Thu. Sep 21st, 2023


About Exeter College
Exeter College is an award-winning, world-class college and Devon’s only Ofsted ‘outstanding’ college. Founded in 1970, Exeter College provides tertiary education to approximately 10,000 – 12,000 students and offers A-levels, BTECs, apprenticeships, professional qualifications and T-levels. In 2021, the College was shortlisted for the coveted ‘FE College of the Year’ and ‘Pupil Provider of the Year’ titles.


Future-proof technology and digital services
In response to the regional digital skills shortage, Exeter College has the ambition to be at the forefront of supporting the South West’s growing technology and digital industries. They believe that the future of the industry will be secured by developing skills in programming, software and app development for people in the community.


Apple Certified Education Training Center
Exeter College’s aim was to become an Apple Authorized Training Center for Education (AATCe), which would be a key part of their newly formed South West Institute of Technology (SWIOT). The SWIOT, a £10.3 million project, aims to revolutionize digital, engineering and manufacturing technology education across the region. By becoming a training center, the college can deliver Apple-certified training and take advantage of the digital learning opportunities enabled by the Apple platform.

The move to an AATCe would require investment in skills and technology to see their plans realised. Exeter College turned to academia to support them.


Empower the trainers
To achieve AATCe status, Exeter College
It took three staff members to obtain accreditation as Apple Certified Trainers. Armed with brand new Apple MacBook Pro and iPads, employees were able to obtain their certifications as Apple Certified Trainer – App Development with Swift status.

Partner with Academia to build a state-of-the-art Mac Suite
In preparation for a new class of students taking the Apple syllabus, the college had to set up a state-of-the-art Mac suite planned for the SWIOT. Academia helped provide timely advice and guidance on the most appropriate Apple technology and how to install, deploy and manage the devices within the state-of-the-art Mac suite.


Broadening learning paths
Thanks to its status as an Apple Certified Training Center, Exeter College has established its Apple Academy, adding new courses to its offering and incorporating iOS app development into a variety of existing courses, including Level 2 and Level 3 IT.

They have also created extracurricular learning opportunities through iOS development and curriculum groups for students outside the IT department, and by building digital skills into other curricula such as humanities, arts, math and languages. Similarly, they are pioneering a 16-week government-funded Apple boot camp. This allows students to retrain in software development for free, where they will gain the skills and build a portfolio to launch them into a career in the software industry.

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Enriched learning experiences
Local companies have been encouraged to commission students to work on real projects and put their new skills into practice. This not only provides valuable free resources to local businesses, but also gives students hands-on experience and practical examples of their work to show to potential future employers. For example, students studying Software Development in the Apple Swift Programming Skills bootcamp have developed an app for the Royal Navy Leadership Academy (RNLA).

The students were tasked with simplifying and digitizing the assessment and scoring system used by the Royal Netherlands Army when conducting field assessments. Seven students worked on the project; they were all assigned tasks such as graphic design, navigation flow and the data model.

Paul Barnard, Head of Quality Assurance at the Royal Navy Leadership Academy, said;

“The brief was to digitize the marking scheme we use in the Royal Navy Leadership Academy. We call it ORCE, which stands for observe, register, classify, evaluate. Currently this is done on paper, so teachers are on the road with students trying to write in the wind and rain. This app will help the instructors a lot. They can standardize their reports and save a lot of time.”

Connections with local and national employers
The college organizes cross-collaboration events where they receive instructions from local and national employers to simulate industry practice. Briefings have been received from the Royal Navy, Optix Solutions, Honiton Rugby Football Club, Eco-Tech and Your Digital Future (YDF).

This app will help the instructors a lot. They can standardize their reports and save a lot of time.
Paul Barnard | Royal Navy Leadership Academy

After completing the Apple Bootcamp, Emma started working as a data analyst at the Met Office headquarters in Exeter. This was partly due to the soft and transferable skills she gained from the development and project lifecycle course.

Cliff studied the Apple App Development Bootcamp and has a passion for technology. He was interested in developing some of his own app ideas and wanted to deepen his knowledge of the Swift programming language. Cliff used the bootcamps to improve his skills and was given the new role of “Digital Process and Innovation Lead” at Capita.

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Better student engagement
The use of Apple technology in college has helped educators connect with students, promote collaboration, and democratize access to resources.

A dynamic and efficient way to learn: Using unique Apple features like AirDrop to share resources between devices has been a great benefit to students and staff. This allows teachers to respond quickly to questions or problems and students can get started quickly. stay on task.

Cross-course collaboration: digital marketers, software developers and data
analysts now work together on the same projects to generate ideas and build apps,
often responding to the instructions of local companies and reflecting on what currently exists
going on in the business world.

Promoting student equity: Access to these technologies promotes equity
among students, as not all students have access to the most up-to-date technology at home.

More efficient and effective teaching
Apple’s technology has also improved the way teachers have been able to approach their lessons. Discussions can take place around key coding or development concepts, and then students can be taken to Swift Playgrounds to try out what they’ve learned. This allows teachers to work one-on-one with students if they get stuck on a problem, and students at the forefront can challenge themselves and further develop their app.

Technology educators have become passionate about the Apple platform and are now inspiring other employees to use Apple hardware and software in other disciplines. To encourage this, the college has organized a range of staff development sessions on topics such as:

  • Augmented Reality in education with iPad Pro;
  • alternative assessment methods, such as creating podcasts on GarageBand or mini-documentaries with iMovie;
  • introductory lessons on Mac OS for employees new to Apple.


Exeter College is keen to develop its Apple syllabus and use of Apple technology and is therefore exploring:

  • making iOS and Swift development a core part of Level 3 mobile app development;
  • extracurricular opportunities for other students at the university;
  • offering adult learners the opportunity to learn through a modular approach to development and Swift Fundamentals;
  • working further with the DfE to expand the Apple Bootcamp course available to adult students;
  • an education project that delivers Swift programming and Apple App development to local schools to engage students earlier in digital technology.

Contact our Further Education team to discuss how Apple technology can transform teaching and learning at your university.

Email or call 01992 703 900.

By Admin