Last week our Digital Leaders gave presentations on a number of programmes, tools and applications they have been researching and trialling over the last month. This year’s group have a slightly different remit than previous incumbents as they introduce staff and pupils to the possibilities of the new green screen, but their confidence, understanding and ability illustrate how children’s approach to technology to support learning is changing.
Our previous ICT groups have operated under different names; The ICT Group, The ICT strategy Group, Web 2.0 Kids but essentially it is a group of 10 and 11 year olds who support the school in developing the use of technology in the classroom. From road testing hardware to presenting on Web 2.0 to staff the group have a key role in taking us forward.
Our first ICT Group was formed several years ago, when we asked a group of interested Y6 children to take away some netbooks to trial. We asked them to play with them for a week and let us know what they thought. Their findings surprised us- they said they were ok for connectivity but the keyboard was too small and children would want full size laptops-but most importantly we realised we had been missing an important voice in our development of technology in school, the user. Me of them gave us a detailed written summary of the netbooks’ capabilities and potential for classroom use!
Since then our different groups of digital leaders have sported less confident staff in the development of class blogs (each year group is assigned Pupil ICT support) researched and presented on web 2.0 tools (identifying a key number to support learning) and presented nationally on their work at the ICT Register event. In the summer we held our first ever ‘kidsmeet’ which gave the children the chance to share what they had been doing with other schools who were using similar approaches. They regularly share their findings with staff and governors on different aspects of technology and in the new year, our New Digital Leaders will present to a larger number of schools on the ‘I am Learning’ platform.
The children have an important voice in the development of technology across the school. Year after year they surprise us with their increasing knowledge, their mature approach to its use to support learning and their willingness to research, share and move our thinking forward.