South and City College Birmingham has been working closely with Microsoft to launch a brand new Showcase Classroom, based at the college’s Digbeth Campus.

Opened on February 3rd by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Ray Hassall, the classroom is designed to be a technologically innovative learning space to deliver a more personalised, hands-on, learning environment for students. The classroom will also be accessible to staff, corporate clients and the wider community, utilising mobile and cloud technology to better prepare stakeholders for success in the workplace.

The classroom is one of 12 in the country, placing South and City College at the forefront of innovation and forward learning within the FE sector. As a Microsoft Academy member, South and City College will work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education and communicate a vision for education in Birmingham and the wider country, enabled by technology through transformational, educational practices and innovative teachers.

Mike Morris, UK Manager for Further Education and Skills at Microsoft said “South and City’s Showcase classroom is beautiful. It is a transformed environment ready for 21st century learning. We will be working with the college closely, helping link between the college and Microsoft-users and employers within the region.

“Microsoft has 30,000 technical partners in the United Kingdom, all of whom are short of IT Academy engineers. Beyond that, we have a large quantity of customers, all of whom need digital literacy skills for their own businesses and career development. I believe that the college can be a leader of digital literacy.

“We are delighted to work with South and City to deliver transformed, skill-based learning. Digital literacy is at the forefront of the agenda of sector leaders and South and City College have embraced this. They want to ensure their students’ digital literacy, enabling them to contribute to local enterprise”.

The Lord Mayor said “It is a great pleasure to be here for this launch. The skill gap in the West Midlands is large – one of the biggest in the country. Businesses that link with colleges like South and City see the benefits long term. They train their students to help to fill these skill gaps.MS Launch - Mike Hopkins, Lord Mayor, Mike Morris

Principal of South and City College, Mike Hopkins, added “This is a fantastic addition to our facilities at the college and a real attributes for our students. It shows what the college can offer its students, staff, corporate clients and the wider community. We understand the requirements for a modern, responsive, contemporary workforce that has the best training, with access to the latest technology to develop the relevant skill sets required in the 21st century and beyond”

Attended by students, staff, local business clients and media, the launch was a chance to display the classrooms’ capabilities and equipment. Demonstrations included a tour of the smart-board software, an example of the college’s 3D printer and a chance to try out the Oculus Rift system – a virtual reality experience that saw The Lord Mayor transported underwater.


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