Today I met with a bunch of pupils, in their own time and for the first time, who had put themselves forward to take part in a collaborative digital project. Admittedly I had set the scene and tried my very best to explain my “vision” following the initial training myself and several other lucky professionals had recently received via the WISE Kids Digital Leaders in Education programme.
To give you an idea of how the session went I simply showed them the Powtoon I had created, showed them one or two snippets from the training programme and they were off! I told them I had created a blog ready for “us” to populate and that I had already given it a hip and funky URL (rcsconnect). So below following this session I would like to just highlight a few revelations that occurred to me during this time:
- They thought my URL was lame – It was too obvious and it was clear that the blog was about connecting people without having to use it especially with the letters RCS, which for me identified it to the school. What they have suggested is MUCH better and I now have the task of securing (praying) that the suggested URL is available. Even though the blog will be created with school based themes in parts, they want the ownership of doing everything for themselves. Why doesn’t this happen with other work???
- Digital Creators – I quizzed the pupils on what kinds of different media, platforms both hardware and software, and as many online applications/games/social networking/blogging/vlogging/podcasting etc. that they had participated in. Guess what? ALL of them and more!
- Google Accounts – For one of the areas to focus on this week I asked them how many people had these accounts, ALL of them but two. They all have to send me a “Test” e-mail within the next couple of days. Seven of them have, no wait my phone has just received another which makes it eight, sent the e-mail and I have replied to them with their next task.
- Empowerment – I have said it before and I have noticed it even more than ever (maybe as a result of the initial training) in the last couple of weeks that if you give pupils the opportunity to talk, share and show then they will and they are quite happy to not just do these things but showcase what they are capable of or what they have done. It breaks down some kind of barrier, maybe because pupils feel comfortable talking about the arena they play/work in on a daily basis.
- Hip/funky – My last revelation is to never use these words again when talking to pupils as they clearly are not the right adjectives, oh and that Facebook is/was so 2010! L
Where are we now? Like Alan Lewis posted previously and despite the fact that we have to go back and deliver our statutory curriculum's, there is a renewed feeling of pushing to the edges of the digital envelope as it were and not being confined by timetables and subjects. What we are looking for here is an approach to digital learning that is as integrated as literacy and numeracy. The difference is, I think, the pupils are already onside therefore in some ways this is an untapped resource. Mistakes will be made yes, barriers will be broken some for good and some for bad, but if we harness and equip our learners with the right mindset, and they can access the necessary technology then we may just have the opportunity to achieve something really special that the entire school can embrace.