Sharpening teaching and learning at SGS Berkeley Green UTC with Acer TravelMate Spin B1

Supporting a technology-focused school and helping aid teaching within a classroom with a single mobile device, which is lightweight and easy to use for students of all ages: is it possible? Sure, with Acer TravelMate Spin B1 and the integration with Microsoft Office 365. And the case from SGS Berkeley Green UTC is a proof.

The Berkeley Green UTC and its technology-focused curriculum

SGS Berkeley Green UTC is based in Gloucestershire, in South West England. It was opened in September 2017 and today it is one of the roughly fifty University Technical Colleges in the UK. The main feature of this school is its curriculum, which is totally focused on Engineering, Digital Technologies and Cyber Security, with specific activities dedicated to students aged from 14 to 18.

A high quality vocational and academic education is guaranteed to all students attending it, who will be also prepared for life in workplace, thanks to the partnership with different employers, who collaborated to create the Berkeley Greens curriculum – as with all the UTCs.

Developing efficient tools to support the Berkeley Green UTC curriculum

In order to guarantee a high-quality education, a technology-focused curriculum – like the Berkeley Green one – needs appropriate tools. In detail, the school needed mobile devices for both students and teachers. Students needed powerful notebooks to carry out the activities offered by their curriculum, while teachers needed devices as a support to their lessons in the classroom.

The solution? The collaboration with Acer and Microsoft, which started in September 2017, when the school bought 120 Acer TravelMate Spin B1. The following year Berkeley Green also joined the Acer Innovative Schools program, where Acer looks to recognize schools that are using technology in ways that enhance their students’ learning potential. In 2019 Berkeley Green UTC was also included in the Microsoft Showcase Schools list, after being recognized by the company.

For starting the project, Gaia Technology had a main role: the company provided support for new technologies, ICT infrastructure and end-user devices to Berkeley Green UTC, and then introduced the school to Microsoft Office 365 and the Acer TravelMate Spin B1.

Acer TravelMate Spin B1: powerful, easy to use and lightweight

The school chose the Acer TravelMate Spin B1 for their students and teachers. All notebooks feature low-power-consuming Intel® Celeron™ processors with improved graphics and fast SSD and HDD storage drives. Moreover, the TravelMate Spin B1 works on the Windows 10 Pro operating system with special S mode, which stands for Simplicity, Security and Speed. But that’s not all.

The TravelMate Spin B1 has a convertible design with sleek 11.6” FHD and HD displays ensuring comfortable use when collaborating on group projects, doing homework or preparing for tests. Students can learn anywhere and anytime thanks to 360° hinges and four different modes: laptop, stand, tent and tablet. The durability is another important feature: Acer TravelMate Spin B1 are provided with screens made of protective Corning Gorilla Glass featuring Native Damage Resistance. In this way, the notebook resists to scratches, pressure and damage. Moreover, the keyboards are spill-resistant and all the devices are provided with shock-absorbent rubberised bumpers and 122cm drop protection.

Results and feedback about the partnership with Acer and Microsoft

“The Spin B118s strike a good balance between cost, size and features. The touchscreen means that students are able to quickly interact with their device and get access to resources more quickly. The folding screen allows them to use the device as a tablet, which many do, using the stylus, and they find that the long battery life enables them to learn all day without needing to recharge. The resilience of the device to water spills is impressive, because we know that accidents do happen!”, says Rich Williams, SGS Berkeley Green UTC Assistant Principal. 

We can say the results are very positive: modern devices in schools allow students to develop their skills every day in the fields of Engineering, Digital Technologies and Cyber Security, but also to enhance learning in standard subjects from the school’s curriculum. And what about teachers? Now they have tools to conduct more practical, advanced and engaging classes, thanks to interactive projects and handy devices suitable for students of all ages.