Paving the way for 21st century learning in Wales

We are extremely proud to announce that Bridgend College has now officially become a Google Reference College, the first college in Wales to be given this esteemed title.

As a College that has wholeheartedly embraced G Suite for Education across both curriculum and business support provisions, we have committed to digital transformation and placed Google and its products at the centre of our strategy.

Our commitment over the last few years has meant that we have now been recognised as a centre of excellence by Google for our use of GSuite for Education across the organisation, demonstrating a consistent and coherent approach to staff development and training. 

With 148 staff at the College now trained as Level 1 Google Certified Educators and a new onsite Digital Innovation Space, Den01, Bridgend College is paving the way for 21st century learning in Wales.

In addition, we have 29 staff trained as Level 2 Certified Educators, 3 Certified Trainers and 1 Innovator. These figures continue to rise thanks to a full G Suite induction programme given to new starters. Training can be provided by in-house Certified Trainers in 1 to 1, 12 week and intensive courses. All staff are encouraged, supported and funded to apply for the next level.

“Our vision at Bridgend College is to create a seamless digital experience aligned with 21st century learning expectations underpinned by G Suite for Education.” Scott Morgan, Digital Lead.

Before Google integration across the organisation, there was a disjointed approach to digital technologies with sporadic usage of Moodle across campus. Mac users were unable to access central college systems and there was no cloud-based storage for classroom resources. Overall, there was mixed engagement of technology integration within teaching and learning.

Since our collaboration with Google Professional Development Partner, Aspire2Be, with whom we’ve formed a strong partnership, all staff and students across the organisation use G Suite as their primary digital platform. Google Classroom is used as the sole virtual learning environment across all teaching and learning and chromebooks are widely used across campuses, allowing for far wider access to many college systems. Based on an all-staff digital audit taken in December 2019, 9 out of 10 staff agree that G Suite has improved collaborative working.

New technologies for curriculum use have been explored through our onsite Digital Innovation Space, Den01, in recent months. In the 2019/20 academic year, our in-house certified trainers have worked with staff to further their use of G Suite and other innovative digital products in the classroom. We now have over 1,000 Chromebooks on offer to students across our campuses.

As a Google Reference College, we will be officially listed in the Google for Education Directory and have direct access to Google for queries and updates. We will also have the opportunity to host and organise Google events at the College and test new Google products before they hit the market.

Simon Pridham, Education Partner at Aspire2Be said:

“We are proud partners of Bridgend College and are proud to have developed a digital roadmap and training plan to enhance their use of Google amongst staff, students and teachers in order to interact seamlessly, collaboratively and securely across multiple devices.”

We’d like to thank Aspire2Be, for their incredible support along this journey of cultural change at the College. Their knowledge and delivery of a bespoke plan of digital upskilling across the organisation has enabled us to really step up to the mark in digital innovation, not only through staff development but also within the curriculum.