Last November while attending the UK Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum, I had a conversation with Daniel Stucke@mrstucke and watched him present about Digital Leaders at his school – he has written about this here. Talking to him and Kristian Still led to a conversation with @chrismayoh and @ianaddison about how this idea could also work in primary schools.
Chris and Ian began their digital leaders projects in their schools not long after this, and for me it was great reading their posts and looking at what they were doing. Ian has blogged about his project here and the blog from the digital leaders at Bowling Park here.
We started ours by asking the children who were interested in becoming a digital leader at school to apply – stating what skills they had, why they were interested n the project and what they were hoping to learn. I was opened up to Year 5 and Year 6 children and was staggered to receive 80 applications from the possible 160 children! These were narrowed down to 15 and the digital leaders project began.
We meet twice a week during lunch times and from Easter to half term, the children looked at software, websites that they were interested in and we all find out new things from each other. Some of what we have been looking at include; Google Sketch up, 2DIY, pivot stick animation, 2 Publish and Scratch. These sessions were great as the children ‘played’ and found out things from each other.
I have shown them how to record from the screen as well as giving them guidance where needed, although to be perfectly honest they have often guided me more! The aim behind these sessions was that the children became more confident using tools they wanted to explore and they are currently working on guides and help videos.
They also wanted to re-start the school blog, something that had been left as we began to move to an MLE – so together we created a school blog using primary blogger, now during one of our sessions each week, the children update the blog! They come up with ideas for posts, write and research them! This was most successful when the Year 5s headed to Glasbury for activity week, and the digital leaders who went kept parents updated throughout the week, the Year 6 Digital Leaders will be doing the same during this coming week when they visit Santander. The blog can be found here – if you are reading this it would be great if you could leave them a comment!
As well as updating the blog once a week, the Digital Leaders also run 2 ICT clubs during the lunchtimes, for all years. They choose the focus of the sessions and they are passing on their skills that they have picked up – so far we have had sessions on Pivot Stick and we are currently exploring 2 DIY.
For me working with this group of children has been a pleasure and a real learning experience for me – watching them grow in confidence and work with other children to pass on their skills has been fantastic. Their skills are also being transferred into the classroom, if teachers are unsure on how to use a program then the digital leaders are on hand to help.
The aim is to continue this for the rest of this term and continue in the new school year. In the next four weeks, they also want to take responsibility for the displays in the ICT room and I am hoping that they will create a short film about the school that we can put on the blog.
This is just the beginning of the story – will keep you updated on how it develops!