Dr Andrew Manches

Co-Deputy Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) / Director of the Children and Technology Group / Senior Lecturer (cf Associate Professor)

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport, IECS
  • University of Edinburgh

Contact details


I am a  Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of Knowledge Exchange in the  School of Education at the University of Edinburgh, where I direct the Children and Technology group. I am a member of the Young Academy of Scotland and sit on the Education and Young People panels for the Royal Society of Edinburgh.  

Before research, I spent 8 years as an Infant and then Special Education teacher. I now consider myself a design-based researcher where I focus on the role of physical interaction in learning and the implications for emerging technologies.   

Since coming to Edinburgh University on a Future Research Leader grant,  I have led a range of funded projects, including my recent role as Principal Investigator of the UK on a $2.4 million UK/US Science Learning+ project funded by the Wellcome/Economic Social Research Council/National Science Foundation. This project examines embodied learning in early science and the implications for museum exhibit design.   

My passion is trying to bridge cognitive theory with everyday practice and design. In this endeavour I work closely with educators in Scotland and have developed two early learning technologies which I am in the process of commercialising through a spin out company – PlayTalkLearn. I have three children aged 1,5 and 6 who, sometimes, make great design partners.  



PDF icon 58559.pdf

Responsibilities & affiliations

Director of the Children and Technology Group

Co-Director of Research and Knoweldge Exchange (MHSES)

Education Committee for the International Community of the Learning Sciences

Member of the Young Academy of Scotland

Royal Society of Edinburgh Select Panel for Public Engagement

Member of the MHSE Ethics Committee

Postgraduate teaching

I am currently developing a MSc course for 2016 entitled: Children and Technology.

Areas of interest for supervision

I have four Masters students working in the field of children and technology.

Current PhD students supervised

  • Stuart Gray- Investigating the effectiveness of an active smart-phone game as a tool for measuring, tracking, and improving executive function in children.

Research summary

Early STEM learning

Embodied Cognition and Learning

Emerging Technologies

EdTech Entrepreneurship

Current research interests

See https://www.de.ed.ac.uk/children-technology/projects

Project activity

My Future Research Leader grant began in January 2013 and involves thirty months examining how children express and develop their mathematical thinking through physical interaction, gesture, and language; and if and how this differs when interacting with new forms of digital interaction such as through an iPad or the wii.

I am also involved in several other funded projects including:

Move2Learn (Embodiment and design of science early learning exhibits)

Children and the Internet of Things

Children and Computing

Zero to Three (year olds) and iPads

Digicubes (early learning numerical app)

I have also recently received a grant from Scottish Enterprise to build a numerical tangible technology in my early learning company role:

Pling Toys site

Previous projects include:

  • Creative Little Scientist project - the role of creativity in early science and maths www.creative-little-scientists.eu
  • Cbeebies - evaluating online learning activities
  • Campaign for learning - Evaluating a programme to support family learning through technology
  • Nesta - a review of the impact of technology for learning

View all 31 publications on Research Explorer