Valentina studied towards a PhD in Education and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Moray House School of Education and Sport (MHSES), the University of Edinburgh. Her PhD was focused on ethically designing and evaluating digital technology, aimed at supporting young children’s play in a hospital setting. Towards this end, she immersed herself in a hospital setting, allowing her to work closely with children, parents and practitioners.

As a Postdoctoral Researcher, Valentina has been working on a research project aimed at exploring school-aged children’s perceptions of conversational assistants (such as Amazon’s Alexa) and artificial intelligence (AI). Together with Professor Judy Robertson from the Centre for Research in Digital Education, The University of Edinburgh, she has conducted a mixed-methods approach study with primary-school children in Scotland to understand their awareness and how they interact with such systems. Valentina has worked on various other research projects involving children, such as employing a participatory approach with primary and secondary-school children on a project focused on understanding children’s reading motivation.

Valentina’s research interests largely lie at the intersection of education and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI): educational technology, participatory approaches, inclusive design and evaluation of technology, ethics in technology design, AI ethics.


Selected Publications
  • Andries, V., & Robertson, J. “Alexa doesn’t have that many feelings”: Children’s understanding of AI through interactions with smart speakers in their homes. Available as ArXiv preprint:
  • Constantin, A., Andries, V., Korte, J., Alexandru, C., Good, J., Sim, J., Read, J., Fails, J.A., & Eriksson, E. (2022). Ethical Considerations of Distributed Participatory Design with Children. In Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’22), Braga, Portugal. ACM, New York, NY, USA,
  • Andries, V., Niven, A., & Smith, C. (Sept 2021). Social Media Research: Ethical Guidance for Researchers at the University of Edinburgh. Centre for Data, Culture & Society, The University of Edinburgh. Available here:
  • Andries, V., & Savadova, S. (2021). Understanding the Role of Digital Technology in the Transitions of Refugee Families with Young Children into A New Culture: A Case Study of Scotland. In Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’21), June 24–30, 2021, Athens, Greece. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 5 pages.
  • Wilkinson, K., Andries, V., Howarth, D., Bonsall, J., Sabeti, S., & McGeown, S. (2021). Reading During Adolescence: Why Adolescents Choose (or Do Not Choose) Books. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 64(2), 157-166.
  • McGeown, S., Bonsall, J., Andries, V., Howarth, D., & Wilkinson, K. (2020). Understanding Reading Motivation Across Different Text Types: Qualitative Insights from Children. Journal of Research in Reading, 43(4), 597-608.
  • McGeown, S., Bonsall, J., Andries, V., Howarth, D., Wilkinson, K., & Sabeti, S. (2020). Growing up a Reader: Exploring children’s and adolescents’ perceptions of ‘a reader’. Educational Research, 62(2), 216-228.
  • Andries, V., & Robertson, J. (2019). Designing Social Play to Support Young Hospitalised Children. In Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’19), June 12–15, 2019, Boise, ID, USA. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 6 pages.
  • Andries, V. (2018). Play Technology with 3-5-Year Old Children in a Hospital Setting. In Proceedings of the 2018 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play Companion Extended Abstracts (CHI PLAY ’18 Extended Abstracts, Melbourne, Australia). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 5-10. DOI:

Selected Presentations

  • Savadova, S., & Andries, V. (2021). How can interactions with digital media foster refugee families’ transitions to a new culture in Edinburgh? British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, United Kingdom.
  • Andries, V., & McGeown, S. (2019). Growing up a Reader: Lessons learnt from training primary school students as researchers. United Kingdom Literacy Association Conference, Sheffield, United Kingdom. Paper presentation
  • Andries, V. & Robertson, J. (2019). Ethics in participatory design approaches. Human-Computer Interaction – Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications (CISA) interest group at the School of Informatics. Invited speakers
  • Andries, V. (2018). Ethics in practice: A case study of researching play technology with sick children. Children and Technology event organised by the Digital Education group at Moray House, in collaboration with the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance. Invited speaker