Hull College is thrilled to announce its remarkable achievement in receiving the prestigious Ethical EdTech Award at the 2023 Association for Learning Technology (ALT) Awards.
This accolade recognises Hull College's unwavering commitment to innovation and social responsibility, with the college being honoured for its ground-breaking work in addressing economic disadvantage and language barriers for 1,000 ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students using Microsoft Translate.
Hull College's remarkable journey to this award-winning moment began with its unwavering commitment to inclusivity and student empowerment. Leveraging the power of Microsoft Translate, working in partnership with UFI VocTech Trust, the college has transformed the educational landscape for its ESOL students, fostering integration, improving communication, and nurturing an environment where every student can thrive.
The ALT Learning Technology Awards celebrate excellence in research and practice, and remarkable achievements in the field of Learning Technology. Established in 2007, these awards have set a benchmark for outstanding accomplishments in Learning Technology on a national and international scale, attracting competitive entries from the UK and beyond.
Deb Millar, Executive Director of Digital Transformation at Hull College, expressed her delight at receiving the award, stating: “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award from the Association for Learning Technology for our success in using Microsoft Translate to empower ESOL students. This recognition showcases the incredible potential of EdTech to break down barriers in education and, here at Hull College, we are committed to using technology to create a more inclusive learning environment. Although embracing Microsoft Translate in the realm of education may not be a particularly ground-breaking concept, the innovative manner in which we’ve harnessed its potential has been truly remarkable.”
Debra Gray MBE, CEO and Principal of Hull College, said: “The work that we’ve done with Microsoft Translate has been revolutionary in supporting a thousand ESOL students to develop as rounded individuals who can find their place in our communities, who can secure work, who can raise their children and can navigate life in modern Britain. We’re not just in the business of training them in English language skills, we’re in the business of helping them to rebuild and create new lives in the UK.”
Tina Lynam, Head of Curriculum for Adult Foundation Skills and ESOL at Hull College, added: “We are thrilled to receive national recognition with this award for our work with a wide range of ESOL students at the college. We are extremely proud of the efforts of both our dedicated staff and students which has played a big part in the college receiving this award.
“The success we’ve had using Microsoft Translate within the ESOL department has led to it being rolled out college-wide. Training has been provided for more than 50 members of staff – including support and front of house teams such as catering, cleaning and estates teams - on how to use the software to enable the college to support all non-English speaking learners.
“It’s been a valuable tool to aid our customer services staff in communicating with and helping students sort complicated matters such as financial issues, bursaries and childcare, and was more recently used to great success during our recent busy enrolment to support both new and returning ESOL students. We’ve had really positive feedback from all parties and, most importantly, it makes the process of studying far less stressful for our students.
“We are now looking forward to passing on our knowledge to other further education colleges and demonstrating how technology can transform teaching, learning and assessments for students and staff.”
Hull College's achievement at the 2023 ALT Awards demonstrates the institution's commitment to using technology ethically to create a more inclusive and accessible educational environment for all and is a testament to its dedication to fostering innovation, integration, and success in education.