South Staffordshire College is taking a “pioneering approach” to new forms of technology enabled learning at its brand new digital campus. This includes collaborative working areas which includes technologies such as augmented reality.
“We’re taking a slightly different approach to what you might find in most educational environments,” says Jamie Smith, director of strategy and infrastructure at South Staffordshire College.
South Staffordshire College encourages pupils to “get their phones out” rather than “put them away”, and it utilizes these tools into the college’s everyday learning.
“We can use those technologies with young people to work in much smarter ways, including cloud delivery systems and cloud technologies, so we integrate the technologies they have in their pockets to seamlessly integrate that into the teaching experience.”
The planning for the campus began 36 months ago, with building work happening over the last 12 months. The college is receiving less and less money from government so it has to become innovative in order to reduce costs and find new funding.
“One of the fundamental challenges in education is that we’re experiencing increasing financial pressures, so this is requiring us to innovate in an increasingly competitive environment,” said Smith.
The college is currently working with IBM around analytics and advanced marketing for its website.
“We’re looking at how people behave on our website to target that and work out how to deliver in new ways on our website. We’re going to redesign our website and target people online in a way that makes sense in their digital world.”
The application of the IBM analytics technology is already helping the college to have insight into how people behave online. “We’re already learning how we can redesign and remodel our website to provide a better seamless and engaging learner experience.”
“In the future digital learning is going to be everything,” says Smith. “There isn’t a subject area I can think of where technology doesn’t tough it in one way or another so we have to meet that agenda and provide the digital skills of tomorrow but we have to do it today, because the young people who come into our organisation have to go into the work place and add value from day one.”