Bridge College received funding from Karten to implement a Print Enterprise at college, iPads to support the learning and use of the printing kit and equipment refreshes in the ICT suite including a 65’’ interactive rise/fall touchscreen.
The printing EDU solution consisted of a DesignJet 44’’ Photo printer with bespoke software, mug printing solution and heat press bundle for bags/tshirts…etc.
We purchased 4 iPads to use with the printing kit to support the learners with instructions. We know that videos are a better way to show students how to use the printers, for example, how to change inks or printer rolls. We are using QR codes to link to videos we have created and can be scanned from any iPad.
In the IT suite the students have been participating in coding sessions using the large touch screen along with the website Code.org. The group have enjoyed learning how to code in a fun inclusive way.
The session used a combination of visuals on the screen, a physical grid on the floor to map out movements, and to navigate obstacles to reach a goal.
The screen allowed the students to drag and drop elements of the code into the running program and work out if their commands would accomplish the challenges set for them.
It has been a bit of a roller coaster journey with the print enterprise, lots of excitement and interest at the beginning when the kit arrived but the brakes were put on when training on the use of the kit was delayed for quite a long time.
In the meantime, the plans are in place for it to be run as an enterprise for students who want to experience the world of work at Bridge College. We have identified groups of students who want to take part. It will be a great place for students to learn about business in college.
We are working on it being cost neutral at the moment with the students learning about money, customer service and business skills. We have designs on making products such as tote bags, personalized greeting cards and mugs.
There will be a lot of different job roles that the students can get involved in; Finance, design and the nitty gritty of making the products. We are also hoping the day to day printing needs throughout college will move into that department. For example, if a staff member wants a poster printing to display around college they can send it to the team and they will print it at a cost. We will have accounts set up for members of staff to access the enterprise.
This will be a great opportunity for students to use their customer service skills, so communication at work will be an important aspect of this. Members of staff need a lot of photocopying and laminating of documents to use around college and we have already starting taking on these jobs while training up students on other aspects of the enterprise.
Once the students have the business up and running within college we are planning on expanding opportunities by selling products on markets stalls. For example, we are planning on selling products at this year’s Christmas fayre. To do this we are linking with the art department here at Bridge College so the students will actually design products themselves and follow the whole process from design to selling the products.
We are also going to be using the products as a marketing tool. For example: when we are visiting schools, events and conferences it’s a great opportunity to give away mugs, t-shirts and bags with our own designs on to prospective students and parents.
It’s well underway and we can’t wait to see the products selling!
The students have gained so many new skills using the technology, including coding with robots! Using this inclusive tech throughout college has helped the students learn about e-safety, coding, money, customer service and it’s preparing them to embark on the business enterprise with confidence.
This is such an exciting time in Bridge College. The Karten bid has been an amazing opportunity for the students to learn all these new skills. To find more about Bridge College and students we work with visit: https://www.togethertrust.org.uk/special-education/bridge-college
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