• Orchard Hill College & Academy Trust, Quadrant House, 8th Floor - The Quadrant, Sutton SM2 5AS
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Celebration of Digital Discovery

Special guests from Tech and Education gathered for the “Celebration of Digital Discovery” eagerly anticipating what the students had in store for them, and they weren’t disappointed. The event revealed some truly innovative digital thinking with products such as Contour (an e-learning portfolio enabling and empowering students to have autonomy over their learning journey and present their work independently through the portfolio).

The Digital School was set up as a student led enterprise in 2015 to develop innovative and engaging digital resources for students, staff and the wider community. They have come a long way in a short period of time with students leading the way, creating accessible digital products for both SEND and mainstream schools and colleges.

Students also demonstrated a series of augmented reality training cards which bring static items to life making their lessons even more engaging and interactive.

Simon Gale, Creative Director of the Digital School is driven by a passion for digital inclusion commented: “I am so proud of the students. This event provides the perfect platform for them to promote and showcase their innovations and hard work. Although we are developing digital tools and resources the skills learnt on this journey are far reaching and impact on all areas of their lives, from enhanced communication skills to developing skills for work.”

Visitors were also treated to a live podcast and a preview of a soon-to-be launched 3D game, “Road Sense”, designed to raise awareness of road safety and to promote travelling independently in a safe way. Students at the Digital School also publish a student e-zine that can be enjoyed by those with visual and hearing impairments and broadcast a weekly live radio podcast.

Attendees were encouraged to get interactive and try out the virtual reality headsets that can transport users to Egypt or even experience life on Mars, but more practical for students with SEND, it enables them to become familiar with places and environments before they visit them.

Dr Caroline Allen OBE, Principal & CEO of OHC&AT: “I am delighted to see so many people here to support the incredible work of our students, they continue to amaze me with their ideas, imagination and forward thinking. This is exactly why we set up the Digital School, to use and develop leading edge, innovative, assistive technology. It not only improves confidence and independence, it creates real opportunities for our young people as we prepare them for life after education.”

As a community of learners, families and colleagues OHC&AT believes that by working collaboratively, with energy and ambition we can always effect positive change. No limit is placed on what is possible and everyone has the ability to be the very best they can be.

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