More Students receive iPads in Pioneering Tech Project - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) has announced that hundreds more students will receive iPads following the successful first phase of its pioneering digital strategy project.

In 2021/22, more than 500 BTC students received iPads as part of the project, transforming teaching and learning for those on a full-time, Level 3 courses, as well as those studying at the National College for Nuclear (NCfN).

From September 2022, every student studying A Levels, T Levels, or the International Baccalaureate (IB), and those on full-time vocational Health Care courses at Levels 3 to 6 (degree level) will receive iPads.

The pilot scheme received excellent feedback from both staff and students, and has transformed teaching and learning. The technology enables students to access an extensive range of multimedia resources and apps, communication tools, and work successfully in different learning contexts, including group as well as personal and remote study.

Former Brymore School pupil Marley Scriven said

It’s made talking to my teachers a lot easier. Emails appear straight away on my iPad, and using Teams means that I can just message my lecturers, often getting a response straight away. Because the iPad is portable, I can go from classroom to classroom using it. Even better, because I have a long journey to College, I can work while on the bus. I don’t need to pack up all my textbooks at college, travel home, then unpack again before finally getting to work. Instead, I can just get in and get started.

Joe Pittard, a former Bridgwater College Academy student, said

Having an iPad means that we’re all equal. It doesn’t matter what our background is or how much money our family has, we all have an iPad to use, a tool that we can use to boost our education. The world around us uses digital technologies, so the iPads offer 21st century learning, not just preparing us for exams and the work, but the rest of the world around us. Using an iPad takes our education into the modern world and makes it relevant.

T Level Health Course Leader Mel Leavy said

The iPads have supported students with taking their learning to the next step this year. Lessons have become interactive and students are able to access live materials throughout the lesson whilst making personal class notes. They have supported collaboration as a student group with all students being able to work on one piece of work together at the same time. The iPads have also supported students with developing new IT skills by utilising the apps that have been installed that support a different approach to teaching and learning.

IB Tutor Bex Miller said

The iPads have been immeasurably beneficial in developing academic independence within the IB programme. Not only are all students equipped with the technology they need to complete research and wider reading, but they are able to develop their inquiry and thinking beyond the curriculum, challenging their thinking and approach to the subjects. Within sessions, students have also been able to collaborate on documents and learning resources, so that they can support and encourage each other, as well as work smarter in creating class-wide revision resources. The IB staff have been proactive in using them too, pushing their pedagogy and teaching and learning to ensure it is current, forward thinking, and of maximum benefit to the students.

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.

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