Digital Leader Academy – Day 2

I’m writing this the day after our first every Digital Leader Academy ended and am reflecting on something I heard today, which has stuck with me and rings true. Today, I had the privilege today to be invited to an Apple Leadership day, where I got the opportunity to listen to many inspirational speakers. One of these was Abdul Chohan, from ESSEA Academy in Bolton; Abdul is an award-winning Learning Technology consultant based in the UK who has pioneered the embedded use of learning technologies for students and teachers alike. Abdul discussed the six most expensive words in Education ‘We’ve always done it that way’, something I’ve not heard once from teachers or children over the last two days, which surprised me.  Instead I have seen and heard children igniting teacher’s enthusiasm with how they can support staff with technology to enhance learning, regardless of how much or how little technology they have.

Day 2 of the Digital Leader Academy was amazing! But what made it so amazing? The enthusiastic children! It was one of those days where I felt extremely proud and privileged to be a teacher, observing children working collaboratively with each other, and taking a risk, was just fantastic to see.

Six Primary and one secondary school attended, with children who were excited to start their journey as a Digital Leader. By lunch every school had a vision, arranged roles and responsibilities for each leader, designed a digital leader logo and set up a blog. My proudest moment had to be when I saw primary pupils showing secondary how to code the Spheros with Tickle App on the iPads; this highlights how we need to look at transition and middle schools.

Lunch was just as tasty as day one with all adults ready for a sleep afterwards! Our chef did work at Buckingham Palace after all! Again, it was great for teachers to network and form new contacts to share good practice. After lunch children had a quick ‘Kahoot’ and then looked at using ‘Shadow Puppets’, ‘MSQRD’ and ‘PicsArt’ to screencast for their blog. By the end of the day, it was great to so many enthusiastic Digital Leader’s heads buzzing with ideas of everything they want to start once back at school, so much for starting small and keeping it simple!

The 2 days could not have been better and I cannot thank all staff and children enough for coming; I know this now sounds like an Oscar speech now but… For us as at Layton Primary School, it was great to have other schools through our door to see what we are all about. For me, I wanted to share my passion of how Digital Leaders can support reluctant staff and enhance learning, which I think came across. The power of Twitter ran through the day sharing with staff how imperative it is for FREE CPD and also highlighted that without Twitter I would never have met Mark Anderson and had the opportunity to work with him. Thank you Mark, you are a legend!

Steve Jobs said ‘“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.” So, what’s next… TeachMeets for Digital Leaders to share what has worked well, teachers collaborating (John Hattie’s new No.1), more Digital Leader Academies with other LEAs and to keep beginning…

Mrs Jones 🙂

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Coding Spheros with Tickle App

At lunchtime today: Wes, Olly, George and Lewis (some of our Year 6 Digital Leaders) used the Tickle App on the iPads to start coding Sphero. George couldn’t understand why his wouldn’t go in a straight line and then relised his first code was to ‘turn right 90 degrees’. Next time they are going to set up an obstacle course.