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South Staffordshire College recognised by Google for innovative cloud technology adoption

South Staffordshire College has become the first College in the Midlands to be granted Google Reference College status.  The global technology company, recognised the innovative approach to technology made by the education establishment. The digital transformation of the College blended a mixture of cutting-edge hardware, cloud migration, and the implementation of digital learning and online productivity tools.

The use of cloud-based technology such as Google G Suite for Education has had a significant impact on learners, revolutionising the assessment process with students receiving feedback on submitted work in a matter of hours instead of days.

South Staffordshire College will play an active role as a reference point and best practice adviser to other colleges on implementing and utilising cloud technology for learning. The College will draw on its experience with Google for Education to help others in the further education sector make the most of the innovative technology available.   

Jamie Smith, Executive Director – Engagement at South Staffordshire College said:

“Our role is to prepare our learners to become the workforce of tomorrow and technology plays a huge part in that.  The way we learn and access education is changing, the adoption of cloud technology has given our College a seamless learning experience.  Whether it is a phone, tablet, laptop or Chromebook, both learners and staff can access resources 24/7, wherever they are.”  

He went on to explain why he believed the digital transformation project was a success,

“I believe that technology should be simple to use and make life better. Part of the success behind the adoption of Google technology at South Staffordshire College and education more widely has been its simplicity to use. The Google solution for education has now grown to over 80 million users worldwide and I am convinced that a key part of its rapid success is that for teachers, support staff and students it’s just so easy to use.. Every single member of the South Staffordshire College team uses the Google G-Suite for Education technology saving us time, money, and enabling new ways of working. We are very proud to be ‘Googley”.

The College embedded Google into their infrastructure at all campuses over four years ago and since that time it has transformed how it operates, putting collaboration at the core of its activities. The journey also involved the College deploying hundreds of Chromebooks and Chromebase devices, reducing energy use on a like for like basis by 65-85% saving over £35,000 a year in electricity costs alone.  Staff along with students also use Google Meet to join meetings online without the need to travel.

Liz Sproat, Head of Education Europe for Google also added her thoughts on the  announcement.

“Congratulations to South Staffordshire College for achieving the status of Google Reference College in the UK. The College leadership has demonstrated strong ambitions in their aspirations for teachers and students and we are excited to see how our tools have helped enable them to reach and exceed their goals.”

G Suite for Education allows staff and students to work smarter, save time, be more productive and learn beyond the conventional classroom with access to a wide range of tools and resources that can be accessed at their convenience, 24 hours a day on any device and no matter where they are.  Google tools are being used on a daily basis at the College. Ninety-nine percent of both FE and HE students state that they use G Suite for Education and value the opportunity to enjoy real-time collaboration enabling them to work in a way they enjoy to learn.

South Staffordshire College and Google Facts

On a busy teaching day there are around 498 Active Google Classrooms.

In the last three months there has been;

  • 357,753 internal shared documents
  • 441 video hangouts
  • 281,9650 files added to Google Drive
  • 2.6 million Gmail messages sent and received
  • 0 security breaches or threats

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