Digital Leader Academy Cohort 3 completed

Today we were pleased to welcome Digital Leaders from Our Lady of Victories Catholic Primary, Feversham Academy Primary and Farfield Primary to day two of their Digital Leader Academy training at the Innovation Centre.

On day one we had introduced the concept of a DL and gone through the nine DL badges that they could achieve through completing DL activities at their school and then completing the DL assignments for each badge using Edmodo.

Each class started the morning by delivering a short presentation about what they had achieved at school since the first training session several weeks ago. They presented well and had clearly been very busy working with staff and pupils at their school supporting and delivering a whole range of DL provision including (e)Safeguarding, managing equipment, assemblies, teacher training and communicating their activities through school blogs.

Today we revisited the nine badges and then introduced the concept of 3D printing using the free software Tinkercad. The children learnt the basics of CAD using the software and then began to create a 3D DL badge that they could attach a lanyard to and wear at school. They quickly mastered the basics of the software and began creating original badges. They will continue this at school, email me the files they have created and then I will print these out at the Centre and post them back for use in school.

We revisited Edmodo and looked at how assignments were sent to DLs. We discussed the importance of passwords and tested our passwords using to understand how to create a secure password.

Finally, we recapped the training and the activities the children needed to complete when they got back to school with regard to the password assignment.

The children were polite, enthusiastic and will make great Digital Leaders. I look forward to seeing them all again at our Celebration Event in July.

Myrtle Park Digital Leaders at BETT

Around October 2015 I was contacted by Chris Sharples (@Gr8ICT) to discuss arranging for some Bradford Digital Leaders to present at the National BETT show in London with regard to the Digital Leader Academy we run in Bradford. Myrtle Park Primary have been engaged with the Academy for the last two years and many of their DLs have achieved several of the online Digital Leader badges we host through Edmodo. As such, the Digital Leaders in their school have demonstrated how effective they are supporting the school with the safe and effective use of technology across the curriculum and I asked them to represent Bradford schools at the conference in January. Below is an account of their exciting two days at BETT.

We are the Myrtle Park digital leaders from and we recently visited BETT 2016, as we had been asked to speak on the main stage and various other stands.

We travelled from Bingley to London on the train, leaving Bingley at 06.45hrs, it was about nine o’ clock when we arrived.  When we saw the Excel Centre for the first time, we were all astonished!

When we arrived at BETT we headed to the Purple Mash stand, where three of the digital leaders from year 5 & 6 talked about Purple Mash and how it can be used. It went really well.  After that, we went freebie hunting, many of the companies there had promotional products to promote their business and then we went to the main stage to talk about how Purple Mash is used in school.

When we were on the main arena stage we spoke about what we have done as digital leaders. Before going on stage, we were all pretty nervous, but when we got up there, we soon became very confident. We were the second school to do a presentation and it couldn’t have gone better. After the presentations we got some questions thrown at us which we had to answer on the spot.

The next day, we went to the Kid’s Meet to explain how we have benefited the school.  We presented to other schools with the year 5 digital leaders.  While we had prepared a script, we decided not to use it, but to improvise based on what we had prepared and it turned out to be better than it was on the script. On the presentation, we explained how we have benefited the school and what we have done to help others with technology.

It was a massive privilege to visit BETT and we could not have made it there without our invitation through our work with Bradford’s Curriculum Innovation Team and  our sponsors, Smoothwall and Purple Mash.

Thank you.

Burley Oaks Digital Leader visit

burley oaksBurley Oaks Primary school is in the small village of Burley in Wharfedale between Bradford and Ilkley. The children have enrolled in the Bradford Digital Leader Academy programme and received their first training session in November. Ros Archer is the teacher at the school who has responsibility for the Digital Leaders and I was looking forward to discussing the activities and progress the children had made since the first training session.

I was greeted enthusiastically by a selection of the Digital Leaders at the school and they told me how much they had enjoyed the initial training session.  They meet regularly on a Thursday and record all the activities they think they need to deliver on a simple spreadsheet and this provides them with a clear plan of actions for the coming months. It also works as a record of what they have already achieved as it can be easy to forget all the great work the DLs have produced as the year progresses.

