Digital Leader visit Burley Oaks Primary

I recently visited Burley Oaks Primary school to talk to their Digital Leaders. I was enthusiastically met by Daniel, Gracie, Zach, Megan S, Megan R and Ms Archer.

The children attended Day one of the Bradford Digital Leader Academy in October and this was a chance for me to catch up with them before the second training day.

The children have been helping the Year 1 and Year 2 children with their computing curriculum work, they have created a help box where any children can request support from the Digital Leaders about a specific subject or technology and the Digital Leaders meet them at lunch times to help them. This is a great idea and one I have not heard before but will be sharing with my other Digital Leader schools.

The children have been trained to use the photocopier / printer and they help teachers with their printing and photocopying needs on a daily basis.

One of the big tasks the children have been set is to manage the photos on the iPads and this has involved going through them all and deleting old photos from the iPads.

At the Innovation Centre, we recently tested an app for sharing content, including photos, from one device to another called ZAPYA, this uses Bluetooth and seemed to work really well. It looks an ideal App for schools to use to move content from their iPads to laptops, PCs or other devices quickly and simply.

The children enjoyed the first day’s training at the Innovation Centre and particularly enjoyed learning how to use Green Screen technology; we used the wonderful Green Screen app by Do Ink.  The school has just had some big Green Screen curtains made and the Digital Leaders have been working on scripts for some Green Screen filming to make a film for Safer Internet Day on the 6th February ).

We talked about using Edmodo  a bit more to share the work they had successfully delivered in school with the other Digital Leaders across Bradford. We also looked the Online Badges we use and decided the children were ready for three of four of the badges already.

The children have already created a Digital Leader notice board including details of themselves created with Pic Collage and this is where the younger children post their requests for help. The children are also training ‘Digital Deputies’ who are used to help manage ICT equipment across school making sure it is ready and charged for use in school.

The Digital Leaders at Burley Oaks have been very busy and I look forward to receiving further updates on their progress over the year and talking to them in further detail during day 2 training.

Digital Leader visit St William’s Catholic Primary

Last week I visited St William’s Catholic Primary school to talk to their digital leaders. I was warmly met by Nicholas, Musa, Hannah, Harry, Wiki, Reece and Mrs Battersby.

The children attended day one of the Bradford Digital Leader Academy in October and this was a chance for me to catch up with them before the second training day.

The children enjoyed the first day’s training at the Innovation Centre and particularly enjoyed learning how to use Green Screen technology; we used the wonderful Green Screen app by Do Ink.

The school has a Green Screen wall ready to go and the children are still discussing how they might utilise this technology throughout school in the future.

Some of the Digital Leaders were finalising plans to run a computer club after school on a Friday for children in KS2. They were going to help children utilise some of the skills based software used in school and deliver some sessions around Online Safety.

The children are involved in a Minecraft Club where they are given themes and then they have to create worlds based on the theme. This is a competition for the best three worlds each week. This sounds very interesting and I am hoping to attend one of the clubs to see this first hand.

The Innovation Centre is running Minecraft session during half term week in February 2018 and you can book tickets here

The children talked about Online Safety and putting together some resources for Safer Internet Day on the 6th February 

In the year 5 and 6 base there is going to be an Internet café, this is where all the ICT equipment is stored and the children have responsibility for managing laptops and iPads across school and making sure they are suitably charged and in the correct places for use. The children are also in the process of creating a display board to highlight details of the Digital Leaders for the rest of the school to see. The children are to deliver a presentation to the rest of the school in the coming weeks introducing themselves as Digital Leaders.  They were a little nervous about this and presenting to the rest of the Digital Leaders on the second day of training at the Innovation Centre and they have been practicing for this over recent weeks.

The Digital Leaders at St William’s have been very busy and I look forward to receiving further updates on their progress over the year.

Digital Leaders: What makes a good presentation?

As part of our Digital Leader Academy we have online badges accredited to Digital Leaders for effective presenting. In order to achieve the Presenter Level 1 Badge the children need to be able to plan, create, deliver and review an effective presentation(s). In order to achieve this they need to be able to identify good /bad elements of presenting and presentations.

