DL Chat

Sometimes 140 characters isn’t enough …
Q1 – just how much time do your Digital Leaders spend being digital leaders? What are they expected to do in this time?

This year’s group distribute and collect all equipment daily – staff book equipment via OneNote and the DLs organise the equipment accordingly.
Until now the information has been on my OneNote file but I’ve just changed the system so it is on their Class OneNote and they and access info even if I am not around.

They also spend several dinner times a week doing DL stuff (by choice)  – this year they self organise. They made a video and prepared a presentation on e-safety, they update software and organise hardware, create quizzes and presentations (e.g. – how to look after and charge the laptops correctly)

If there is an ICT problem in another class they are the first port of call – they’ll go down and see if they can solve it (quite often they do)

Q2 – Is there a hierarchy in your Digital Leaders? Are they expected to organise themselves at all?

To be honest this group have been pretty good at self-organisation. Last year I was over ambitious and had too many and it didn’t work.

We have a core group of 5 with a couple of honorary DLs who help when needed.

Occasionally they will ask for advice on how to organise/approach something but mostly they are self sufficient.

They all have different strengths (e.g. Some are really good at problem solving and finding ways to work around an ICT issue, others are great at tracing the source of a problem)

Q3 – How independent do you expect your Digital Leaders to be? What are they allowed to do?

They are fairly independent like to tell me what to do.

In the past I have had to direct them much more – this year they are quite proactive and will identify problems themselves.

They also like to work with the ICT technician when he comes in so that if the same problem arises we can resolve it in-house.

I try to encourage them to develop areas of ICT they are interested in and they have risen to the challenge.

Q4 One tip for encouraging independent Digital Leaders?

You do need a couple of DLs who are good at organising things/one another.

Is it Safe?

You have to say that in the style of a crazed dentist or is it just me?

Today was Safer Internet Day and our Digital Leaders did us proud.


For weeks they’ve spent dinner times planning and preparing a video and quiz.

How much involvement have I had? Truthfully, not much. In fact, until today I hadn’t even seen the finished product.

This morning they set everything up and tested the quiz – there was one minor blip where a question said “How do you spell cyber?”

Once we’d worked through the flawed logic and rephrased it they were ready to go.

And they were fantastic – they worked with FP first and they had the younger pupils eating out of their hands. The video, a great mix of safety messages and a rather funky dance to teach them where to get help if they are being cyber bullied was a pleasure to watch.

The quiz went well – and at the end they (the DLs) were confident that they had delivered the safety message successfully.


So why do I have this continual worry about their e-safety? I think the truth is that we are training our children to be able to answer our questions on e-safety correctly.

In my school the correct text book answers come thick and fast.

Ask the question and the hands shoot up

They all tell us that a friend online should be someone they know but I’d bet my second best iPad that many of them interact with strangers.

They overshare – the internet has always been there for them and they know no fear.

They can tell us how to deal with a cyber bully – but do they? Or are they keyboard warriors retaliating, or passive victims feeling scared and diminished?

What’s the answer? I wish I knew.




Digital Leaders Revisited

In this particular instance there’s something very satisfying at finding yourself slowly being made redundant.

My team of Digital Leaders are proving to be worth their weight in iPads.

So far this term they’ve set up 20 iPads (twice) – unlike me they fail to be daunted and depressed by the inconstancy of Configurator and it’s repeated failure to carry across all the payloads.
They’ve even turned the inputting of settings into a race – I wash never very good at races and now it turns out that I’m not even fastest or second fastest  at setting up an iPad.

They update MacBooks and laptops and make sure the correct software is installed.

They troubleshoot all kinds of everyday problems.

Today we received an SOS from a class teacher who couldn’t get the microphone to work on an app.

TeamA were despatched, but they returned with the iPad.

I scratched my head and tried to record (in vain) until one of the Digital Leaders asked if we’d checked that the microphone was enabled in the settings.

I’m sure I’d have got there eventually, but how great to be pipped at the post.

Digital Leaders

I’d been toying with the idea of Digital Leaders for a while. I read lots of information about how different schools were using them before deciding to take the plunge.

So far it’s been a fascinating journey.

The children filled in application forms and then were interviewed for the position.

Some of their replies were astoundingly mature.

These are some of my favourites.

Q: What would you do if you were asked to help someone use an app or programme because they were having problems?

A: I’d ask them to show me what they were doing first, so I could see what the problem was. Then I’d show them where they were going wrong, but I wouldn’t make them feel bad – I’d talk about all the things they were doing right so they didn’t get upset.

A: I’d show them how to use the app and then ask them to have a go themselves then if they weren’t confident I’d be there to support them

Q: How will you help raise ICT standards in our school?

A: First of all I know I need to work really hard so I have a good set of skills – that way I’ll be able to share my knowledge with other pupils.

Q: Why do you think we need Digital Leaders in our school?

A: Technology is important – we need to be able to use it independently

A: (my favourite) Because you must get fed up of all the teachers asking you to help them

Q: What would you do if you were asked for help but you weren’t able to solve the problem

A: I’d ask the other digital leaders for their ideas, then if we were still stuck we’d come and talk to you.

A: I would ask for time to think about the problem. If it was a hardware problem I’d look at all the connections and wires again incase I’d missed something obvious.

I love the last answer because at least 60% of the ‘problems’ I encounter can be easily solved by looking at the setup.