One of their first actions was to create and manage an iPad trolley rota to improve access and charging of these devices across the school. They have already identified the need to work with younger children in school helping them develop and use ICT specific skills and knowledge as well as to create some basic resources to help teachers deal with printing issues in the classroom.

As with many Digital Leaders (e)Safeguarding has been identified by the children as a priority area to work on and they are looking to create some materials to support a parent E-Safety focused evening after Christmas.

The children have been very busy and clearly have a lot of activities planned for the Spring term. They are keen to use Edmodo and share their successes with me through the platform so that I can allocate online badges and certificates to celebrate the work they have done.

St Paul’s CE Digital Leaders

st pauls ceA few week ago I visited Jen Charles at St Paul’s C.E. Primary school in Wibsey. Her children had attended cohort 1 of our Bradford Digital Leader Academy in September and this was my chance to catch up with her and the Digital Leaders to see what they had achieved since the training.


The Digital Leaders are Jack , Bailey, Owain, Hashim, Luke and Jake and they were all very enthusiastic with their responses and with their roles as Digital Leaders. One of the first activities they undertook was to share what they had learnt at the training sessions and explain their roles as Digital Leaders and what they expected to be doing across the school. To support this the children are regularly updating their school blog with posts about their activities and have pleased to get several positive comments on the blog about their activities.

The DLs have been ensuring that laptops are available for use on a morning, that they are well looked after and locked away appropriately when not in use and on charge for the next group.

At the moment the DLs are meeting sporadically but they have plans to meet on a more regular basis after the Christmas holiday. The children are familiar with Edmodo but intend using it more often to feedback on their activities and collect their online badges and certificates.

The children have already been actively working on promoting E-Safety at school by delivering at a whole school assembly. In the assembly they covered password security including passwords safe and checking the strength of their password online at howsecureismypassword.  They also looked at keeping safe online by avoiding online scams and being careful when doing image searches. They even discussed the idea of looking for copyright free images.

The children are planning on doing more blogging about what they are doing in the Spring term to share with the community and their parents.

Digital Leaders at Saint Joseph’s Bingley

st josephsSt Joseph’s Catholic Primary School is in Bingley and on arrival at the school I was given a warm welcome by Rachael Garbus who is the lead teacher for Digital Leaders at the school. The Digital Leaders had attended their initial training session at the Innovation Centre in early November and this was a chance for me to discuss what activities they had been engaged with since then.

The Digital Leaders at the school are Elizabeth, Dominic, Sam, Amy, Lily and Patrick and they were keen to explain to me what they had been busy doing. They meet twice a week on Tuesday and Wednesday.  One session is with Rachael and the 2nd session is for children to work independently on actions from the previous meeting.

Their meetings are well organised with clear agendas and they record the outcomes and actions to be completed from the meetings.

They have already created posters about themselves as DLs to share with the rest of the school and each DL has been assigned a different year group to support with regard to technology. Some of the activities they have already undertaken include fixing printer paper jams, supporting the use of digital cameras in classes and setting up a range of ICT equipment for various classes to use.

They are planning to deliver a range of presentations to coincide with Safer Internet Day on the 10th February. DLs have already worked with parents at a recent parent event to discuss e-Safety and asked them to complete an online questionnaire. They will use this information to help develop presentations for parents, KS1 and KS2 children.

The DLs at St. Joseph’s have been very busy and I look forward to hearing about more of their exciting activities through Edmodo in the coming months.

Digital Leader visit at Killinghall Primary

killinghallI recently spent an enjoyable hour at Killinghall Primary school with Daniel Beaumont who has responsibility for the Digital Leaders at the school. The Digital Leaders at the school are Imama, Tayyab, Ali Raza, Meesam, Maryum and Areebah and they had recently attended day 1 of our Digital Leader Academy programme.


The children had met a few times since the original training and are planning to meet regularly on a Friday afternoon in the after the Christmas break. The children have discussed their roles and already have very distinctive digital leader badges that they wear to enable staff and other children to identify them as DLs across the school. They have supported several classes already helping with general ICT within those classes and help set up the ICT equipment for assemblies.