This is often perceived as one of the easier badges to achieve as children are often given opportunities to create and present through their regular curriculum activities but teachers need to be aware that the standard of presentation creation and delivery to achieve this badge is high. Presentations should have a consistent design / theme and any effects or music need to be suitably used to enhance the presentation. Often using less effects is more effective. It is key to remember that a good presentation will engage and educate the audience relevant to the aims / objectives of the presentation.  I often see children presenting where they have a decent presentation and then read slides from the presentation to the audience and this is received with warm applause and positive comments. Reading a set of slides to an audience who can already read is not good presenting! The expectations of this badge are higher than that and the children should understand small amounts of well chosen text and interesting images are often the best means to capture the attention of the audience. The true skill of a good presenter is to have strong dialogue with the audience using the presentation content to support or model what they are saying whilst maintaining strong eye contact where possible. It also takes lots of practice rehearsing and delivering presentations to reach the standard expected.

Peer and staff evaluation of their presentations and delivery is crucial to achieve this badge and in the schools who have worked on this effectively the standard of the presentations and presenting is of a significantly high standard and this builds confidence and self-esteem in the Digital Leaders.

The following video clip is useful to help the children identify and evaluate elements of a poor presentation. They can then reflect on these to create criteria for a good presentation by suggesting how it could be done better.

Digital Leader visit to St Anthony’s Clayton

In April, I had the privilege of visiting the Digital Leaders at St Anthony’s Clayton in Bradford. They are participating in the Bradford Digital Leader Academy programme and I was visiting to see how they were getting on and was warmly welcomed by Year 3 teacher Miss Falconi who leads the Digital Leaders at the school.

The first thing I noticed during the visit was a file containing all the information from Digital Leader meetings and the activities they had undertaken including pictures of the recent assemblies they had delivered. This is a great way to record all the activities they are involved in. The children meet every couple of weeks and record actions from each session on an action plan to ensure they can achieve their intended outcomes.

The children had already delivered two assemblies since our last training session and are considering some training sessions for staff around specific technologies. The school has a focus on blogging and the children were discussing how they might deliver some staff CPD around this.

The first assembly was to introduce themselves as Digital Leaders to the whole school and explain their roles as Digital Leaders across the school. They also launched a technology ‘help box’ with custom made slips aimed at staff who can submit slips for help with anything related to technology. They have had some responses already but feel they need to raise further awareness of this across the school.

The second assembly was around Online Safety delivered to the whole school and covered the theme of what personal information was and who you should share it with. They used the Smartie the Penguin resource from Childnet ( to demonstrate what children should to do when they come across online content they are unsure about.  The feedback from staff and pupils was very positive after this assembly and they have clearly covered the criteria for the Presenter Level 1 badge.

The children have also worked successfully with some classes using Green Screen technology and iMovie and have been asked to create some basic instructions for staff and children to help them use the Green Screen technology themselves. They have also supported a ‘Creative Minds’ KS2 after school club using Green Screen for performance poetry around the poem Jabberwocky that was well received.

Some of the children have started communicating with me about their activities on Edmodo and I expect some requests for Level 1 badges shortly and Miss Falconi has seen an improvement in the children’s confidence in technology and in general since the training.

I look forward to hearing more from the school in the near future.

New Digital Leader Academy 2017 – 2018 provision

Our very successful Digital Leader Academy will be running again next year and we are putting the final touches to the programme as we speak. We are also in the process of launching a second programme called Advanced Digital Leader Academy for pupils who attended the first year’s training and want to continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of technology over the coming years.

The Advanced Digital Leader Academy will provide training to pupils to help them achieve the more difficult level 1 online badges and some level 2 badges. The draft agenda for the programme is below and will be finalised and open to registrations in the coming weeks.

Advanced Digital Leader Academy programme

This programme is aimed at accredited Digital Leaders in year 5 and year 6 who have attended and completed the original Digital Leader Academy programme including achieving several online badges. This builds on the knowledge and understanding of the previous programme and enables them to achieve several of the level 2 Digital Leader online badges. We run 2 cohorts of this programme over the year where a member of staff and six children (from years 5 or 6) receive two half-day training sessions, regular updates through Edmodo and a celebration event.

Session 1

  • Revisit their Digital Leader role as an ambassador, communicator and technologist and share their experiences of being a Digital Leader through a formal presentation.
  • Analyse and identify key aspects of presenting though interpreting examples of presentations, highlighting the key areas of successful presentations and then creating and presenting a quality presentation to the group.
  • Understand the need to develop and use simple action plans to ensure their Digital Leader activity is effective and begin the process of action planning to meet their school’s needs.
  • Recording and sharing your successes as a Digital Leader using Edmodo.

