Game changer

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.

Digital Leaders by kristianstill

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.

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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.

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Image Spike

ImageSpike is a photo web design application that helps turn your static images into rich interactive media experiences that can be shared and measured. ImageSpike lets you overlay hotspots, with social, collaborative and interactive capabilities. Once you have tagged photo it is yours to share, embed or publish. Then, through a dashboard analyze  reports on engagement, click-throughs and so on. You could for examble set questions with answers being the hotspots or label techniques used with a poem?  It’s fun, easy and free and yet, I no bowled over, and you might find it useful.

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Working with Bruizer

bruizer_1Recently, our Digital Leaders responded to a competition set by the ‘Get Set’ network and The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). In a nutshell, our students designed a range of infovids explaining Olympic 2012 sport rules, to be shown on the ‘big screens’ at the events next summer. Amazingly, three of their ideas returned successful, accompanied with proposal update sheets ready for a filming session, to be held on site at Hamble College!

As a result Nick, Adam, Joshua, Sam and Jamie spent the most amazing Friday of their school lives working with production experts Olivia Boland, Andy Parsons and Jamie Niblock from production company Bruizer and LOCOG Education Programme Manager, Andy Martin. Not only were these guys experts in their field, they really ‘got our students.’ I mean it, I am not just saying it, they really did. They listened, supported and encouraged our students every inch of the way, every last inch. If only ‘we’ – the education community pushing Digital Leadership could create more opportunities like this for our learners in partnership with industry. Can anyone from The Schools Network here me? Olivia, your thoughts?

Digital Leaders 007With extremely tight turnaround times on filming the students had already invested significant effort in pre-production. From the feedback I received, it was an amazing experience, that passed with minimal incident. I can not wait to see the final cut, I don’t know if we will be able to show it to you before 2012, but if I can, I most certainly will. A sincere thank you to everyone involved, Mr Fakhoury (Director of ICT), Miss Green (Director of PE), our students, LOCOG and Bruizer.

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Digital Leaders Deliver

dl_logoAt the very end of last term, the final week in fact, our Principal asked if the Digital Leaders could put together a collection of videos to help our new Year 7 intake get to know the school.

They covered if a range of topics including the student planner, the NEW Behaviour for Learning policy as well as tips from other students. It is really truly amazing what these students were able to put together in such a short time.

I would also like to recognise the contribution of Mr Sangster, who on top of his teaching, gave up almost every minute of his working day, his free time, breaks and lunch to support the Digital Leaders. So let me summarise it for you, four Year 7 and 8 students, one teacher, nearly two days intensive planning, designing, interviewing, editing to create eight great videos. There were in fact Community Leader videos as well, only these didn’t meet their exacting standards. You can find the remaining 7 videos on the school website here.


The Planner