Yota is an Associate Professor in Technology-Enhanced Learning and Computer Science in Education at the Institute of Education, University of Reading.
Following a career in secondary education and working in the field of special needs in Greece and the UK, she joined higher education in 1998 to share her passion about inclusion and digital technologies as a researcher and teacher educator.
Yota describes herself as an “educational bricoleur”, weaving popular culture, current affairs and assembling heterogeneous materials from different disciplines to ‘make’ computer science accessible for all. She embraces student partnerships as a way of supporting their leadership skills and informing curriculum design.
Her caring, enthusiastic approach for her subject is infectious. Students are inspired to transfer those skills in their teaching and inspire young people in their care.
Yota has applied and been successful for numerous funding applications around the use of digital technologies for teaching and learning, including securing the highly competitive international Google PD Grant for two consecutive years. She has also made links with influential educational organisations such as the Micro:Bit Foundation, to bring her school and local communities to the forefront of emergent digital technologies.
Yota has been actively involved from the outset of the computing school curriculum reforms and has informed teaching and learning practices at local, regional and national level as an active member of Computing At School and the British Computer Society.
She has acted as the Academic Advisor to the Disability Officer, Diversity and Inclusion Champion and co-chair of the Staff Disability Network to enable systemic changes on diversity and inclusion, which she presented at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dyslexia, Houses of Parliament (2018).
Yota has also organised a series of successful interdisciplinary conferences, including ESRC-funded events for the Festival of Social Sciences.
Yota puts strong emphasis on female engagement in STEAM with work presented at European and international conferences such as ECER, AERA. She has lobbied and collaborated on national and international projects to support female engagement in Computer Science and the development of female leadership skills. This included an international Knowledge Transfer Project with the World Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts that led to the development of i-GLOW, a flexible e-learning and communication platform.
Yota’s plans for the future include delving further into multidisciplinary research and practice around self-care practices in education and the role that digital technologies can play. She is particularly interested in promoting discussions around digital wellbeing and effective computing and support the introduction of the topic of death studies within the curriculum as part of an inclusive wellbeing agenda.