The South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership [SoSEP] is investing in Digital Hubs in Dumfries and Galloway as part of a £6.6m investment in a partnership between Dumfries and Galloway College and Borders College.
In this region, the project includes setting up 2 Digital Hubs at College campuses [Dumfries and Stranraer] and 10 Digital Spoke rooms in secondary schools. In phase 1, 4 schools [Annan Academy, Castle Douglas High School, Douglas Ewart High School, Sanquhar Academy] and The Bridge will become Digital Spokes. They will be enabled as modern video conferencing facilities equipped with hi-definition touch-screen displays, hi-spec video conference cameras, advanced microphones, and updated learning spaces.
The equipment will enable remote and on-site learning, providing staff with opportunities to expand online and remote delivery of courses and link with other educational establishments worldwide. This will significantly enhance curriculum choices without the need for travel.
The 4 schools in Dumfries and Galloway were chosen for phase 1 because of rurality, equal opportunity, geographical location [1 in each area], and existing partnership links with Dumfries and Galloway College.
An additional 5 schools in Dumfries and Galloway will be enabled in phase 2 next year.
Councillor Jeff Leaver, chair of the Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning [CYPLL] committee, said: “This investment can deliver a significant improvement in opportunities to access education across our region. In a regional economy such as ours, it’s vital that we overcome barriers to education to ensure that people can develop the skills and knowledge they need.”
Councillor Ros Surtees, vice-chair, said: “Education opens doors to opportunities for people to become successful learners. It builds confidence and enables people to develop as citizens and contribute to society. So, I’m delighted by this investment, which will significantly improve education opportunities across our region.”
Andy Glen, Acting Principal, Dumfries & Galloway College, said: “We’re pleased to be working in collaboration with the Council to provide students across the region with the opportunity to access the very latest virtual classroom technology to enable them to realise their full potential.”