Skype call with Digital Leaders

The Digital Leaders at Keighley St Andrew’s Primary have been engaged with the Curriculum Innovation team’s Digital Leader Academy Plus program. This builds on the work they have previously done through the Digital Leader Academy program. They attended a session earlier in the year where we looked closely on how to design, develop and deliver presentations and a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk to them through Skype to see how they were getting on.

Since the last meeting the children have created a display board in school about Digital Leaders. This includes a simple bio and picture of the children, some of their favourite online activities and some tips about online safety. They have also put some information online about their activities on their school website

The children have been working on their presentation skills and recently created a presentation for children about how to stay safe online during and delivered this during the school’s Online Safety week coinciding with Safer internet Day.

After delivering recent presentations, the children reflected on how well they did. The children stated that they maintained good eye contact with their audience and their body language was relaxed and confident when delivering. When designing the presentation they used a consistent background and theme throughout. The images they chose were very appropriate and they limited the amount of text on the slides to just the bare minimum needed. Digital Leader lead Lauren Mooney was very impressed with the children’s improved presentation skills and confidence of delivery.

Going forward the children have been allocated a year group each to work with around the use of technology and blogging. They also had the idea of creating a box for any technology related queries from children that they could then respond to later.

The children have also decided to look through the Digital Leader badges on Edmodo to see if they have achieved any more of the badges available through the Digital Leader Academy Program.

The children have made great progress with their work around presenting and I look forward to working with them on the second session of the program where we will be creating video tutorials.

Digital Leader visit Myrtle Park

A few days ago I visited Myrtle Park Primary school where I was greeted by Mrs Glennon who is the lead for Digital Leaders at the school. The Digital Leaders all re-introduced themselves after we had met at the Innovation Centre in Bradford where they attended day 1 of the Bradford Digital Leader Academy back in October 2018.

During the first training session the children had been introduced to the Education Platform Edmodo where we discussed Online Safety issues around using a social media platform and explored the nine level one badges available for them to achieve as Digital Leaders. This visit was to find out what activities they had been involved with since the initial training day.

The children have recently created a PowerPoint they were going to show the rest of the school at an assembly and this included some information about Online Safety, a coding club the children were running

The Online Safety aspect included looking at the use of avatars (a topic we explored in our day 1 training) whether you should use your name online and age limits and further information for several social media sites.

The children have also proposed to run code clubs at school that runs on a Monday and a Friday and this was in the process of being agreed by SLT. The plan was for the Digital Leaders to deliver a session aimed at KS1 on a Monday and for KS2 on a Friday. The children had decided to use Scratch and some other online coding sites and were investigating whether Kodu would run on their school PCs. They were also considering Scratch Junior for the KS1 children.

The assembly was also an opportunity for the children to introduce themselves to the whole school and to let them know they were available to help them with anything related to the use of technology and that a notice board with further information about the Digital Leaders would be available shortly.

The children have supported children within their own class but have also been tasked to find a successful system for managing the school chrome books so that they are all put back properly after being used and are charged ready for the next class to use. The children were exploring doing some training for a few children in each class to ensure this issue was simply resolved.

The children were clearly close to achieving several of the Digital Leader level 1 badges and agreed to contact me through Edmodo in the near future to apply for these.

The children were very enthusiastic about their roles as Digital Leaders and were looking forward to day 2 training where they will be looking at data security and passwords in particular as well as creating 3D printed Digital Leader badges. Great work Myrtle Park.

Digital Leader Academy 2018 Dates now launched!

As usual, the Curriculum Innovation team will be delivering their Digital Leader Academy programme, aimed at Primary schools in the Bradford area, from September 2017. Over the past 7 years we have successfully trained more than 400 Digital Leaders.

Digital Leader Academy programme 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

The academy runs 3 cohorts over the year where a member of staff and 6 children attend 2 half day training sessions, a celebration event and receive a school visit. Included is full support for staff and children for a year through the online Edmodo platform and the award of Digital Leader virtual badges and certificates for achievements completed by the pupils.

Full details and registration are available here

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 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 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.

Build your Raspberry Pi and get Coding!

Physical Computing at the Innovation Centre Bradford on PhotoPeach

Last week existing and prospective Digital Leaders from St John’s CE Primary School attended the Innovation Centre Bradford with their teacher Mr Burton. The school has a well deserved reputation for innovative use of technology and pupils play a big part in teaching their peers and teachers how to use new and emerging technology safely and purposefully. With this in mind the children attended the Innovation Centre to take part in a day of Physical Computing. At the heart of this is the Raspberry Pi. Each small group had to identify the parts in the Pi and work out what their function was as well as classify them as input or output devices. When it came to assembling it all the children had their Raspberry Pi up and running in less than ten minutes, the fastest group managed this in two!

