Ellen Bell

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Personal profile


Ellen holds a PhD in Education and combines both academic and industry experience of collaborating with cultural heritage, charity, educational bodies and schools to research and develop innovative, educational, and interpretive award-winning digital resources. Prior to returning to academia, Ellen worked in industry for 17 years, first as an interactive designer then as a digital content producer in the BBC Learning Department. There she championed the use of mobile and animation winning two Learning Onscreen Awards and a Celtic Media Award for her animated learning websites. Subsequently she set up her own production company producing digital learning and interpretive resources for heritage and not-for-profit bodies.

Research Interests

Ellen’s research interests include education technology in schools, usability and the educational potential of new technologies and digital archives.

Her PhD thesis was entitled “Investigating the educational use of digitised historical artefacts through the design and development of a digital learning resource – the Partition Portal”, investigated the use of technology and digital archives in the A-level history classroom.

Teaching Interests

Ellen has an Associate Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy and two year’s teaching experience at the Ulster University, developing teaching resources and delivering workshops for BSc Interactive Media and BA, MA Journalism courses. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Education

20 Sept 201711 Sept 2021

Award Date: 13 Sept 2021

Master, MA Marketing

15 Sept 199830 Sept 0199

Award Date: 29 Oct 1999

Bachelor, BA Hons Fashion and Textile Design

15 Sept 199528 May 1998

Award Date: 29 Jun 1998

External positions

Digital Content Producer, Digital Key

1 Aug 201216 Sept 2017

Digital Content Producer, BBC Northern Ireland

1 Mar 200731 Jul 2012

Interactive Designer, BBC Northern Ireland

21 Nov 200028 Feb 2007


  • L Education (General)
  • Education technology
  • Usability
  • Digital Archives
  • Digital interpretation
  • Schools
  • Web
  • Design
  • Mobile
  • Design-based research


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