Teaching and learning has changed significantly in recent years as the use of digital technology in the classroom has becoming increasingly more common. It is therefore important that you have an understanding of what types of digital technologies and resources you will have access to whilst at college.
All students at North East Scotland College are able to access a wide range of digital tools and resources that make accessing course materials and essential information a quick and easy process, and something that can be done anywhere you have an internet connection.
Blackboard is a Virtual Learning Environment that enables access to teaching and learning resources via the Internet. We use it to assist and support the delivery of our classes across all full–time and many of our part–time & distance learning courses. Your tutor will advise you how to use Blackboard during your college induction.
Where is it?
The Blackboard VLE is accessible through devices connected to the Internet. This includes laptops & computers, smartphones, tablets and more. Blackboard even has a dedicated app for Apple iOS and Android devices.
What is so good about it?
The aim of Blackboard is to support and enhance the quality of our courses. As a student making use of Blackboard, you will experience a number of benefits from this state-of-the-art learning environment – and you don’t have to be in a classroom to use it! You will be able to:
- Quickly access course materials such as handbooks, lecture handouts, interactive quizzes, informative videos and web links
- Submit coursework electronically and gain easy access to online assessments
- Access information like assessment deadlines, class timetables, announcements and course calendars
- Communicate efficiently with other learners and your lecturers using journals, blogs or wikis
Best of all, it will increase your experience of using Information and Communications Technology – a key skill for your educational and professional development. In addition to curriculum specific information, Blackboard also contains a host of useful information on events, extra-curricular activities, announcements, guidance, information about the Students’ Association and much, much more.
Is it easy to use?
Yes! The Blackboard system doesn’t require a high level of expertise to use it effectively. It’s a proven system that works well, and is used in colleges worldwide. Anyone who doesn’t have a thorough grasp of how to use computers can get necessary support from the College in order to become more proficient users of the system.
Please note: Access to the VLE is only available to students who have completed the enrolment process.
To log into Blackboard, your username is your eight-digit student number (e.g. 12345678) which is also used in your NESCol email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). For some forms on StudentNet you must login using your email address as the username, but this will be clearly marked where required. The password will be the default password you were issued with, or the password you have used to replace the default.
StudentNet is a resource available to all enrolled students, and contains a host of useful information on events, announcements, courses, IT help, guidance, the Students’ Association and more. It’s highly recommended for new students who want to learn more about the North East Scotland College, and is a key part of our Virtual Learning Environment. From StudentNet you will be able to access your college email account and timetable, and Library+ resources.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
North East Scotland College firmly believes that your experience at College can be enhanced significantly by enabling you to use a mobile device, such as a tablet or a laptop, whilst at college for the purposes of learning and teaching.
Not only does bringing your own device with you to college offer you more flexibility in how and where you decide to work, but it also means that teaching can be more spontaneous, engaging and collaborative as you are able to work and share resources with your lecturers and peers in a much more effective way.
In order to support the use of mobile devices, North East Scotland College has invested significantly in the facilities and infrastructure necessary to allow you to use your own personal devices effectively whilst at college. Such developments include a robust and ubiquitous wireless Internet network at all campuses, device-charging points in student areas and easily accessible IT Helpzone support.
Although the College has a number of computing rooms to support courses with specific computing requirements, on many courses students are required to bring their own personal device, e.g. a netbook, laptop or tablet with them to college each day. This initiative is entitled Bring Your Own Device or BYOD and its aim is to provide learners with a more bespoke and student centered learning experience. The College recently won a JISC iTech Award for Mobile Learning for the innovate use of students’ personal devices as part of their overall learning experience.
BYOD only applies to some courses, so you will be advised by College staff what the arrangements are for the course you have chosen to study. If you are asked to supply a laptop or netbook and have difficulty in meeting the costs, please contact:
Aberdeen City Campus Student Services Reception
Telephone: 01224 612284
Fraserburgh Campus Student Services Reception
Telephone: 01346 586129
North East Scotland College was the first Further Education College in the UK to launch its own iTunes U site, enabling students and other users to download and access College information and resources ‘on the move’. The College joins an elite band of UK universities that include Oxford, Cambridge and University College London as part of Apple’s expansion of iTunes - aimed primarily at the education sector.
Visitors to the iTunes U site are able to download student music recordings and artwork, find out more about the courses on offer, hear about student life and obtain general information on the College. By publishing materials via Apple’s iTunes U services, podcasts can be watched or listened to online, or downloaded to a range of mobile devices including mp3 players and mobile phones.