Blue Orange IT helps change the face of education

A pioneering college is at the forefront of a learning revolution – launching a multi-million-pound blueprint to transform the dynamics of education – with the help of a Lancashire-based IT services and support specialist

Liverpool’s Hugh Baird College is home to more than 5,000 students on over 300 courses where technology is at the heart of a groundbreaking vision to create more compelling, inviting and engaging lessons. The Bootle-based college is determined to futureproof learning for generations to come and ‘re-write the education rule book’.

The innovative concept involves the creation of collaboration walls with giant touchscreen displays, handheld mobile devices and more flexible room layouts where the traditional teacher isn’t always stood at the front of the class. It’s being hailed as a game-changer.

The multi-party ‘team effort’ includes support from IT specialist Blue Orange, who play a leading role installing the high quality displays from electronics giant Sharp.

Facilities and technical services at Hugh Baird College, John Billington, highlighted: “In many ways classroom layouts haven’t changed in over a century.”

An initial £500,000 investment spanning 15 rooms was just the start. The college has around 250 rooms and is prioritising and rolling out the programme on a step-by-step basis. Eventually it plans to move to a purpose-built more cost-effective site.

Billington continued: “In my opinion this is a groundbreaking vision of education for the future which is destined to be followed by other learning establishments too.”

Flourishing IT specialist Blue Orange is delighted to have earned top marks. The company has installed 65 and 75 inch Sharp touchscreens in a series of refurbished classrooms.

“The screens are used as interactive touchscreens which are complemented by the writing walls. The screens are all network connected to enable many web-based applications that further bring education to life,” says Blue Orange director Darren Hanley. “We’ve installed over 100 screens on site over the years but this latest project was even more special. The initial 15 screens are being followed by another 13.”

Billington concluded: “The look and feel of the rooms is crucial. The students adore the collaboration walls and the use of mobile devices particularly. Blue Orange is a growing, very flexible and amenable company. They are helping us achieve our goals. We like the robust nature of the Sharp screens as well as their exceptional clarity and quality of image. They came out on top after a very comprehensive tender. Overall everyone is delighted by the project. Learning is best when people work together.  We’re almost re-writing the education rulebook!”

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