The children have identified (e)Safeguarding as a focus for their Digital Leader future activity and are planning to deliver a presentation to KS2 in the Spring term. They have decided they will create some ‘E-safety scenarios’ that children can discuss and explain how they would react in those scenarios.

There is a Computing notice board in school and the DLs are working on creating short descriptions of themselves and their roles to add to this board. This information will also be published on the website and school blog.

The school has effective electronic signage around school and the DLs have been tasked with creating content that will regularly appear on the signage for teachers, pupils and parents to access.

They have been investigating further the use of Beebots in KS1 and have decided they will support the class teachers with the use of these devices in the future.

It was very enjoyable to see how excited the Digital Leaders at Killinghall were and I am excited about the future activities they plan to deliver. I look forward to them sharing and discussing this with me through our Digital Leader Edmodo area.

Myrtle Park Digital Leader visit

myrtle parkMyrtle Park Primary is in Bingley, it is a school we have been engaged with regularly over the last 12 months and they ran a very successful Digital Leader Programme last year after attending our Academy training events. John Redding is the lead for Digital Leaders in the school and continues to successfully support the provision across the school.


This year’s Digital Leaders attended their initial training session at the Innovation Centre in early November and I was visiting to see how they were progressing with their DL roles.

The Digital Leaders at the school are Jessica, Ben, Henry, Katy, Izzy and Lois.

This cohort of Digital Leaders works with the present Year 6 DLs who are very active on Edmodo having achieved the majority of their Level 1 DL badges.

Because of their success in achieving DL badges I asked if the school would like to present at the National BETT conference in London that takes place in January. They were excited and thrilled at the opportunity to represent their school and the Bradford DL community and have arranged to meet with other DLs on the Saturday of the show. A big thanks needs to go to Chris Sharples for organising this opportunity. They are presently organising a range of fund raising activities to contribute to the travel and accommodation costs of attending the event.

Their DL activity has been focused around this event and they have been working on Purple Mash from 2Simple (who have agreed to support their travel costs to the BETT event). The children have become DL experts in the software to enable other teachers and children to make effective use of the product across the whole school. They have done some great work using 2Code to create a program to help Year 2 children carry out a traffic survey activity. They also have plans to run some ‘tech clubs’ after schools for various year groups to help develop other children’s skills and knowledge using technology.

The school continues to be very proactive with regard to (e)Safeguarding and were involved in a recent KS2 assembly about keeping personal information safe. Mr Langley (one of our Innovation Consultants) attended this event and was very impressed with their input.

The DLs at Myrtle Park continue to be make a big contribution to the effective use of technology at the school and I look forward to hearing all about their experiences at the BETT show in January.

Digital Leader Cohort two – Day 2 training

This week I had the pleasure of working with children from cohort two of this year’s Digital Leader Academy training. They had received their initial training in November and this was a chance for them to share what they were engaged with at their schools to the other DLs in the group. They had all been very busy and their activities have been captured in individual blog posts on this site.

We recapped the activities from session one including discussing the three DL themes of Communicator, Ambassador and Technologist that we work on across the Academy and then we investigated the exciting world of 3D printing. I had visited all the schools recently to blog their progress and many of them had mentioned they were keen to create their own DL badges and I thought this would be a great opportunity for them to use the free software Tinkercad to create their own 3D badges that I could then print out for them.

We explored the software to understand how to navigate the work space and then to add and edit a range of 3D shapes within our workspace. We learnt how to group objects to create new objects and how to indent and add holes to our creations. This would be a key factor of making our badge. Finally we created a 90mm*60mm*5mm cuboid as the basis for our badge, added a hole in the corner for a lanyard to be attached and then added our names and other personalisation to the badge. The children kept their log in details for Tinkercad and will complete these back at school. Once complete I will use the files created to print their badges and post them out.

Below is an example of the badge Ayaan is working on.

[kento_3dmv width=”500″ height=”400″ source=]

Finally we revisited (e)Safeguarding and discussed the importance of creating and using secure passwords. I set the children a simple task in Edmodo that they could start here and complete in their own time.

edmodo password activity screen capture










The DLs throughly enjoyed their second training session and I look forward to working with them over the year through Edmodo to achieve their Level 1 DL badges before the celebration event we have in July 2016.