The operating system we used on the Raspberry Pi s was called Kano this is a free, open source operating system created by the people who make the Kano, a child friendly way of buying the Raspberry Pi with almost everything you need to operate it. The great thing about the Kano OS is that once you have built it you can customise your avatar and unlock points and costumes by completing challenges. These can involve coding using Python or Python blocks in Pong, Minecraft or Snake to name three. The children thoroughly enjoyed working through the challenges to create the algorithms to meet the challenges.

Later in the day we used Picoboards and Makey Makeys with laptops, although we could have run these through the Raspberry Pi too. One of the highlights was using the electrical current sensotrs to generate different music loops when different fruits were touched. The chiuldren showed amazing skills during the day and worked through the challenges in a logical and patient way. They constantly exhibited the skills of teamwork and resilience when met with problems and showed what superb skills they had which explains why the Digital Leaders at St John’s Primary are of such a high standard.

The children left with a couple of Picoboards to borrow for a few weeks to build on the skills they gained during the day. If you’d like your children to take part in a day like this please contact the Innovation Centre or email me.

Digital Leaders Case Studies

Since October 2011, Innovation Centres’ Learning and Teaching Consultants Vicki Cox and Chris Mayoh have been working in partnership with schools to successfully deliver pupil Digital Leader projects. These projects have enabled pupils to take on leadership roles with regard to effectively utilising new and emerging technologies to enhance learning across the curriculum. We are pleased to have supported 49 primary and 2 secondary schools so far!

The innovative professional development organisation, Vital (provided by the Open University), recently carried out in-depth case studies of the projects run at two of these schools, Long Lee Primary School and Parkside School.

You can read full the full case studies here:

Long Lee Primary School Case Study

Parkside School Case Study

Both case studies clearly demonstrate the positive impact this has had on pupil and staff use of 3rd millennium learning technologies and the role of the high quality provision provided by the Innovation Centres team. This is summarised by a few of the many positive statements contained in the case studies as outlined below:

“Teachers drawing on Digital Leader support were observed to have fast-paced, dynamic lessons that were richly supported by technology.”

“Teachers describe Digital Leaders as, “a vital resource” and feel supported in using ICT to support learning in other subjects.”

“The school Literacy Leader indicates that the Digital Leaders’ work on promoting blogging and the schools’ e-book provision is beginning to have a motivational impact on reluctant readers and writers, particularly boys.”

“The role of the local authority was significant in establishing the project and facilitating cross-school networking and sharing of good practice.”

Thank you to both schools which took part in the case study and to all of the schools we have been fortunate to work with on such an exciting project.

If you would like to find out more about running Digital Leaders in primary and secondary schools then please visit the Digital Leaders section of the Innovation Centres website. Alternatively, contact or

Bradford Digital Leaders Conference 2012


Digital Leaders
Picture courtesy of Thank you

A sample of Digital Leaders from some of the 36 Bradford Primary Schools now active with the programme demonstrated how they can work confidently with new technologies; communicate ideas clearly, and in some instances help to upskill school staff and students so that they are able to embed new technologies creatively.

Many of these Digital Leaders (DLs) had to undergo a rigorous application process to prove that they had professional credentials, and that they were conscientious and reflective learners who could take responsibility for organising themselves, and could commit to attending regular Digital Leader sessions and meetings in schools for the duration of the programme.

Continue reading Bradford Digital Leaders Conference 2012

E-Book Reviews

As part of World Book Day 2012 pupil’s at Myrtle Park developed a collection of peer reviewed books to widen their range of reading choices and tastes.  Here are a few of those featured on the Kindles…

TITLE: Teacher’s Pet RATING: 5 out of 5

AUTHOR: Morris Gleitzman RECOMMEND: Y / N

ILLUSTRATOR: Moira Millman GENRE: Fiction

SYNOPSIS: It is about a girl called Ginger and she is allergic to cats, which is unlucky since she has cats as pets. On the way to school Ginger meets a stray dog, but he is accused of biting the principles ankle. So Ginger is on a mission to clear the dog’s name.

I CHOSE THIS BOOK BECAUSE: I like pets and I thought the front cover looked interesting. Once I had read the blurb I knew it would be a book I would enjoy. Also the title sounded like it was going to be a humorous book.

I LIKED / DISLIKED IT BECAUSE: I liked this book, because it was funny and interesting. As well it was quite heart-warming, because of the relationship between Ginger and the dog.

By Claudia

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