As research manager/administrator, Judy’s role is to ensure an effective research environment for the academic team she supports. This includes liaising with funders, partners and schools, monitoring project progress and managing the online web portal.
Judy has extensive experience in project consultancy, co-ordination and administration, working with varied clients from sole traders and SMEs to international corporations. She has specialised in working in the HE sector, working directly with PIs to co-ordinate and monitor projects, including those funded by H2020, H2020/ERC, EEF, NERC, EPSRC and the Helen Hamlyn Trust.
Yousef’s doctoral research aims to map the protective factors and risk factors of educational resilience in unaccompanied refugee students using a mixed methods design.
For several years, Yousef has consulted in social policy data analysis and program evaluation for various NGOs, governments and UN agencies in the MENA region, East Africa, North America and Latin America. Prior to arriving to Oxford, he was an Education Pioneers Fellow in the US through which he worked as a Data Analytics & Compliance Manager for Boston Collegiate, a charter management organization in Boston.
Yousef holds a BA in International Studies from the American University of Sharjah (UAE), an MPA in International Security Policy from Columbia University (USA), and an EdM in Mind, Brain and Education from Harvard University (USA). He is passionate about promoting social justice education and improving diversity, equity and inclusion in social policy and practice.
Today’s young generations are among the first ones to grow up in an environment where digital voice assistants (e.g. Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant) can emulate some innate capabilities of their human Creators, such as the autonomous use of human language and speech. My dissertation aims to contribute to a theoretical as well as empirical understanding of what role voice assistants play in today’s home and childhood environments, and how exposure to these machines is related to way children construct a basic understanding of the world around them. In addition, I am also hoping that my findings will prefigure to a certain extent how the nature of human-machine relationships might look like in a couple of years and decades from now.
I am a pragmatic proponent of mixed methods designs, with a particular emphasis on advanced quantitative means of scientific inquiry. I also hold a strong interest in philosophical issues related to the ongoing rise of artificial/machine intelligence.
- Festerling, J., & Siraj, I. (2020). Alexa, what are you? Exploring Primary School Children’s Ontological Perceptions of Digital Voice Assistants in Open Interactions. Human Development, 64, 26–43. https://doi.org/10.1159/000508499
- Festerling, J. (2020) Alexa, what are you? Why we should actively engage children in discussions about intelligent technologies. Researching Education, Issue 3. https://researchingeducation.com/jfesterling1020/
- Festerling, J. (2020). Changing Nature of Childhood Environments – Investigating Children’s Interactions with Digital Voice Assistants in Light of a New Paradigm. Proceedings of The Thirteenth International Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions – ACHI 2020, 73–78.
- Festerling, J. (2020). Alexa, How Do You Change Us? Annual Poster Conference of the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.36687.30887
- Festerling, J. (2020). Innovators’ Freedom to Challenge Our Paradigms: Why the Copernican Legacy Should Guide Our Progression through the Incipient Age of Artificial Intelligence. Proceedings of the Global Essay Competition at The Fiftieth St. Gallen Symposium. http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.18644.22405/1