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Harlow College

Our journey with educational technology 

In 2015 Harlow College made a significant strategic decision of providing iPads for all full time learners and their teachers. This followed a major investment in digital infrastructure, including ubiquitous wi-fi across campus. The idea being to improve access to learning through digital resources in order to meet the demands of the changing workplace. 

To help facilitate this change to digital for our curriculum and student learning, we established the Digital Innovation Team, recruited Digital Leaders from teaching staff to support their colleagues and encouraged students to become Digital Ambassadors to allow them to have a voice and play a key role in sharing their experiences. 

Behind all of this is a strong programme of continuing professional development. One of the biggest successes in our training has been the establishment of our digital Top Ten apps and learning tools, all of which focus on learning, teaching and assessment. Equally important has been the fostering of changing culture through the development of growth mindset. This holistic and positive form of thinking has enabled our teaching staff to be more prepared to try new things and adapt to change in the way they deliver, assess and communicate with learners. 

We have been able to see the benefits of this approach during lockdown where established online learning tools from the Top Ten like Showbie and Padlet has allowed seamless communication and workflows with learners whilst also providing teachers with the skills to adapt to using new digital tools such as Teams or Planet eStream. 

The success of our online staff development day at the end of June underlines just how far we have travelled and how well our teachers have adapted with the help of the Digital Innovation and Quality teams. We have also been twice recognised as an Apple Distinguished School which is unprecedented in the FE sector. 

At Harlow College we take learning seriously, providing a great range of courses to equip students with the skills needed to prepare for the workplace, an apprenticeship or for further study at college or university. 
Our excellent employer links and work placements give our students first-hand experience of the world of work. 

We are graded Good by Ofsted and have won awards for our innovative approach to learning. We have been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for 2019–2021 for the second time, after first being named as an ADS in November 2017. This latest recognition celebrates the College’s ongoing approach to transforming learning, teaching and assessment. Apple Distinguished Schools are centres of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the education environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment. 

Our teaching staff have industry expertise and this is matched by industry standard facilities, including specialist workshops, classrooms with the latest technology, as well as great social spaces to relax. 

In September 2018 the College, in partnership with London Stansted Airport, opened its doors to the £11 million London Stansted Airport College, providing a range of technical and professional courses in the disciplines of aviation, cabin crew, engineering, hospitality and events management. 

Hear what we had to say during the regional launch of the EdTech Demonstrator Programme