Cardiff and Vale College’s pioneering use of technology enhanced learning helps it retain Microsoft Showcase College status
Cardiff and Vale College’s pioneering use of technology to create immersive and inclusive learning experiences has meant it has retained its Microsoft Showcase College status for the fifth year running.
CAVC was crowned as the first Microsoft Showcase College in Wales in 2018. The status signifies that the College is an innovator in the Welsh Further Education sector and that it has a strong digital strategy.
Microsoft Showcase College status also reflects the expertise of staff across the College and their enhanced digital skills on the latest teaching and learning technologies to support students. Using the latest tools, information and technologies helps prepare learners for the world of work, meaning they can instant value to any employer.
CAVC has a heavy proportion of learners from digitally deprived backgrounds so works to embrace the needs of those learners and offer the most digitally inclusive service possible. Office 365 is available to all learners in College and at home – students can download Office 365 on to five of their personal devices.
Microsoft HoloLens is used frequently to provide immersive experiences – such as virtual anatomy models. Learners can take part in digital gaming sessions in the CAVC Makerspace to help them learn how to use Microsoft Kodu game lab software and a virtual CAVC campus offers staff and students countless opportunities to explore real world content in a safe, immersive environment; for example, Forensic Sciences provision at the College has been enhanced by using virtual crime scenes on the campus.
This year, PGCE trainee teachers at the College created video logs using 3D avatars, editing in Microsoft Video editor and using Stream to share them with their class. The CAVC Technology Advanced Learning (TEL) team works with broadcaster Jason Mohammad’s Academy which gives students the opportunity to develop broadcasting and podcasting skills alongside their course, and VR headsets are available for staff to embed into their teaching, giving learners access to a range of apps to help develop future-ready skills.
Plumbing and Heating learners experienced realistic scenarios using VR and AR simulations, while Public Services students experienced a prison riot and shield simulation and a foot chase scenario, aimed at developing policing skills. TEL also offer a range of voluntary clubs where learners can use the latest technology to build up their digital skills.
The TEL team are currently investigating AI and how it can be implemented across the CAVC curriculum to enable learners to prepare for the future world of work. The College is committed to helping learners prepare for emerging jobs and industries that do not currently exist.
Cardiff and Vale College Principal Sharon James said: “We are absolutely delighted that Microsoft has continued to recognise our commitment to Technology Enhanced Learning. We have a digital skills strategy to continuously providing staff and students with the opportunities and technology to grow their own digital skills and the work we do with Microsoft supports that commitment.
“This not only makes the experience of working and learning with us engaging, but ensures we use the most up to date technology to teach and support our learners. Office365 and packages like teams and Outlook are the most used platforms in businesses across the world and all of learners leave College as confident users of Microsoft technology no matter what course they have been on – and that will add instant value to any employer.”