Seeing The Positive Digital Footprints by Ian Guest

I’ve attended numerous Teachmeets across the length and breadth of the UK, but one sticks in my mind above all others. Teach(theteachers)Meet at Fulford School in York was ‘Planned by students – Organised by students – Presented by students’ … the students in this case being the Digital Leaders group at Fulford.

TeachMeets aim to stimulate, engage and inspire attendees by promoting the sharing of experiences. I’m never disappointed by how innovative and enthusiastic the presenters at TeachMeets invariably are and consequently how much I learn as a result. Remarkable then that a small band of young people aged between 13 and 18 could achieve the same for me at that one event, as seasoned professionals had done at all the others.

An eclectic mix, the topics spanned the realm of digital technologies. Opening by outlining the skills and traits of Digital Leaders and how and why you might want to establish a DL group, we moved on to a wide range of other areas: from the benefits of cloud computing in supporting learning, how powerful YouTube Edu can be for teachers and developing a logical mind through coding actionscripts … and much, much more! In addition to their contributions from the stage to an audience of over 150 adults, the Digital Leaders also proved eminently capable in planning, preparing, organising and delivering such a successful event for those attendees. Heck, I was even directed on arrival to an appropriate parking space!

Behind the visible skills, knowledge and capability however, these young people were clearly building a mutually supportive community which fostered collaboration and leadership, resilience and confidence, passion and curiosity. They were developing life skills and building a portfolio of experiences far richer than those they would be exposed to through the formal curriculum. A credit to themselves and to their school, the positive digital footprints they were laying down would clearly stand them in good stead for the future.


Ian Guest