The Black Country in the 1870s


Lawrie Phipps was born in a place that was “red by night and black by day”: a childhood amongst relics and the debris of an industrial wasteland, many of which have now been “saved” in a “Living Museum”. He is a veteran who has crossed both polar circles, and received a cold reception in many other places. A failure in the school system, he did an Environmental Science degree later in his life, but instead of saving the planet, he accidentally started work in a university. He has worked across technology, education, research, and leadership for over 30 years. He is an enthusiast and a sceptic; he likes to play with ideas across technology and how it impacts on practice. He is harsh but fair, and probably smiling on the inside.

Alternative Biography

Lawrie Phipps is the Senior Research Lead at Jisc, his portfolio includes research into institutional digital practices, digital leadership, and issues impacting on digital experiences in education and digital transformation. His previous research has included the use of fieldwork in teaching, disability and inclusion, the impact of social media in teaching, and “next generation” learning technologies. He is a qualified executive coach and has worked with a range of individuals and teams to support change initiatives in universities over more than 25 years. Currently he is developing an online Professional MSc in Climate Science at Virgina Tech, and is a professor of digital education and leadership at Keele university. His previous roles have included learning technologist, telecommunications engineer, careworker, smelter, and greenkeeper. Lawrie also served in the Royal Navy.



  1. Keynote speakers:
    Professor Julie Hall
    Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Solent University Southampton.
    Professor Lesley Gournley
    Professor of Education at UCL IOE.
    Lawrie Phipps
    Senior co-design manager at JISC.
    Sue Beckingham
    Principal lectuer at Sheffield Hallum University



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  2. Hello. Great posts.. I have enjoyed reading them 🙂
    Last year I was shown – via Twitter (maybe)? – a very funny ‘Ladybird’ book: people at work – the learning technologist.
    Do you have a link to that text – or was it too close to copyright infringement?
    Thank you.

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