Erica Southgate


Associate Professor Erica Southgate (University of Newcastle) is recognised for ‘surfing the next wave’ of technology enhanced learning for social justice. In 2016, Erica was appointed national Equity Fellow where she conducted research into an enduring equity problem – how to increase access to high status professions such as medicine, engineering and ICT, for young people experiencing disadvantage. A key component of the Fellowship was her Immersed in the Future report on how virtual and augmented reality could be deployed for school career education.

Erica currently leads the VR School project, the first study to explore learning through the use of highly immersive VR in high school STEM and creative arts classrooms. Erica is a serious computer game developer. She has developed three games, including a virtual world, designed to improve student literacy.

The free literacy games – Apostrophe Power,  Sentence Hero and Robo WordQuest – are available from the App and Google Play stores. Most recently Erica led an interdisciplinary team, to conduct a project commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Education on Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies for Australia Schools.  One of Erica’s favourite things is flying high in VR. For more on Erica’s research –

We will have more information about Erica’s talk soon.