The newest cohort of Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) students have received brand new iPads as part of a pioneering digital strategy that is transforming both teaching and learning across the College, taking the total number of students with iPads to over 1000.
Last year, more than 500 BTC students received iPads as part of the project, transforming teaching and learning for those on full-time Level 3 courses, as well as those studying at the National College for Nuclear (NCfN). Due to its success, the most recent phase of the project saw the new term at BTC kick off with every student studying A Levels, T Levels, the International Baccalaureate (IB), or full-time vocational Health Care courses at Levels 3 to 6 (degree level) receiving their new iPads.
The pilot scheme received excellent feedback from both staff and students, highlighting the way in which technology enables students to access an extensive range of multimedia resources, apps, and communication tools, including programmes that are staples in the workplace, such as MS Office 365. The iPads also allow students to work successfully in different learning contexts, including group, personal and remote study.
There was a real buzz in the air as the newest phase of students collected their devices, with one student saying,
I can’t believe they’ve given us all brand-new iPads!
Other students provided excellent feedback about how the iPads transform both learning and teaching. Benefits included no longer carrying unmanageable paperwork, providing access to programmes such as Microsoft Teams, and removing the financial barriers to education that some may face.
Mackenzie Mangar, a student at the Bridgwater Campus said
I think the iPads are great, especially for those who are unable to financially support their learning as well as others. The iPads promote equality and it means nobody is at a disadvantage. It makes everyone equal.
Student Jemma Davidson added
At the moment I’m using my personal laptop, so it’s going to be really useful in keeping my personal things separate from my college work.
Tiffany Dabenett added that her personal devices weren’t appropriate for her course requirements, but thanks to the new scheme, this is no longer a worry
I struggle taking photos on my phone which I need for my course as my phone can be faulty, so the new iPad will really help.
Matt Tudor, Director of Digital Innovation, said
BTC created a Digital Skills Team with the aim of identifying and exploring ways in which we could innovate using technology to create a learning environment fit for the Digital Age. We had high hopes for this project, but have been blown away by the response from both learners and staff, and the extent of the positive effect on the student experience. We’re delighted to be able to extend the project to more groups, and look forward to exploring new ways to transform BTC into a truly 21st century college.