Dr Andrew Manches

Director of the Children and Technology Group / Senior Lecturer (cf Associate Professor) / Chancellor's Fellow/ Member of the Young Academy of Scotland


Dr Andrew Manches is a Learning Scientist researching the embodied nature of how we think and the role of technology in childhood. He has particular research interest in EARLY STEM and the potential of emerging technologies, e.g. Tangibles, Internet of Things. 

Previously an Infant Teacher, Andrew has received a range of research grants and awards, including an ESRC Future Research Leader grant and his current Chancellor’s Fellowship at Edinburgh. He currently leads the UK on a $2.4million NSF/Wellcome Trust/ESRC Science Learning+ project with the US. He is an invited member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s panel of Education and a five-year member of the RSE’s Young Academy.

More recently, Andrew has drawn upon his research to lead a company, PlayTalkLearn, to develop and take to market early learning connected toys: Numbuko  www.numbuko.com and Magic Cloud www.magiccloud.co.uk  


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Responsibilities & affiliations

Member of the Young Academy of Scotland; Royal Society of Edinburgh Select Panel for Young People; 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

As a Learning Scientist with a cognitive science approach, I am fascinated by the relationship between our body and mind, and the implications for children's evolving interaction with the world. My research focuses on understanding the role of embodiment in early mathematics and how children's thinking may be shaped by interaction through new forms of technology.

The wider remit of my interests are technology enhanced learning, particularly in early years STEM. Related to this is my recent work examining early years computing.

Research activities

View all 2 activities on Research Explorer

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 28 publications on Research Explorer