School blog post

Between training sessions I will work the Digital Leaders through Edmodo to help the children create a quality blog post about their Digital Leader activity in school and post this online through our team blog as well as respond to the children through Edmodo with regard to their general Digital Leader activity. The children will also receive regular Digital Leader updates though Edmodo suggesting ideas, activities and online training opportunities to help develop their role as Digital Leaders.

Session 2

  • Recap session 1 and deliver a short presentation about their activities since session 1 demonstrating the presenting skills learnt in session 1.
  • Discuss how children, teachers and the public now learn online through a variety of online learning systems and that the majority include video content. Discuss how this content is created including online safety issues relevant to the content and where it is stored / streamed from.
  • Evaluate examples of online video and identify the key aspects of successful online videos.
  • Create their own video casts demonstrating how to use a specific software or online content through free screencast creation software
  • Share their screencasts with others including via QRcodes

Full details will be released to schools shortly and we hope you can come and join one of the most successful Digital Leader programmes in the country!

Digital Leader Academy visit to St Clare’s Catholic Primary School

Earlier in February, I had the opportunity to visit Digital Leaders at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School in Bradford to see how they were progressing after their first day of training at the Bradford Digital Leader Academy.

The first thing the children did when they returned to schools was to create a wonderful Digital Leader board with details of themselves and their roles for the whole school to see. They also bought some green screen material so that they could us e the skills they had learnt at the first training session in school. They used the Green Screen app on their iPads to create a video introducing themselves to show to the rest of the school. The children were hoping to post the video to myself on Edmodo so that we could share it with the other Digital Leaders.

The children were very impressed with the Green Screen app and had plans to work with teachers across school to provide them with some training on how to use the app in their lessons. They already had a session booked in with the Year 4 teacher and her class in the coming week and had previously worked with the Year 3 class creating some green screen videos around the theme of a beach holiday. They were also working to use the Green Screen app in the library so that children could be videoed discussing their favourite books in front of an image or character from the book. They discussed linking the videos they make to a QRcode so that they could be accessed on mobile devices in the library.

The children have recently taken ownership of a Logit sensor / logging kit and have been tasked with going through the accompanying manual to understand how it works at their next weekly meeting; they were very excited about this.

The children have been very busy, are enjoying their roles as Digital Leaders, and are looking forward to our next training session.

Digital Leaders at St. Paul’s CE Primary

My colleague Steve Dale recently visited the Digital Leaders at St Paul’s CE Primary School who are enrolled in our Digital Leader Academy programme to find out what Digital Leader activities they had undertaken since the initial day’s training.

He spoke to some very enthusiastic Digital Leaders who are Ruby, Carter, Josh, Harry, Joshua and Holly along with their equally enthusiastic teacher Miss Charles. The children have already created a display board for themselves in the shared area and have some very nice Digital Leader badges.

The Digital Leaders have been supporting their classes when using laptops and iPads, the rest of the children in their classes were very appreciative of the support. Many of the children have helped with saving and printing their work. The Digital Leaders are good at using PowerPoint and have supported other children who are not as skilled or confident with the software. The children have been helping teachers locate technology across the school that has been mislaid or not returned to its storage location. They have also set up equipment such as laptops and iPads for other teachers to use at the beginning of each day.










A lot of the activity undertaken so far has been around a technical role and the children will be hoping to achieve their Technician Level 1 badge in the near future to help ensure that all the technology in school works as expected.

During the first day of training, we introduced Green Screening using an iPad and the Green Screen app from Do Ink. The children have since shared this with the whole school by writing a blog post explaining what they did with some examples of the Green Screen films they created.

The children have identified the need to share their Digital Leader activity to the wider school and community and have decided that they will create regular Digital Leader blog posts published on the school blog. This will help them achieve the Level 1 Reporter badge. They are excited about getting comments from people reading their blog posts around the world.

The children have been researching Online Safety materials on the ThinkUknow website as they feel children and parents need some advice and support with the safe and responsible use of mobile phones.

The children have attended session 2 of the training since Steve met them at school and learnt how to use Tinkercad to create some 3D Digital Leader badges. They recently completed these badges and had them 3D printed to wear around schools. They created a further blog post about this and the work they did about secure passwords.

I look forward to hearing more about the work the Digital Leaders are doing through Edmodo and presenting online badges to them.

Digital Leaders at St. Matthew’s Catholic Primary

I recently visited the Digital Leaders at St. Matthew’s Catholic Primary in Allerton who are enrolled on our Digital Leader Academy programme to find out what Digital Leader activities they had undertaken since the training.

