Category Archives: Uncategorized

Badger, badger, badger, badger.

There’s a lot of work going on at the moment about using badges for crediting skills, experience in education and the workplace. I came across this template for designing your own badges and shared it last night in the #dlchat. People in the chat seemed to like it, so I thought it might be worth posting it here also. Getting my Digital Leaders becoming badge creators and awarders is an aim for my Digital Leader project next year, as it has multiple benefits. I hope they’re keen to be badgers.

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2013-2014

I have been accepted on the West Lothian Leadership Programme for 2013-14. I applied as I am interested in learning more about and debating leadership roles within school and I also wish to see if this is a role I would like to take in school (UPS or otherwise).

The course looks quite interesting and looks the sort of course where the more time that is devoted to it, the more the participants get out of it. I have needed to choose a project to develop over the year, and have chosen to develop the role of digital leaders in school and beyond (by setting up the Scottish Digital Leaders Network).

A major part of the course is a Professional Learning Plan, and I intend to develop mine by using this blog, and tagging each part with Leadership and PLP for ease of my finding it!

If you are interested in the course, here is the course outline.

Colourful Reflections (38/365)

Pedgaoo – #TmLoveLibraries

A fewof Saturdays ago now, I presented at the brilliant #tmlovelibraries at Edinburgh Central Library.

 

My presentation/discussion was about using Digital Leaders, from set up to the end of their 1st year at Uphall Primary School.

 

Digital leaders are an idea I picked up at NAACE hothouse last year in Crewe. The idea was shared there by @shellibb, @chrismayoh and @largerama.

 

The basic idea is that you have a group of children who have a keen interest in computing in any form and who are happy to develop their interest and taken on responsibilites around the school which had previously been done by adults (or adult!). They will also get to review new pieces of software, try out some new apps in school, act as experts in the classroom, run CPD for teachers and other pupils, represent the school at digital events and teachmeets.

 

The recruitment of Digital Leaders (DL) at Uphall was by an initial online application using google forms . Once this had been completed we interviewed all of the applicants, giving them the questions prior to interview.

 

We decided to offer all of our interviewees the chance to be a digital leader, which meant our first group was 14 children from P4 up to P7. Some schools use P6 and P7 and let P7 lead the way, having cut their teeth in P6. I guess it’s up to the feeling of the teachers involved. I liked having the full range, and there has certainly been no time when the P4 child has been out of his depth…far from it.

 

Once selected we began holding our DL meetings. (Thursday afterschool). Initially I led the way with our meetings sharing some desktop apps and web based programs with them – things like screenr to make screencasts, wordpress for blogging and moved into Scratch and the mozilla webmaker tools. The children began to bring in their own devices and share their blogs, apps, creations etc with each other. The DL Thursday evenings soon had a good buzz! I encouraged the children to share their work on our own DL blog and on the Digital Leader Network Blog. The DL’s were excited by this and enjoyed using Edmodo groups to share ideas too.

 

As the year progressed the DL’s began to find the things that really interested them. The initial interest in blogging waned and a love of making movies and minecraft took over. I was happy for them to use their tools in the direction they wanted to go and much video was created and many, many minecraft worlds!

 

In the last few weeks I have felt there has been a return to wanting me to provide some stimulus for them to use, so we have gone back to mozilla’s webmaker tools (which have developed since we first used them) and done some work with them. Our final few weeks have been taken up with developing ideas for next years DLers, creating the interview questions, creating logos and posters for the DL interview process and some badges for ICT skills across the school. I’ve also taken the opportunity to discuss where the DL-ers might want to go next year.

 

I feel the meetups for the DL have been successful, with a mix of teacher led and child led activities and opportunity for children to spend their time and develop ideas as they wished to some extent.

Support in school is a key area for DL work (and should be a time and hassle saver for teachers and schools). Our DL’s have supported staff in many ways. Creating powerpoints for assembly, teaching teachers how to use certain apps on their iPads, having a go at podcasting, creating video for transitions events in school, setting up, operating and putting away AV equipment for assemblies and the like.

 

The digital leaders came up with a series of ideas for next year. These include interacting more with other digital leaders (which is why I’m trying to create a digital leader network for Scotland), speaking at more events, running a junior digital leaders group in school (p2 and p3).

 

Personally I have made a commitment to developing the digital leader in school and beyond as part of my Leadership course application for West Lothian Council’s course. As such I’ll be blogging more about the digital leaders role over the year and how the network develops. I will share those posts (if there is an interest) on this site, as well as my own.

