Megan Venn-Wycherley

Lecturer in Educational, Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Computer Science, Computer Science
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

About

I am a researcher and lecturer specialising in the Educational, Historical, and Philosophical Foundations of Computer Science. My research focuses on the intersection of computing education, social mobility, and the roles that universities and technologies can play in facilitating these processes. 

I earned my BSc (Hons) in Computing at Newcastle University, followed by a Master of Research in Digital Civics and a PhD in Infrastructuring School-University Partnerships for Computing Education with Open Lab, Newcastle University. During my PhD, I worked with partner schools, teaching and supporting learning in classrooms to understand the potential and limitations of school-university partnerships for computing education within disadvantaged communities. 

Post-PhD, I served as the Programme Manager for Altitude Foundation, a North East-based social mobility charity dedicated to helping under-resourced young people pursue careers and further education in digital and tech. My role involved designing initiatives to bridge the social, cultural and financials gaps and empower young people to explore computing related opportunities. 

I am an advocated for inclusive and supportive computing education and social mobility, and am committed to creating and supporting opportunities for those interested in exploring computing. 

Areas Of Expertise

  • Computing Education
  • School-University Partnerships
  • Digital Civics
  • Human-Computer Interaction

Career Highlights

Research

Through my research, I am driven by my experiences working in partnership with schools in disadvantaged communities. Witnessing firsthand the challenges these communities face in accessing quality computing education sparked my interest in understanding the intricate relationship between social mobility and computing education. Therefore, my research looks to explore the following questions:

  • What is the relationship between social mobility and computing education?
  • What is the role of the university in the support of computing education, particularly in disadvantaged communities?
  • How can technology support these processes?

Furthermore, I am particularly interested in collaborative, embedded approaches to research which challenge unidirectional power relationships and involve working with communities to address practical problems while also contributing towards academic goals.