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Dr Michelle Cannon
London Knowledge Lab
UCL, Institute of Education
23 - 29 Emerald Street
Tel: +44 7891533373
Dr Michelle Cannon profile picture
  • Lecturer in Digital Arts and Media Education
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education

Dr. Michelle Cannon has worked in educational settings for most of her career. She held international posts for several years teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Europe and Brazil. She worked for Sage Publications and then as a freelance web designer from 2000 - 2015. This evolved into a role as a creative media practitioner and researcher in primary school settings. She completed a Masters at the UCL IoE, London in 2011 in Media, Culture and Communication, and then gained a PhD studentship with The Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (Bournemouth University). She has worked at the UCL Knowledge Lab, IOE, for several years and gained a full-time Lectureship in 2018. 

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Dr. Michelle Cannon's research interests include the processes of media production and how these relate to literacy in the digital age. She explores film and media-making in primary and early secondary educational settings and the relationships between practical media work, moving image literacy and social approaches to learning. She is interested in creative, participative and visual methods of enquiry using mobile technologies.

She has worked on two international EU-funded research programmes in collaboration with the BFI and a network of European cultural and educational agencies. One was a scoping exercise to establish the state of film education provision in schools and other social and cultural agencies across Europe. The second study established a framework for film educators in a range of settings.

Michelle’s doctorate, now published with Palgrave (
Cannon, M., 2018. Digital Media in Education: Teaching, Learning and Literacy Practices with Young Learners), took a critical, ethnographic look at young learners’ engagement in film-making. Using theories from cultural studies, visual anthropology, media education and new literacies, she devised a model to advance social and cultural understandings of creative media practice. She has presented her work in Prague, Boston, Washington, Rome, Vilnius, Madrid, Paris and Hong Kong. She is currently part of a longitudinal research study led by Dr. Eleanore Hargreaves at UCL Institute of Education, focussing on the life histories of children in lower achievement sets. Once a year over 5 years, she films 24 children in several school settings. She will be making a final short film for research purposes that documents aspects of the children's school experience.

Teaching Summary

Michelle is Programme Leader of the MA in Digital Media (Education route) at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). She teaches on the Research Enquiry MA module and leads the Moving Image Production MA module.

Michelle started a career teaching English as a Foreign Language in France, Spain, Hungary, Italy and Brazil in the 1980s. As a new media professional she led extracurricular creative media sessions in primary schools and at the same time began training teachers in the use of digital media in the classroom. 

She re-designed and led a BA module entitled: Media Production in Schools over a 2 year period on the BA in Education Studies at the IOE. She also supervises 5 PhD students. She has evaluated school film and media projects for The British Film Institute, and has worked with the BFI and European agencies on international film education programmes and moving image literacy research projects.

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