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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.