Digital Leader Academy – Day 1

After several months of planning, today saw ‘Day 1’ of our Digital Leader Academy, which was hosted by the one and only (drum roll please)… Mr Mark Anderson (ICTEvangelist). Having successfully established the role of Digital Leaders at Layton, I’m passionate about sharing their success with other schools and the impact they have on using technology in school to support learning and staff! The aim of the Digital Leader Academy is to support other schools in setting up Digital Leaders and start a support network for the leaders and staff to meet regularly to share ideas.

Today we had five schools attend: Revoe, Claremont, Boundary, St Kentigern’s and Haweside. The day started by discussing roles and responsibilities of Digital Leaders, children were given time to discuss roles they wish to take on, and boy did they want to do every job going! I wish you could bottle children’s enthusiasm!

By 10.15am adults were in need of coffee, wondering how they will find time for all the clubs etc their new leader’s want to run! After break children were given time to design a logo for their new Digital Leader’s group, there were some amazing designs, which were used using PicsArt and Typorama. Next, was the challenge of setting up a Digital Leader blog for each school. Mark showed everyone SeeSaw, which empowers pupils of any age to independently document what they are learning at school. Pupils capture learning with photos and videos of their work, or by adding digital creations. Everything gets organized in one place and is accessible to teachers from any device. Pupil’s work can then be shared with classmates, parents, or published to a class blog. School’s then used WordPress to set up their blogs – St Kentigern’s have never had a blog and were super proud of theirs

A quick Kahoot quiz then followed, as schools hadn’t heard of it! Children were again buzzing with ideas of how it could be used in lessons. If teachers want to know what to teach then involve children and ask them for ideas… I shared how we used Minecraft for genres in literacy and Maths, every school was then pleading with their teachers to use it.

Lunch saw the largest amount of food, Layton certainly know how to put on a good spread! It was great to sit with other teachers to discuss and share ideas and also how we’re going to continue working together after today. Enthusiasm continued all afternoon with the Digital Leaders using the Shadow Puppet App to create screen casts and put on their new blogs. The Gazette photographer popped in too, to share with everyone the fantastic work children are (and will be) carrying out within our schools. By 2.45pm the Digital Leaders were exploding with ideas and raring to get back to school to: lead clubs, run staff meetings and blog! Staff didn’t get away lightly and were set the challenge of setting up Twitter accounts for the best, free CPD they can have. If staff took just one thing away it would be to set up a Twitter account!

I cannot wait for tomorrow and Day 2 where we have another six Primary schools and one Secondary school attending the Digital Leader Academy. I’m so excited to be on the Digital Leader journey and see where it goes next; through Twitter I have come across many inspirational Digital Leader advocates such as: Sheli Blackburn, Simon Johnson, Louise Stone, Alan Frame, Chris Sharples, Rebecca Layton, James Gibbons, to name just a few, and today would not have happened without meeting Mark Anderson, through Twitter. I feel today has been the start of a new partnership with other schools and look forward to our first #KidsMeet and who knows what the future holds for our inspirational Digital Leaders.

I will add all photos tomorrow…

Mrs Jones 🙂