Session Title: How can we help pupils help each other as ‘pupil experts’ – e.g. Digital Leaders?
Date: Thursday 27th December 2012
Not surprisingly, this Christmas holiday session of UKedchat was fairly quiet, but the contributors made their usual wise advice and bright ideas. The discussion started by talking about which jobs and roles pupils are given in our schools. It was clear that each school approaches the use of pupil’s skills differently, but Prefects, Sport Captains/Leaders and Class Monitors are common across our school system. The @headguruteacher shared an exciting project his school is undertaking which exemplifies what can be achieved with engaged and enthusiastic teachers and pupils.
The discussion moved on to utilising pupils as ‘experts’ in the classroom. Many UKedchatters use pupils to assist in planning and assessment within their classes and many good ideas were exchanged about how to do this effectively which can be viewed in the archive. It was fascinating to read of the many wonderful ways in which different aged children help each other and the variety of ways that Primary and Secondary schools and pupils are working together.
There was a brief discussion about how pupils help organise and lead extra-curricular activities. It seems that helping organise these activities is common, but leadership in extra-curricular activities happens, but is much rarer.
The chat turned to discussing how we can empower our pupils to help other pupils learn and develop in our schools. Many ideas about what makes a conducive sharing and collaborative environment for pupils to help each other.
We tweeted about how children are chosen for particular jobs. Most people stated that this was largely depended on which type of job it was. For tasks like ‘Head of House’ or ‘School Council’ most chatters thought that an element of democracy is needed as they represent others within the school. For other roles, such as class monitors, many felt that every child should have a chance to take part and that the job should be rotated. It was also said that certain roles allow gifted and talented children to develop and flourish in their area of expertise.
The discussion moved on to our particular example of pupils helping and leading other pupils – Digital Leaders. These are a group of enthusiastic and talented pupils who are selected, often by a full interview process, to learn about advanced computer skills to help with the smooth running of their school, aid teachers with technology in a myriad of ways and support their fellow pupils. The idea is that the Digital Leaders cascade and swap useful ideas, collaboratively solve problems and lead the digital revolution in their school and beyond.
The discussion moved on to how Digital Leaders where introduced to our schools, or how they could be for those who have not yet taken the plunge. This lead on to how Digital Leaders, and also other pupil experts, have been deployed in schools. It was interesting to see a division between Digital Leaders who use technology and software and those who have gone one step further to begin to make, design and tinker with their own.
There was a brief side discussion about what tech equipment people had at their disposal for Digital Leaders to use. It is clear that there is still a wide digital divide within our schools.
Ukedchatters began to discuss the sort of training pupil experts need to receive and what would the first lesson be? Suggestions were varied, but some chatters suggested that ‘people skills’ were very important and know what people needed.
The last few minutes of the discussion was reserved for tweeps to share their pupil experts’ successes. There were some wonderful stories and inspirational ideas shared, which can be viewed in the archive.
Having Digital Leaders is a wonderful way to engage learners with technology and raise achievement across your school at the same time. Contact @SheliBB and see http://www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk for more details and ideas about how to employ Digital Leaders at your school.Notable Tweets
headguruteacher: #ukedchat Our Project 9 ICT programme allows students to teach modules teachers don’t know how to. http://t.co/nsdKI9rU
HelanVictoria: #ukedchat Secondary year7,8 and 9. They learn so much more from each other. Worked brilliantly! The expert explains how to do it.
urban_teacher: I bought 30 ‘Creative Technologies” badges & distributed them to students who were good at tech to support others in the school. #ukedchat
LizSaddler: Lots of opportunities across whole school, plus a ‘leadership ladder’ to help students gain awards throughout key stages #ukedchat
urban_teacher: I’ve just finish setting up a project where students will support their peers, parents, local OAP. Using talents 4a bigger purpose #ukedchat
aknill: like the leadership ladder concept. An opportunity for open digital badges #ukedchat
montfordmiffy: We usually elect chn to the role – other classmates vote, so they are generally pleased with the choice & know its fair #UKedchat
eslweb: At secondary it’s a way to give students work related learning and encourage gifted and talented to do activities with real value. #ukedchat
headteacher01: #ukedchat giving pupils real responsibility is part of developing work ready pupils even at primary school
Heatherleatt: Used them in English a lot: this discussion shows they can be used across the curriculum in a variety of creative ways #ukedchat
mobo40: #ukedchat Junior PA to the head is good… Attending some sch council meetings on their behalf or with them, meeting/greeting visitors etc
Mrs___F: DL’s is a rather intimidating term. They are however very useful as without them I would languish in no-man’s ICT land. #UKedchat
vicgoddard: #ukedchat we’ve a vertical tutor system that is organised round strong house identity. Loads of opportunities. Badges everywhere!
MyersClaire: Got to be careful about labelling some students as particularly good at something so as not to encourage fixed mindset #ukedchat
HeyMissSmith: The children often help me! I can make my computer whizz a ‘Digital Leader’ badge- he’d love that! #ukedchatTweet of the Week
vicgoddard: #ukedchat recognition = responsibility is always the first lesson to learn About Your Host
Martin Burrett (@ICTmagic) is a Year 5/6 teacher at Mersea Island School in Essex and is an advocate for using digital technology to improve teaching and learning in schools. He founded the ICTmagic educational resource website and is a co-administrator for UKedchat.