The Orchard Hill College’s digital innovation event showcased the pioneering digital work being carried out at College and it proved to be a resounding success.

The event promoted a range of digital resources and innovations designed by our students here at OHC. The trailblazing work puts us at the cutting edge in developing commercial products.

The evening was supported by leaders from digital media companies and included key speakers Lucas Betés, the Marketing and Brand Manager from Cisco who talked about the impact of digital marketing in the retail industry and Rohan Slaughter, JISC Subject Specialist (Network technologies and infrastructure) who explained about the work they are doing to support and promote digital technology in colleges.

Representatives from the BBC, DeepMind, NatSpec, JISC and Widespace were among those who attended the event which included a demonstration of Contour – the software designed by our students for students to track their learning journey. “The app puts the user at the centre of the experience, so it doesn’t just show the journey, it tells the journey,” explained Simon Gale, Head of Digital Learning.

“Contour enables and empowers students to have autonomy over their own learner journey. They are able to present their work more independently through the portfolio,” he added.
One of our students, Abigail Adams, brilliantly demonstrated the Digital Portfolio, showing her own work and how she uses Contour on a daily basis.

Along with Dr Caroline Allen, Chief Executive Officer and Principal, students from Carew Academy, Young People’s Academy and Orchard Hill College were all involved in Contour.

“The event was excellent, with some really interesting speakers. It was also a great opportunity to see the benefits of the digital portfolio to the students, especially since they have helped to build and develop it themselves,” Lucas Betés commented later.

There was praise too from Joyce Deere, retired Ofsted inspector. “Contour is moving the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to the next stage to make sure students are in control of their own programmes. It is a powerful tool for personalisation,” she said, while Marianne Sweet from NatSpec added: “Great to see technology being used to make the world more inclusive.”

Dr Caroline Allen said: “It’s so important to bring education and business together, and for special needs this is particularly important – our organisation and our students work hard to ensure that we are developing all sorts of marketable skills, ensuring that our contribution to society is valuable.”

Guests at the drop in event also enjoyed live music from jazz singer Paul Johnson and his band in the surroundings of the Virgin Money Lounge, Eagle Place.