Bradford Digital Leader Academy cohort three & four

digital ledaer banner headingWe have already delivered two very successful cohorts of our Bradford Digital Leader Academy programme this academic year and we are now in the process of taking registrations from schools for cohort three and cohort four. The dates for each cohort are below.

Cohort three
Session 1 19/01/2016      09:15 – 12:00
In school visit 22/02/2016 – 04/03/2016 (TBC)
Session 2 15/03/2016     09:15 – 12:00

Cohort four
Session 1 19/04/2016     09:15 – 12:00
In school visit 13/06/2016 – 24/06/2016 (TBC)
Session 2 28/06/2016    09:15 – 12:00

Register here for cohort three or four

Our Digital Leader Academy enables children to:

  • Describe and model the safe and responsible use of a range of technologies.
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge and understanding of specific technologies relevant to  each school context.
  • Exhibit good communication skills and collaborate effectively with staff and students.
  • Understand the concept of ‘Student Voice’ and become a conduit for this across the school with reference to the use of innovative digital and mobile technology.

Session 1
Understanding the role of a Digital Leader as an ambassador, communicator and technologist. Investigating new technologies and some key areas of (e)Safeguarding. Recording your successes as a Digital Leader using Edmodo.

In-school visit 
A chance to see Digital Leaders in situ to discuss and record (on the blog) their progress since the initial meeting.

Session 2
Feedback from each school on their Digital Leader successes so far. Exploring 3D printing and the use of Tinkercad. Investigating password security and revisiting the online badges and Edmodo.

Click here for further posts about the Bradford Digital Leader Academy

For further information please contact


Digital Leader Academy day 2

Today I worked with this year’s 1st cohort of Digital Leaders who enrolled on our very popular Digital Leader Academy programme for day 2 of their training. Children from Menston Primary, St Paul’s CE Primary and Myrtle Park Primary had the opportunity to share their Digital Leader activities with the whole group through mini presentations. They have all been very busy developing blogs, sharing their roles with the wider school community, creating newsletters, working on fund raising for charities and supporting children with their (e)Safeguarding.

We reflected on what we achieved in session one and revisited the Digital Leader themes and strands that comprise the role of a Digital Leader including the certificates and online badges embedded through Edmodo.picture of DL poster

The children were keen to share their efforts through Edmodo and submit content to achieve the various online badges.

The first focus for today was exploring how we capture, store and share data in schools and how Digital Leaders can be used effectively to support this. Through discussions we highlighted several common issues when using technology to specifically record images and videos.

  • Ensure the devices needed were ready having been returned by the previous users
  • Ensure the devices were appropriately charged.
  • Ensure that any images / video recorded were transferred to a secure network or other storage medium.
  • Ensure the images / video from the last users of the devices were removed prior to use by the next user

It was agreed that DLs could be used to develop a policy on charging and data removal and support other teachers in making sure that the technology used was charged and ready for the next group.

One issue we discussed was the transfer of images and video from iPads and we had a good discussion about the concept of cloud storage and how data can be easily transferred between devices using Wi-Fi and a cloud storage solution such as OneDrive. We discussed the importance of knowing who was providing our cloud storage and if they could be trusted with our data. We then took images and video on numerous iPads and used a shared OneDrive account to share them instantly across all the devices.

After a short break we revisited (e)Safeguarding and discussed the importance of protecting our data through effective passwords. We discussed what constitutes a strong password and how to keep it safe from others. We tested our new passwords using and decide that passwords should be at least six characters long (ideally eight) and should contain a mixture of lowercase, uppercase, numbers and special characters. We logged into Edmodo to access an (e)Safeguarding task and the link to how secure is my password. The children were given the opportunity to submit a poster called my top five tips for safe passwords through Edmodo for me to comment on. I look forward to their submissions!

Day 2 completes the Digital Leader Academy programme and I will be in regular contact with the DLs using Edmodo discussing their journeys in preparation for our Celebration Event in July 2016.

Further details of the Digital Leader Academy programme can be found here. Please note Cohort 2 starting next week is full but we still have some spaces for Cohort 3 starting on the 19th January 2016 details are here.

If you would like us to support your school(s) (including schools out of Bradford) please email me for further details