Digital Leaders – children in the lead, the way it should be!

I have been interested in the concept of Digital Leaders for a while now having spoken to Sheli Blackburn (@SheliBB) a lot about the different things they do and what advice she had for setting them up. If you are not familiar with them here is a basic explanation:

 

Digital leaders are children within school who are usually chosen through some sort of application process to help with ICT-related projects. Exactly what you want them to help with is entirely up to you but examples could be anything from ensuring equipment is correctly stored/charged, to maintaining blogs/website, to running clubs and staff meetings.

 

I have recently spoken to my own Headteacher and she has agreed to let me have a pilot group of Digital Leaders. My group of Digital Leaders is going to be from years 5 and 6 to begin with and as of yet I am unsure as to how many I will have. The children are going to be offered the opportunity to apply using an online form after an introductory assembly, interviews will then follow where children are given a piece of software they’re not familiar with and they must create something with it. At the moment I am considering using Prezi for this. One of the early activities I would like to do with my Digital Leaders is give them the components of a computer e.g. base unit, speakers, keyboard, mouse, monitor and see if they can get it up and running as I’m sure this is not an opportunity given to most children.

 

I am expecting the role of Digital Leaders to evolve as we get into the project and they begin to have their own preferences. At the moment I am planning some projects where they’ll all be involved and others where groups of them will specialise. For now I have some ideas where I would like them to start and we will see what that leads and what it becomes. Here is what I am planning for them to do to begin with:

Projects

Software exploration

  • Exploring software in ICT suite – listing what there is
  • Discussing what software they have/haven’t used in school
  • Reviewing software pros and cons, alternatives and when could we use it

Software specialism

  • Focus on a specific piece of software and get really good at it
  • Make examples of what you can do with that software
  • Think about how you could teach/show others that software

Hardware exploration

  • Going through the cupboards in the ICT suite – what’s in there?
  • Looking to see if there is any hardware elsewhere in school – cameras, voice recorders, probots, headphones etc.
  • Can we devise a system to keep track of ICT equipment

Day-to-day jobs

Blogging

  • Maintaining a Digital Leader blog
  • Uploading video for teacher’s to the year group blogs
  • Commenting on the year group blog, noting when there haven’t been many posts
  • Connecting with Digital Leaders in other schools around the country

Supporting Staff

  • Offering another pair of hands in a teacher’s ICT lesson
  • Training teachers how to use a piece of software
  • Creating tutorial videos that people can watch to teach them how to use something
  • Offering suggestions of places where ICT could be used effectively e.g. can I do this piece of work using a voice recorder?

Whole School Responsibilities

  • Setting up the projector in the hall when it is needed
  • Sorting through photographs to include on the TV in reception
  • Organising competitions using ICT
  • Running parent workshops

Potential future projects

  • Attend events and other schools to share ICT learning
  • Visit the first schools and see what ICT is like there
  • Visit the feeder secondary school and see what ICT is like there
  • Running an lunchtime/after school club
  • Helping to review the current ICT curriculum
  • Helping to plan for assessment in ICT

 

Now, as I said before, I am expecting the role to change as we begin exploring the possibilities of what these groups of children can and want to do so I may find that after the first term their role looks nothing like this! I am hoping that this range of activities will provide the Leaders with a range of experiences to allow them to clarify where they want to go next.

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