Michael Sean Gallagher

Alumni testimonial

alumni photo
Michael Sean Gallagher

My experience on the course

MSc in Digital Education: "It was then that I developed the confidence to succeed as an academic, and where I recommitted myself to education as an act and an identity. You all will always have a special place in my heart and in my head." (taken verbatim from the acknowledgments page of my PhD thesis at Institute of Education University College London).

What I'm doing now

I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. Previously I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to mobile for development (M4D). I completed my doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London). My research focus is on mapping the effects of mobility and mobile technology on open spaces, built environments, and urban spaces towards developing mobile environments & communities to support practice in the humanities in higher education.


Gallagher, M. & Lamb, J. (2016). Open Digital Practices. Online Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory.

Gallagher, M.; Lamb, J. & Bayne, S. (2016 In Print). The sound spaces of online, distance learners. In Place-based Spaces for Networked Learning book (eds. Lucila Carvalho, Peter Goodyear and Maarten de Laat). Sydney: Taylor & Francis.

Gallagher, M. (2015). Artfully Converting Open (Urban) Space to Learning Space: Mobile Learning and Korean Literature. Media Education: Studi, Ricerche, Buone Pratiche, 6(2): pp 294-307. (this one was inspired by my time on the MSc but doesn't directly related to it

Gallagher, M. & Ihanainen, P. (2015). Aesthetic literacy: observable phenomena and pedagogical applications for (mobile) lifelong learning. European Journal of Open, Distance, and E-Learning, 2014(1).

Bayne, S.; Gallagher, M.S. & Lamb, J. (2013). Being ‘at’ university: the social topologies of distance students. Higher Education, DOI 10.1007/s10734-013-9662-4. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10734-013-9662-4.

Ross, J.; Gallagher, M.; Macleod, H. (2013). Making distance visible: assembling nearness in an online distance learning programme. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Education (IRRODL), 14(4).


• Associate of the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh, dedicated to researching how technology, culture, learning and policy intersect within research and practice in digital education.

• Edinspace: Online learning provokes questions about the nature of place and institution for distance learners: what does it mean to be a student at Edinburgh who is not in Edinburgh, and what insight does this give us into learning design for high quality distance programmes? This project explored notions of place and institution for the MSc in E-Learning in the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. 

• Elektroniches-Lernen-Muzik is our attempt to create a place where members of the E-Learning community – and other interested parties – can share ideas, resources and playlists, and engage in discussion surrounding the role of music in elearning. In this project we explore, in an informal way, the influence that music and sound have upon our learning spaces. The idea grew out of a conversation that originally took place in autumn 2010 between participants on the E-Learning and Digital Cultures course, part of the MSc in E-Learning at The University of Edinburgh. Since then, Jeremy, Michael and I (the self-appointed ‘curators’ of this project) have regularly returned to the idea of ‘soundtracking’ our engagement with the E-Learning programme. We’ve talked about how we might discuss and share the impact and influence that music has upon the spaces in which we learn.

• COMPOSITION: CONVERSATIONS ABOUT CONTENT & FORM: In our increasingly digital and visually-rich society we enjoy new opportunities for constructing and communicating meaning. More than ever, academic content can be multimodal in its form, for instance as we draw together images, languages, sounds and other resources. In this project we wish to encourage conversation, composition and experimentation surrounding new, digital ways of representing and communicating academic knowledge.