Keep calm and blog on!

Last year, at the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week on 13 May, Ayrshire College posted the first article on our new blog. One year on, we have published 52 blog posts, an average of one each week, which have been read over 6,300 times by people in 40 countries.


Why we blog and what we blog about

Lots of fantastic things go on at Ayrshire College and the contributions and achievements of our students and staff are covered regularly in the local press. Some innovative and groundbreaking projects are even featured in national newspapers and TV channels. Our blog offers us another way to communicate success, share ideas and raise awareness.

When we started our blog at this point last year during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, we posted a series of articles about our commitment to apprenticeships. We showcased some of the Modern Apprentices we support, for example Turnberry apprentices turn up the heat and Ayrshire apprentices win Young Innovators Challenge. We highlighted College staff who had started their career as an apprentice and, as we approach Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2015 (18-22 May), look out for more great stories about our current apprentices.

At the College, we encourage people to start here and go anywhere, and the blog gives us the opportunity to introduce former students who describe their start at the College and where they have ended up in their career. So, alumni like Julie McLachlanKirsty McLean and Evan Samson told us about their current careers in business, television and hospitality. Blog posts by former and current students are very popular and have achieved the highest readership of all. Current students who have shared their experiences of college this year on the blog include Marie Doran, Richard Toner and Carol Maguire.

We also use the blog to support campaigns such as encouraging more women into computing, eg Girls in ICT and Ada Lovelace Day, and into engineering, eg  Women in engineering – making it happen! and Destined to be an engineer. Look out for new blog posts leading up to National Women in Engineering Day on 23 June.

In the spirit of sharing good practice, we share insights on our blog from our staff on topics like learning technology (Using the latest technology to support learning), enterprise (College experience helped me set up in business) and tourism (Working in tourism opens your eyes up to the world).

We have even blogged about logs! Vice Principal for Learning and Teaching, Bernadette McGuire shared her experience as a tree surgery student for a day – If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise …

Who’s been reading our blog?

Our blog is read by a wide range of people including college students and staff, employers and industry leaders, school pupils and teachers, government ministers and officials, staff in national organisations and many more.
Lecturers in some of our courses have even incorporated accessing and discussing blog posts in classes, with students commenting on relevant articles like Take off by launching a career in tourism, written by a sixth year pupil from Stewarton Academy who had a work placement with the College’s marketing team.

Most of the readers of our blog live in the UK, but we have also had visitors from 39 countries in all of the world’s continents as shown in the following map. It would be fascinating to get feedback from our international readers!

Who writes on our blog?

Many people draft posts for our blog including staff, students, school pupils, employers, industry figures and business owners.

Guest industry contributors include Maggie Morrison at CGI, Caroline Stuart at Oracle, David Cruickshank at Deloitte,  Jean McInnes at OSCS, Colin Crook from IBM, Ros Halley from Ayrshire & Arran Tourism and Sheila Kerr who runs an award-winning jewellery business.

A wide range of College staff – learning technologists, lecturers, vice principals, curriculum managers and marketing professionals – write for our blog. And current and former students, Student Association representatives and school pupils have all written articles for the blog.

Do you have something you would like to share on our blog?

There is no limit to how much we will blog. If we think it will be interesting to our readers, we’ll blog about it!

  • Would you like to tell people about how your experience at college has helped you achieve your goals?
  • Do you have something to say about topical issues like why so few girls and women choose to study STEM subjects?
  • Looking for somewhere to share your knowledge and expertise about your course or job?

If so, contact Martin Currie (martin.currie@ayrshire.ac.uk) or Jane Moore (jane.moore@ayrshire.ac.uk) in the College’s marketing team.

Top of the blogs

So, over the year, what have been the most popular posts on our blog? Here’s the chart countdown of our top ten blog posts –

10 >>> Passion and hard work lead to dream job
9   >>> A day in the life of construction apprentice Rachel Kyle
8   >>> With great hair comes great responsibility
7   >>> Using the latest technology to support learning
6   >>> Young people building an enterprising Ayrshire
5   >>> Sometimes the smallest step is the biggest of your life
4   >>> Turnberry apprentices turn up the heat!
3   >>> Take off by launching a career in tourism!
2   >>> Yvonne Neil talks about being an engineer in a man’s world

… and in the top spot …

1   >>> Tourism students meet Scottish Government Ministers


RAISING ASPIRATIONS | INSPIRING ACHIEVEMENT | INCREASING OPPORTUNITIES

3 thoughts

  1. Most impressed with the way that you have maintained momentum on this blog. And some great stories being told too! I do believe that story-telling has power to influence young people in setting their career goals – so keep on keeping on….

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