A celebration of schools from across the UK using Education Technology to support teaching and learning

| May 8, 2019

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The Edtech 50 Schools is a celebration of the work going on in schools across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, that use education technology to support great teaching and enhance learning. Edtech 50 Schools is supported by Intel, Jisc, NetSupport and in partnership with the Chartered College of Teaching, Independent Schools Council and TES. This report highlights digital flagship schools who demonstrate a focused sense of what is useful to them in terms of technology – whether it be in supporting teaching, cutting teacher workload, collaboration across staff teams or consolidating knowledge.

Spotlight

Black Hawk College

Black Hawk College is a community college serving all or part of nine counties in northwestern Illinois with a population of more than 225,000 residents. The district office is located on the Quad Cities Campus in Moline, while the East Campus is located five miles south of Kewanee, Illinois. In addition to these campuses, the college owns the Outreach Center in East Moline, the Adult Learning Center in Rock Island, and the Community Education Center in Kewanee. BHC serves more people than any other institution of higher education in the Quad Cities area.

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How to Make the Education System More Beneficial with Blockchain and Digital Badges?

Article | January 18, 2021

Due to the increased exposures and positive COVID-19 cases, the educational industry is adapting to the fourth industrial revolution more swiftly than intended. Both students and educational institutions are realizing the requirement of technology to support the learning process. It has also led to the development of digital badges and the adoption of blockchain in this sector. But, why should we adopt blockchain? Blockchain which is originally known as being the support of digital currencies like bitcoin is not new to the academe. Blockchain can be used as a validation tool for learning. With blockchain as the backbone of the educational system, institutions will become able to list courses, manage training badges, and issue certificates to the students. It will in return reduce the chances of issuing fraudulent certificates. Moreover, having high-end encryption, even the most experienced hackers will not be able to tamper the credentials. And, what’s a digital badge? A digital badge validates the accomplishment, skills, and certifications of students. It can also be offered to the student after completing internships. In the educational sector, a digital badge can be acquired by a student after learning a skill or completing a course. It should be considered by every institution to help students in showcasing their skills in the job market as well. The digital badges are multipurpose. It can be used for certifications to show the acquired skills, transparency for other universities or schools to collect key details of the student, and validation to show that the individual has participated in a workshop or training program. Besides the basic reasons discussed, how these digital badges can help and why should institutions opt for digital badges? Why Should Educational Institutions Opt For Digital Badges? Among numerous reasons why an educational institution should go for digital badges, let’s check some of the most important reasons. Personalized Learning Micro-credentials help in dividing the part of the subjects into certain skills that enables students and educational institutions to design plans according to their needs. With the availability of personalized learning, a learner can complete the course anywhere regardless of the time and earn a badge. Skill-Based Learning A digital badge can enable students to showcase their skills while applying for an internship or part-time job. These badges must be connected with professional capabilities that confirm that it is worthy to the students. These skill badges either can be for technical skills like programming or soft skills like leadership, teamwork, and so on. Open Standards As we know that digital badges are verifiable, it offers a chance for students to learn something outside their typical classroom. It increases the achievement and abilities of the students creating a new opportunity for them at the time of recruitment. Some of the companies and institutions that are using digital certifications include Certif-ID, Stamford University, Georgetown University, and MIT. For those who want to implement blockchain and digital badges in their educational institutions, you can easily hire developers that will build a powerful system to glorify the entire education process. Wrapping it up! To maintain educational records, a digital badge is the most innovative solution. Moreover, the education industry is gradually moving towards record maintenance on blockchain to eliminate fake degrees due to which many deserving candidates lose their chance to attain better opportunities. It is also beneficial for the companies as they will not have to hire less staff for cross-checking the information which will increase their profitability and productivity as well. Despite the increasing acceptance of digital badges and blockchain in the education sector, many educators are unaware of their power. Plausibly, it is about to change soon.

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Virtual Reality brings a whole new immersive learning experience to the classroom

Article | March 20, 2020

Virtual reality (VR) is making its way into the classrooms of local public schools allowing students to immerse themselves in lessons that traditionally would have been taught out of a textbook. For instance, seventh graders at Daniel Morgan Middle School recently learned through VR about the various weapons and techniques used in combat during World War I. All it took was a pair of goggles, a smart phone and a hand controller to get students engaged in the lesson through a computer-generated three-dimensional (3D) world. Daniel Morgan recently created a technology lab to make VR learning possible for its students.

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Saving Summer 2020 – A Virtual Tour of Marseille

Article | August 18, 2020

After a busy exam season, students up and down the country look forward to long summer vacations, hopefully with a trip or two! Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, many of us don’t want to catch a flight this summer. But all is not lost! Gale Primary Sources, an online database of digitised primary sources, allows you to explore your cancelled holiday destination in a virtual way – from the safety of your own home! Personally, I’d planned to go to Marseille in June, which is a historic city in the South of France well known for its Roman and medieval architecture and ruins. Instead, I had a really fun afternoon exploring Marseille by delving into some rare and quirky primary sources – and you can go there with me in this blog post!

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Remote learning – a brave new world?

Article | April 2, 2020

With schools worldwide forced into lockdown and over 1.4 billion children isolated at home, remote learning has rocketed up the agenda with headteachers, policy makers and education ministries looking for solutions. Big Tech have responded by making accessible tools freely available to teachers and students – platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Classroom and Microsoft Teams have seen usage grow exponentially in recent weeks.

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Spotlight

Black Hawk College

Black Hawk College is a community college serving all or part of nine counties in northwestern Illinois with a population of more than 225,000 residents. The district office is located on the Quad Cities Campus in Moline, while the East Campus is located five miles south of Kewanee, Illinois. In addition to these campuses, the college owns the Outreach Center in East Moline, the Adult Learning Center in Rock Island, and the Community Education Center in Kewanee. BHC serves more people than any other institution of higher education in the Quad Cities area.

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