Fujitsu Ambassador Impact
Being an Education Fujitsu Ambassador enables us to make a difference to educators, students and local communities. Here are just a few of the ways in which Crawley College intend to use the Ambassador programme to make technology inspiration work.
Crawley College's Vision
We believe ICT and other technologies can play a major role in enabling independent learning and providing opportunities to engage students in different ways. Introducing programming at all levels within different deliveries is important as well as introducing it via social activity, such as gaming clubs and use of virtual technology. The art of social interaction must not be lost in an increasing technological and virtual world.
Over the next few years we will be piloting the use of technologies such as mobile apps, authoring software, gaming technology, virtual and augmented reality. With so many of our courses being professional and technical, there is the potential to use simulation technology to recreate real world scenarios. We also aim to make learning at the College more flexible, with access to quality learning resources being made available anywhere, anytime and on any device.
Using ICT to motivate and engage students
The Fujitsu Innovation Hub
The Innovation Hub was established with Fujitsu and partners (Intel, Brocade, Kyocera) to create an engaging and varied environment for Skills Central students and students with special educational needs and learning difficulties. The environment and technical facilities will be varied to meet all student needs and support learning particularly at lower levels to ensure that these students feel engaged in technology in general and in order to support their Study Programme.
The IT Academy (opened July 2016)
The IT Academy is a bespoke IT environment to meet the training needs for the sector and will provide much-needed support to enhance the digital and computing skills of young people and those already working in the IT industry, as well as offering an impressive range of specialist computer software and hardware courses. The Academy features flexible learning spaces for the teaching and development of all computing courses, as well as nationally recognised Cisco and Microsoft qualifications. New suites of computers enable various aspects of IT to be taught and the open and flexible areas move away from the traditional classroom model.
The modern Learning Suite space encourages the use of ‘blended learning’, integrating technology into teaching and learning for a more engaging and interactive learner experience. Tablet technology, interactive LCD screens and design pods facilitate students to work in a collaborative and free thinking environment.
Part of the ethos of the IT Academy will be to train the workforce that will provide the type of skills that local and regional business require. From our recent survey of local businesses, it has become clear that they would value apprentices who are working towards Microsoft and Cisco qualifications. We therefore embed professional IT courses such as those offered by Microsoft and Cisco, within our BTEC courses. This provides our students with an additional competitive edge in the job market and will equip them with IT skills appropriate for modern business.
As an Ambassador our students will be able to apply for Fujitsu’s apprenticeship programme, on which employment and specialist technical studies are combined. Future developments that may be available through the Growth 3 Deal will also enable Big Data and Cyber Security curriculum partnered with Fujitsu’s Operational Security, Defence and National Security higher apprenticeships.
College IT Clubs
The IT Academy and the Fujitsu Innovation Hub are both scheduled to run clubs and community programmes from November 2016 onwards. Students from all curriculum areas will be able to apply for the College clubs that will be run from November 2016. Students will be made aware of these clubs which will commence with a Gaming Club, a Code Club and Operation Innovation Club, through Student Services communications.
Code Club is part of a nationwide network of after-school coding clubs for 9 – 11 year olds, but many primary schools are unable to offer the facility as they do not have the skills set required. Code Club provides free step-by-step activity sheets for the pupils to follow, and features large display screens and advanced networking equipment. That makes it a highly effective way of helping children to create games, animations and websites. At the same time, they quickly pick up the key concepts of programming. The College will offer initial free sessions for primary school teachers to learn the basic requirements of coding to teach as part of the syllabus and to enable coding clubs to be established.
The College will also offer, from January 2017, Tech visits and conferences to other local education establishments so that they cannot only see the facilities on offer, but benefit from understanding the future of technology and employer expectations. We will also offer discounted modules and qualifications for their students and staff to come to the College for training on the latest tablets, laptops, desktops and software during evening programmes.
Advanced Technology Centre (opened April 2016)
The Advanced Technology Centre provides a host of opportunities for local schools, students, employers and members of the community to engage with technology in exciting and innovative ways. The focus is on engineering, where state of the art technology is available, providing CAD/CAM capability which will interface with robotic technology, other equipment and a suite of high specification PCs. Tablet devices are used within the zoned workshops to provide internet reference, recording of processes and note taking. The large zoned workshop creates individual hubs of development where students can engage in research and practical activities in environmental technologies, hybrid car technology, electronics and training on computer numerical control (CNC) routers. The format of the Workshop promotes collaboration between different technological disciplines, encouraging innovation and enhancing student learning and progression opportunities.
The facilities and training on offer is much sought after as employers in the engineering and technology sector recognise the need to enhance the skills of their current and future workforces. The range of programmes focusing on renewable and sustainable technologies and engineering, along with specialist courses are designed to support the needs of local employers and promote progression into high-skilled industries.
The building will also become a hub of technological innovation with employers and students having the opportunity to exhibit their latest technologies and projects, as well as stream live events, seminars and workshops to the state-of-the-art live wall in the visitors centre. The Visitors Centre will also showcase sustainable energy solutions on going with exhibitions, events and presentations and be available for use by the College’s employer links and partners to exhibit and trial and exhibit new renewable and engineering technologies.
The engineer Higher Education Centre is based on the first floor of the building providing HND and HNC students with a dedicated space for class-based learning. Students have the advantage of being just upstairs from the Learning IT Suite and zoned workshop where they can test their theoretical knowledge and bring their ideas to life.
There will also be a range of clubs run in the ATC to encourage cross-college interest in engineering. The first of these clubs, due to launch in 2017 will be for Young Engineers and Women in Engineering.
The Fujitsu’s apprenticeship programme will also be linked to this area and will be a key area to apply to the Fujitsu Operation Innovation national competition.