Eli Appleby-Donald (MSc Digital Education, FHEA)

Learning Technologist


Hey, I’m Eli, I’m an edutechie (educational technologist/learning technologist, I’ve even been referred to as working within the Digital Academia team which I think is probably a much better description of what I do)  and I’m borderline obsessed with learning and teaching, more importantly learning and teaching with technology.

I don’t have a childhood full of computers and programming to tell you about, in fact, other than an Atari 2600 games console and a copy of PAC-man I had very little technology in my early life, what I did have was a father who instilled in me a passion for learning and even though I was a very average student with little academic interest, if it was a subject I was interested in (like history), I had no problem spending hours pouring over books in the library. I guess I’m just a lifelong learner.

Fast forward on a few years and that little girl with a voracious need for “input” (Johnny 5 reference dates me huh?) became a woman in her 20s who found the internet for the first time. I have described this moment as being like someone handed me the key to the library of Alexandria. Suddenly the knowledge of the world was not only available but was literally at my fingertips. I still get goosebumps remembering that moment.

From then on I was plugged in. I learned to build websites so I could share info with the world. I started working as a trainer, teaching people to use the internet and various other computer tools to enhance their lives, I specialised in what we called then, the “silver surfer”, or retired folk wanting to get to grips with this scary new technology. I ran the world’s largest internet cafe (as certified by the Guinness Book of Records), I ran an eLearning centre specialising in learning all things computerish through eLearning or computer-based learning and that is where the seed was planted that would eventually lead me to be a learning technologist here at one of the world’s most famous universities. A hop and a skip took me through a couple of jobs building websites and I turned those skills into developing eLearning as a Learning Consultant. I was now combining my passion for learning with my love of technology. Could life get any better? And that as they say, is that – well almost but this little “about me” is already too long.

Away from the formality of higher education, I also gets to test out some of my digital teaching ideas in a somewhat different classroom. You can usually find m in front of a camera in the garden, teaching gardening skills to a worldwide audience of new gardeners.




MSc Digital Education

Diploma in eLearning

HNC in Music Technology



Responsibilities & affiliations

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)