From education to employment

Askham Bryan College staff celebrate Educate North Awards win

Askham Bryan College has won an Educate North award.

Askham Bryan College staff have won a prestigious award for their innovative use of technology to enhance students’ digital learning and skills.

The College is this year’s winner of the Digital Education and Development category of the Educate North Awards.

The awards celebrate excellence and best practice in the education sector and entries are received from colleges, sixth forms and universities across the North.

Iain Glendinning, Vice Principal, Askham Bryan College, said:

“We are delighted to win this award, which recognises our commitment to creating an innovative and inspirational curriculum. I would like to congratulate our staff and students on this success.”

He added:

“Our latest high tech digital facilities are taking teaching and learning to a new level. They are providing exciting ways to engage students in an industry relevant curriculum that enhances their skills and career prospects and meets employers’ needs.”

The £1 million Digital Skills Academy, which opened at the College’s York campus this academic year, has the latest equipment to develop students’ digital capabilities.

It has been made possible by the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology, which Askham Bryan College is part of.

The academy has been funded by York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership through the government’s Getting Building Fund to develop capacity in digital teaching, learning, assessment and upskilling.

The facilities comprise a new building with media production pods, a virtual reality suite and a learning room to equip students with the latest skills that employers need in line with emerging digital technology industry trends.

The equipment includes immersive and interactive technology such as 360 degree video cameras and virtual reality headsets, which are used for coursework and assessments.

For example, animal management students have created digital resources for their assessment tasks. These have included creating three-dimensional animal enclosures.

Students have then explained their work in virtual reality videos.

Using 360 cameras, students have also created immersive animal keeper talks, which have helped to prepare them for future roles in the industry.

Equine students have created coaching videos to improve rider performance. Meanwhile, trainee vet nurses and sports coaching students have ‘visited’ virtual environments.

As part of their learning, they have been able to explore and explain to their teachers the impending risks that a virtual scene presents whilst being in a safe, immersive environment.

Through the use of 360 camera technology, students have also been able to build their confidence by rehearsing interview scenarios and practicing their skills in a safe environment.

Meanwhile, higher education students have used live stream technology to showcase dissections and record them for future use.

Stacy Vipas, Head of Digital Learning at Askham Bryan College, said:

“Land based industry leaders have told us that it is important to digitally upskill the future workforce.

“We want students to have a digital mindset from the offset and be inspired by the way that technology can have a positive impact on their future careers.

“Students are really enjoying the opportunity to use our new technology and showing great pride in the work they are producing as a result.

“We have linked with employers to create resources for students to learn from. Students are demonstrating their learning beyond the realms of traditional assessment practices.”

The Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology comprises a regional consortium of colleges, universities and employers with a £14 million capital investment from the Department for Education.

David Dickson, Chair of York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Place & Infrastructure Board, said:

“This award is well-deserved by the College. We were pleased to support the building of the Digital Skills Academy with Getting Building Fund investment and it’s great to see how it’s already benefitting students, staff and employers. It’s an excellent development, giving the current and future workforce the tools they, and their employers, need to flourish.”

This year’s Educate North Awards winners were announced at a ceremony held at the Midland Hotel in Manchester on April 27th, 2023.

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