Monday’s deadline has arrived and the ever increasing pile of applications needs sorting. I’m looking for many qualities in my Digital Leaders. Over the past few weeks I have looked at many excellent blogs of teachers and educators who have begun their DL journey and very kindly posted examples of the job description, application and interview forms etc. Blogs such as:
The very helpful Chris Mayoh http://mrmayoh.bowlingparkprimary.net/tag/digital-leaders/
And the brilliant Sheli Blackburn http://www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk/
These and others have given me the guidance and encouragement to set up our own DL’s in school. I have tweaked, merged and added to their documents to make them relevant for my school setting. Kristian Stilll has very kindly allowed me to adapt his fantastic logo to that which has our school colours too – thank you! See below for the selection of documents I am using to get this project of the ground (I’ve left them as word docs to allow editing, should anyone want to use them).
WL Digital leaders poster
WL Digital Leaders Job Sheet (1)
WL Digital leaders interview questions
WL Digital leader spec and JD
WL Digital Leader contract.docx
WL Digital Leader application form
The next stage is to sift through the 52 applications for the interview process. Looking at their answers, I envisage the job not to be an easy one.
I’ve heard about the many virtues of having inspired children as Digital Leaders (DL) from fellow tweeters and teaching blogs over the past 6 months and was really keen to get on board. I wanted to do the research prior to implementing it at my school in order for it to have the maximum impact possible.
On Monday I put up posters around the school advertising vacancies for DL. Qualities required were given, benefits to apllicants were given and brief descriptions of role were given. I planned to take the KS2 assembly to do my best pitch! Ideally I would want 8 children from the current years 3,4 and 5.
Today was the assembly, 240 children sitting agog (not because I was taking an assembly!!) but because they had all seen the posters and were keen to find out more. I did my spiel and talked in full about what I had planned and how excited I was about this project. Reciprocal learning was the message – of course I didn’t use that phrase but ultimately that’s what it is. I explained the role in more detail, talking about commitment, collaboration, teamwork, patience and fun!
My final message was that an application form needed to be completed and returned to me by next Monday. I would be giving out the forms at lunch time, outside my room. Lunch time duly arrived and no 5, not 10 BUT 77 children were gathered outside my classroom. All eagerly awaiting my arrival (I was on PPA) to collect the application forms.
By the end of lunch time, 39 forms had been returned. I’m anticipating that many children wanted a little longer to fully consider their reasons for applying…
I am completely gob-smacked by the level of excitement and keenness to be part of an exciting project that will be the beginning of our journey together. The next step is to shortlist (once the deadline has arrived) and interview the applicants – I can’t wait!
Original DL logo used and adapted with kind permission from http://www.kristianstill.co.uk
There are many search engines that allow children to search safely due to the child friendly content it manages due to specific filtering. These should be used by teachers and children alike to ensure filtered content that is inappropriate has been removed. As these search engines often use humans to filter out unsuitable sites, they are not in themselves, infallible. Many filters rely on pixilation of skin tone and once an image exceeds the agreed percentage deemed to be ‘unsafe’, the image is filtered. I’m sure we all have experiences where even with filters in place, images become visible. We can, however, reduce the instances by using ‘safe’ search engines and image sites when teaching or for the children to use while researching. Here is by no means a definitive list but a few suggestions to use:
Ask Jeeves For Kids
www.askforkids.com – allows age-appropriate feature content and filtering technology to enable children to find both relevant and appropriate information on the Web.
It is designed to be a child-friendly way to search online with a focus on learning and educational. Ask for Kids enables children to even type in questions in a way that they would ask an adult in order to find an answer.
www.kidsclick.org/ – this is a service developed by librarians which includes searches and image sites
www.swiggle.org.uk – this is the SWGfL site which has a built in search option. By searching from a safe site, this reduces the incidence of inappropriate material popping up. It is always inadvisable for children to be left unsupervised when surfing the net. An adult should always be present and should any unsuitable material slip through, then the children should be taught what to do whether it is activating Hector and/or informing an adult as soon as possible.
www.primaryschoolict.com – is a site powered by Google which offers an ideal place from which to begin searches for sites and images.
If you are just looking for images, there are a number of sites that are appropriate to use in school, here’s a few:
This post is intended to give an overview of some of the resources available on the internet. It is not intended to be a definitive list, but a list of those sites I have used in class with children of varying ages. Teachers are always advised to check the copyright restrictions in place for using or downloading images as well as the relevance and child-friendliness of the information required PRIOR to using them in the classroom.