During the first day of training we introduced Green Screening using an iPad and the Green Screen app from Do Ink. The children thought Green Screen technology was very useful and have created a guide to using the App for teachers and pupils to use in school. This will link nicely to their Digital Leader level 1 Creator badge. Several teachers have already used this resource to help them use Green Screen technology in school. Some of the children have also helped a member of staff create a Green Screen film about the BFG that was used in an assembly. This proved very popular with the rest of the school attending the assembly. They are considering delivering a staff meeting around using Green Screen if it can be fit into the school’s CPD calendar.

The children are planning to introduce themselves formally to the rest of the school soon and are developing a notice board with their details on and other information about their activities as Digital Leaders.

The children are meeting about every two weeks to discuss and plan their Digital Leader activities and are thinking about the badges they can apply for through Edmodo. They are also planning to use Edmodo to plan their activities.


The children have helped their teachers in class with making films and creating slideshows. The children have worked on Online Safety and attended the Barney and Echo Internet Safety Roadshow at Valley Parade where they learnt a lot about staying safe online.

The children have attended session 2 of the training since I met them at school and learnt how to use Tinkercad to create some 3D Digital Leader badges. They are busy completing their work and will then send me their files through Edmodo so we can print them here at the centre and then post them afterwards.

I look forward to hearing more about the work the Digital Leaders are doing through Edmodo and presenting online badges to them.

Digital leaders at Hawksworth Wood

Recently I had the privilege of visiting DLs at Hawksworth Wood Primary School in Leeds. The school have completed day 1 of our Digital Leader Academy training and this was a chance for me to catch up with them and discuss their Digital Leader roles.

The chi20160615_085109038_iOSldren are Felicity, Brayden, Ben, Kian, Holly and Bethany and they are all in Year 5. The school also has some Digital Leaders in Year 6 and they have been working together in recent weeks ensuring a smooth transition of responsibilities to the Year 5 children in preparation for the Year 6 DLs leaving in the summer.

The children meet regularly every Thursday and some Fridays and have been working on a presentation about what it means to be a role model and Digital Leader to share with the wider school. This is linked to the Digital Leader level 1 Leader badge and I think they have nearly achieved this badge. The children had worked with the Year 6 DLs to learn how to use iMovie and had then used their new knowledge and skills to create their Role Model presentation in iMovie. The children had the presentation on an iPad and quickly connected their iPad to the IWB in the room we were in using AirServer so that we could all watch it. The film was very good with examples of people they look up to as role models in their own life.

The children have plans to share their roles and knowledge with the wider school through a Digital Leader notice board, newsletter and school learning platform.

They have been helping children and staff with iPads, laptops and Chromebook and have enjoyed working with Google drive to make use of cloud storage.

They continue to work closely with the present Y6 Digital Leaders and will be ready to take over completely in the next academic year.

Digital Leaders at Clayton Village Primary

20160621_082106925_iOSLast week I was lucky enough to visit the Digital Leaders at Clayton Village Primary. The school have completed day 1 of our Digital Leader Academy training and this was a chance for me to catch up with them and discuss their Digital Leader roles.

The children are Abdul Rahim, Chanelle, Billy, Olivia, Harley and Kye. The DLs have been working with several staff across the school showing them how to use Book Creator, Comic Life and Aurasma. In Aurasma they made posters that ‘came to life’ when sued with the Aurasma app. The children meet regularly and the regularity of the meeting depends on the tasks they are undertaking as Digital Leaders and are hoping to make more use of Edmodo in the near future for sharing ideas and achieving their badges. The children are in year 4 and year 5 and have been actively helping their class teacher and classmates with a range of technology within their lessons.

They have created technical guides for a range of apps including Aurasma and Book Creator and having spoken to the children about this activity I think they need to apply for their Creator Level 1 badge on Edmodo. They have been actively involved in (e)Safeguarding activities and will get involved in some assemblies next term. The children were discussing creating some content to help children use YouTube safely and becoming a conduit for pupil voice around Online Safety and Online Bullying across the school. The children were also aware of many children across school playing games where the PEGI rating was higher than their age and were considering creating some provision to highlight this and give guidance to parents and pupils.

The children are also gathering information for the Digital Leader school notice board to give information about themselves and the activities they are undertaking.

The children discussed recruiting new Digital Leaders next year and the process they would have go through to achieve this.

Well done DLs at Clayton Village, some great work so far and clearly a busy year ahead.