When I was a child I loved nothing more than exploring underneath rock pool pebbles at the beach on the hunt for shrimp, anemones, and crabs on the Dorset coast of Great Britain. I am a firm believer that we are each and everyone of us EXPLORERS, but not all of us are lucky enough to live by the sea. So I wanted to find a new way of bringing the world to life, to add magic to our indoor worlds on the days when for one reason or another we can't step outside into the ever changing vibrancy of nature and wilderness. I am no trained artist, but I loved to draw in my geography lessons as a kid at school. Something I forgot about as I began life as a grown up working with young people with acquired brain injuries in hospitals, communities, and schools. That creativity was reignited when I was invited to work with the Ministry of Education and Science in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia in 2010. I visited schools looking for ways to bring their education system into the 21st Century and to improve life for young people who were disabled or disadvantaged. Before I knew it, I was excitedly doodling on the blackboard with scratchy chalk, and spending evenings with just a candle for light, drawing pictorial revision notes to help students with exams, and reliving my own happy memories of the countries I had been lucky enough to explore with my job. It was a huge change back then, from a Soviet educational style of memorizing long passages of text on your own, to working in groups with peers and colouring in to aid with memory and understanding. With a huge language barrier, it seemed logical to me to draw pictures, it was the only way I could think of to explain an outside world, of plate tectonics, and glaciation to the children in my care. Thankfully pictures have no language barriers.
I am an international speaker, Microsoft Innovative Educator, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. and was named by Skype for International Women's Day as a 'woman changing the world through technology. I regularly speak at schools, STEM fairs, educational and technology events, and on cruise ships. You can find out more about my professional speaking through BBC Apprentice finalist Claire Young at School Speakers or get in touch with me directly here. I also speak about and run workshops using Microsoft Hololens and my augmented reality colouring books of Great Britain.