BU researchers will be monitoring the impact of a new Samsung Digital Classroom in Portland.
The new facility, located in the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) Sixth Form, is helping to bridge the digital skills gap in the local area by supporting learning, raising aspirations and empowering users to embrace digital technologies.
The Centre of Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP) is working with Samsung on monitoring the impact of digital classrooms on learning experience. Researcher in Residence, Phil Wilkinson is leading that research. He will be building on Samsung’s findings so far, which show that students with Special Education Needs (SEN) will benefit in particular through improving engagement and confidence levels. It is hoped that the results of the research will help to shape new learning spaces and improve learning experiences for future students.
The IPACA classroom, which opened last week, is one of a series supported and funded by the electronics giant, Samsung. The company has been setting up digital classrooms in schools, communities and cultural institutions around the country as part of their Corporate Citizenship programme. The classrooms are designed to be a multi-use space to support digital activities for all ages, including members of the local community. They are equipped with state-of-the-art Samsung technology including mobile and wearable devices, and interactive displays.
Each of the classrooms is used for lessons and workshops, providing access to the latest digital technology for communities as a way of tackling the digital skills divide in the UK. Samsung also provide teacher training for educators who use the classrooms.
Andy Griffiths, President of Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said: "Samsung is thrilled to be opening a Digital Classroom at the IPACA Sixth Form today that will benefit not only the students who attend this academy but also the local community, giving all age groups the opportunity to engage with and enjoy what the digital world has to offer. We're particularly excited about the research being undertaken by Phillip Wilkinson, and hope that these efforts can move the needle on Special Education Needs teaching."
Chair of the UK Government's Education Technology Action Group and IPACA Patron, Professor Stephen Heppell said: "We are living during a digital revolution and as such, it's so important that all members of society are equipped with the necessary skills and understanding to enjoy and thrive in this new world.”
Stephen, who is Professor of New Media Environments at BU, went on to say: “I think it's fantastic that Samsung is bringing these facilities to Portland and I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the positive impact that this facility will have on the community."