When I arrived at Hamble Community Sports College our department needed a way to engage and inspire our learners about our subject, ICT. Really, it should not have been that difficult given our students interest and curiosity the technology in their own lives however the much maligned ICT curriculum certainly made it challenging. The ‘Digital Media and Gaming Club provided the green shoots for what would later become the Digital Leaders programme. Lunchtime and after-school network gaming engaged a lot of our boys and digital media assignments used to report school oopportunities and events hooked both boys and girls.
The following year we defined the leadership role and launched ‘Digital Leaders’ at or school. It proved to be an exciting year, supporting staff development, covering both within school events and championing the idea at education events.
In addition to all the Digital Media exploring, students still wanted to learn about the nuts and bolts of computers, sadly missing from the ICT curriculum. Led by our IT technicians, our students learnt the hardware basics; components, cables, how to deconstruct and build a PC and how to install an open source operating system, and instead of the school paying for these PC to be decommissioned, the students took them home (granted they still needed to buy a monitor, but still…..) In exchange for their efforts the IT Technicians now had a team of in class support and these students quite oftens ‘helped out.’ Four years on and one of our very first Digital Leaders is now working as a Service Desk Analyst at Amicus ITS (Managed Services provider). Hear for yourself.
Our Digital Leaders continue to cover major school events, STEM Days, PSRE events, Achievement Evenings, productions, creating fantastic content for our school newsletter and our website whilst putting their IT and socials skills into practice. Most recently a handful of students were able to work with film and video agency, Bruiser, to create short videos for Olympic events. Imagine my surprised when I heard that their video was shown during the break at the water polo.
I can not wait to tell them!
I am writing this post is support of the fantastic Sheli Blackburn (@SheliBB) who continues to promote the Digital Leader Network with real enthusiasm and dedication. If you are considering a Digital Leader programme at your school, I can safely say it has been one of the most rewarding teaching endeavours I embarked upon. And now, you have a network to inspire and support you.