Sharon Tonner-Saunders

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Old Medical School


Sharon Tonner-Saunders is lecturer in Technologies-ICT and Music in the School of Education. She joined the University in August 2008 after working for seven years as a primary school teacher, where the last four years were spent teaching ICT to all primary pupils. During this time, Sharon was awarded the British Council's eTwinning Award for Excellence in using innovative methods to connect children with their peers around the world. This followed shortly with Sharon becoming a British Council Ambassador where she shares her knowledge and expertise of intercultural learning with educators around the world. For the past three years, Sharon has led an innovative intercultural project called Hands of the World (HOTW) that uses music and Makaton to connect learners together to develop their intercultural awareness of others and preserve their linguistic identities. This project has won eTwinning Quality Labels from countries around Europe, the European eTwinning Quality Label and the prestigious British Council National eTwinning Award for best project in the UK (2019 and 2020). The success of Sharon's intercultural work has led to her being invited to be the keynote speaker at conferences around the world where she shares her passion for creating educational opportunities that enable young people to be connected with their global peers whilst preserving their identities.
Sharon's innovative approaches to using technologies in education has been acknowledged at the University where she has been awarded:

  • CASS Award for Professional and Public Research Graduates - Jan 2012
  • DUSA Innovation in Teaching Award - May 2011
  • Honorary Graduates Award for Innovative Teaching - May 2010
  • ESW Innovation in Teaching Award - Oct 2019

Sharon's innovative and forward-thinking approach to using technologies has also been acknowledge by a wider community where she was awarded the prestigious titles of:

  • Apple Distinguished Educator - Jan 2011
  • SMART Exemplary Educator - March 2011

Sharon is also a trained Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Ambassador, where she delivers workshops pertaining to protecting young people online.

She has also been part of the MA (Hons) and PGDE management teams for the past 13 years through her role as Placement Convener, Assessment Convener and Group Lead. She is currently Admissions Convener for the MA (Hons) Programme.


  • 2011-2012: Postgraduate Module (Research Methods & Design) - University of Dundee
  • 2009-2010: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education - University of Dundee
  • 2006-2007: Postgraduate Module (Progressive Enquiry & Knowledge Building Society) - University of Strathclyde
  • 2005-2006: HNC ICT (Web Page Design & Internet Services) - Dundee College
  • 2003-2005: Postgraduate Modules - (Computer Based Learning & Teaching, Internet Resources and Emerging Technologies) - University of Aberdeen
  • 1999-2001: BEd (Hons) Primary Education - Dundee Northern College (First Class Honours Degree)


Press release

Music and sign language are bringing children around the world together in harmony thanks to an eTwinning project conceived at the University of Dundee.

Published on 8 March 2019