 

If you wish to start your own digitial leader group, wish to contribute to the Scottish digital leaders network, or just want to to ask any more questions, feel free to get in touch.

Digital Flow

Digital Flow by Enkhtuvshin

The Apps I use.

Since beginning to use my iPad nearly 10 months ago I have added loads of Apps to it, some I have bought, others have been free. I thought I should share the ones I use a lot and share how I use them too.

Evernote: The App I use for notetaking, link keeping, article archiving and paper based note storage is Evernote. It can be downloaded onto phone, tablet, kindle and PC or Mac and it allows you to share things on one account between each device. I’m not the best at keeping bits of paper, so now I take a photo graph of them and Evernote them. By carefully tabbing them I can easily find stuff.

Hootsuite: This is my chosen twitter device, again available across multi-formats and once you have created your account your setup follows wherever you login. Hootsuite allows you to create lists for your twitter account and separate them into columns on a page and different pages too (I have a page for education, one for leisure).

Zite: Zite brings you content it thinks you will find interesting based on your twitter feed, google reader feed and articles you ‘like’ in Zite. Most of my reading for education is now done through Zite and the articles you read are easily shared via twitter and facebook. Zite also allows you to copy article directly across to Evernote (and allows you to tag then in Evernote)

IThoughts: I never really used mind map style planning before getting the iPad, but using this app allows you to change what’s in bubbles, move them around and delete the bubble altogether very easily. I find it’s a good way for me to put down ideas for topic planning, presentation planning etc.

Haiku Deck: Can’t get enough powerpoint!! Haiku Deck is presentational software which gives a full picture slide background (you choose the picture or they suggest) and then you put a limited amount of text on the page. I feel the end results are visually great, and move you away from a powerpoint comfort zone of putting too much text on each slide.

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Weeknotes – 2013 Week 9

Here’s what’s I’ve been up to this week.

  • I was totally blown away (as were several other teachers) by my children’s work using Scratch – I will be sharing these when they are complete on the scratch website. Well done P4/5 and if you’ve never used Scratch with a class or group have a go, what’s the worst that can happen?
  • Our AAL channel is close to becoming fully operational in school. Myself and the HT had a really good discussion with our digital leaders about the implications of this and what rules and guidelines we should have in place. As every when working with children they had brilliant ideas which we had not thought of. Again, if you work in a school and haven’t got digital leaders you should look into it. Ours are amazing!
  • I’ve added a few things to our www.uphallresources.com blog.
  • I’ve taken an interest in the ongoing Glow project. Jaye Richards-Hill has tweeted about it, and Michael Russell has written about it as have others. Have a read of some of the tweets etc below.


Digital Leaders

I am using this to show how easy it is to make a blog in wordpress.com

Summer

I’ve been to 3 really interesting pieces of CPD this summer holiday. GamesBritannia, NAACE 3mhothouse and Edinburgh Interactive 12.
They have all been really enjoyable, all different to each other but they all have underlying themes.

We need to let children be creative with the technologies available to them.

We need to not be worried about the children knowing more about the technologies than we do, they will teach each other and if they are engaged they will find a way to utilise the tools.

Children are learning and using technologies at incredible speed. The days of year by year ICT schemes are rapidly passing. There will be a progression in skills for using ICT, but these progressions will be flexible and will be experience related, not age related.

It will soon be time to start a new school year and I’m incredibly excited by the opportunities me and my class are going to discover and create with. We will be sharing what we create on or school web site and on our creative blog.
It would be great if you found time to leave a comment about what use create when our term begins.

The Social Evolution of Gaming.

I found this great, thought provoking infographic via @tombarrett. I found the stat about 25% of gamers playing with their spouse OR parent particularly interesting. It would be great to see gaming as more of a family thing – I used to play loads of card games, board games, subbuteo etc with my family when I was growing up. It was a huge amount of fun and lead to great social learning experiences.

 

I think it would be good to create some kind of parent/child gaming experience through school – maybe using some of the Consolarium’s kit which @derekrobertson has available for loan.

I’ll have a think about how we could do this. For now I’ll enjoy the infographic.

Sir John Jones @SLF11

I was fortunate enough to spend yesterday at the Scottish Learning Festival 2011 yesterday. I had a great time, picking up ideas and inspiration from keynotes, seminars, education stands and through spending some time with some great people.

One of the highlights for me was the speech given by Sir John Jones. I had not heard of Sir John before I attended the keynote, but he came highly recommended by my headteacher. I found it to be a humorous and inspiring address. I hope I can carry some of the key ideas from it into my own practice.

Have a look and see what you think.

 

 

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