC, the educational computing centre, where he went on to become Head of Curriculum Support before its closure in 1994. Brief stints at the University of North London and the House of Commons Library led to his appointment at SSAT in 1998.

I love Handheld Learning because of its relentless focus on the second word! The arrival of affordable, personal and flexible handheld learning devices offers a real opportunity for the much-heralded transformation to 21st century ubiquitous learning. We need to think more creatively about the learning, and what a range of consumer devices allows us to explore, and perhaps focus less on identifying a perfect educational device with inevitable built-in obsolescence.


Annika Small, Chief Executive, Futurelab.

Annika is the Chief Executive of Futurelab, a leading educational R&D lab, which develops innovative resources and practices that support new approaches to teaching and learning for the 21st century. Prior to Futurelab, Annika focused on developing digital learning resources for those excluded from traditional education. Prior to this, Annika worked at the BBC and The Discovery Channel. Annika is passionate about bringing together industry, academia and practice to create radically new ways to address emerging educational challenges.


Eileen Devonshire, Independent Consultant.

Eileen Devonshire is an Education and ICT Consultant, with more than 20 years experience in the field of; event organisation – from small subject specific conferences to national and international exhibitions; educational multimedia resources; technical standards, interoperability and specifications in education; public Sector Broadcasting and educational issues; ICT in the international arena; technologies to support personalised learning. Eileen has until recently been working with The Department for Children, Schools and Families (the then Department for Education and Skills, ICT in Schools’ Unit) working with others developing their Digital Content Strategy.


Gavin Dykes, Associate Director, Innovation Unit.

Gavin is an independent education and technology expert and Associate Director of the Innovation Unit in England. His background includes working in pracitice and policy making in and for schools, further and higher education. He now enjoys an international portfolio of work that comprises advice, policy and strategy development for governments, agencies and private companies. Gavin serves on a range of boards and groups including Curriki's Advisory Group and Becta's Research Advisory Group.


Prof. Stephen Heppell,

Stephen's founded Ultralab in the 1980s, moving there from the UK Government's groundbreaking Microelectronics Education Programme. Over a score of years Ultralab grew to become Europe's leading learning technology research centre with projects that pioneered multimedia CD ROMs and on-line communities back in the pre-web 1980s! Stephen was the guiding "father" of a number of pioneering social networking projects including *ESW in the 1980s, Schools OnLine in 1995/6, Nortel's pivotal Learning in the New Millennium from 1993-2000, the Guinness Record holding Tesco Schoolnet 2000 from 1999, Oracle's from 1999 and many more. Today Stephen heads his own flourishing policy and learning consultancy which now has a portfolio of international projects, from school building to horizon scanning. He is an active professor at Bournemouth University and elsewhere. Stephen sits on a number of boards, including chairing the charity Inclusion Trust, and is executive chairman of global learning company LP plus.

Every pocketable device turned of is, potentially, a student turned off too. When you have seen the potential of persoanlised, seductive, delightful learning technology you simply want to give it all the help you can. "Learning" is our generation's contribution to a better tomorrow. Handheld Learning a core component of that.


Prof. Mike Sharples, LSRI.

Mike Sharples is Professor of Learning Sciences and Director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Nottingham. He has an international reputation for research in mobile learning and the design of learning technologies. He inaugurated the mLearn conference series and is President of the International Association for Mobile Learning.

Handheld Learning is the essential event for me to keep up to date with the rapidly changing world of mobile learning.


Phil Hemmings, Director of Corporate Affairs, RM Plc

Phil is engaged in strategy development, evangelism and looking ahead at RM, one of the UK’s leading educational ICT innovators. He’s been involved in the field for a (frankly scary) twenty years.

For the first time, we can realistically imagine learning where every student carries their own computing device. Handheld Learning 2008 will help us understand how to cope with that.


Russell Prue, Independent Consultant.

Russell Prue is a recognised ICT Evangelist, Author & Inventor, he works in classrooms with learners and teachers and regularly speaks at national conferences. He has a passion for looking at new uses of ICT to improve the effectiveness of learning.

Without question the Handheld Learning Conference is the most effective way of bringing learners, practitioners and policy makers together to explore the potential learning benefits of portable technologies.


Martin Ripley, 21st Century Learning Alliance.

Martin Ripley is a leading international adviser on 21st century learning and technology. Martin is co-founder of the 21st Century Learning Alliance This group campaigns for a compelling view of learning in the 21st century. Acting on behalf of sponsors, Martin is also involved in establishing a new academy in Hammersmith & Fulham and which will focus on the new ICT and Creative/Media specialised diplomas. Previously, Martin was director of e-strategy at QCA; has acted as adviser to West Virginia on e-assessment, and in Hong Kong on the development of an academy for gifted pupils. He led the development and implementation of National Curriculum testing in the UK; was Director of the 160,000-strong student academy, based at the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth at the University of Warwick. Martin also acts as a consultant to Wireless Generation, based in New York.


Chris Deering, Former Chairman and President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

Chris has led multicultural motion picture video and computer game publishing for nearly 3 decades, starting with his role as international marketing head at the original Atari in 1982, and as VP -International for Spinnaker educational software He was COO of Columbia Tristar International Video for 7 years and headed Sony Computer Entertainment in PAL countries from 1995-2005. Now in "retirement", he chairs the Edinburgh Interactive Festival. Codemasters Games, and serves on several boards, including Handheld Learning Ltd as non exec Chairman.

Handheld Learning conferences are unique in their breadth of coverage on the use of personalised technology in education. The conference welcomes diverse viewpoints and dispenses a wealth of knowledge in a friendly, unassuming, engaging and compelling manner. Really gets the passion for positive change flowing. The big winners, of course, are the kids, which is why we all attend.


Tony Vincent, Independent Consultant, LearningInHand.

Tony Vincent is former primary school teacher who is now an independent consultant and author. His website is a popular destination for teachers interested in topics like iPods, podcasting, and handheld computers.

Handhelds are small computers that can do big things for learning, Handheld Learning is a big conference that can do big things for education and I am thrilled to be a part of it.


Mark van’t Hooft, Researcher/Technologist, Kent State University.

Mark van 't Hooft, Ph.D., is a former teacher and technology specialist, and currently a researcher at Kent State University’s Research Center for Educational Technology. He is a founding member and current chair of the Special Interest Group for Handheld Computing (SIGHC) for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). His research focuses on ubiquitous computing and the use of mobile technology in K-12 education, especially in the social studies.

The Handheld Learning Conference brings together some of the best and the brightest minds in the area of mobile learning, including teachers, students, researchers, and industry. We have reached a critical mass in mobile learning and related research. Venues such as the Handheld Learning Conference provide opportunities to share that research and participate in stimulating dialogue to build upon what we’ve learned so far.


Marc Prensky, Writer.

Marc Prensky is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, and designer in the critical areas of education and learning. He is the author of Digital Game-Based Learning (McGraw-Hill, 2001), the founder and CEO of Games2train (whose clients include IBM, Nokia, Pfizer, the US Department of Defense and the LA and Florida Virtual Schools) and creator of the sites and

Marc has created over 50 software games for learning, including the world's first fast-action videogame-based training tools and world-wide, multi-player, multi-team on-line competitions. He has also taught at all levels. Marc has been featured in articles in The NY Times and The Wall Street Journal, has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and the BBC, and was named as one of training's top 10 "visionaries" by Training magazine. He holds graduate degrees from Yale (Teaching) and Harvard (MBA).