The Seaford Eteam

Jennie Fraser who is in charge of Digital Pedagogy at Seaford High School clearly has a vision for her role and the school. You can see that here. She got in touch with OzDLs a few months ago and what a pleasure it has been to see her empowering students with technology as a key part of realising her vision. But don’t take mine or Jennie’s word for it, have a look at what the students recently said in their blogs about that they have been doing and how they feel about it:

Kristian Year 11

What we’ve done:
We have made a powerpoint presentation for the library, which is in show for the community, this powerpoint describes some of the things we do here at Seaford Secondary College.
We’ve held a community presentation, where the elderly of our community could come in and our team showed them the most beneficial aspects of a range of ICT devices.
We’ve held a workshop for middle school students in order to improve their quality of work, by showing them different things you can do with programmes such as Microsoft Word 2011. We’ve done this in order to improve our technological knowledge in our school.
We have been booked to teach entire classes to help the students with what they have been doing, for example; helping middle school students with iMovie, a programme where you can edit videos.

What was good about it:
We, the E-Team, as students, have learnt some features of the programmes we were teaching, for example; columns, tables and editing pictures.
We, the E-Team, as mentors, have bettered ourselves with teaching other students and peers, gained valuable leadership skills and perhaps even some friendships.
The other students have gained technological knowledge and valuable skills with computing which will hopefully help them in the future to be more advanced with their work.

What we hope to do in the future:
We hope to continue improving our middle school students technological stand.
We will be teaching students how to use Microsoft Excel 2011 and iMovie on the Macintosh computers and laptops our school provides.
We want to be able to go into other schools, such as primary schools, in order to provide help for them and hold presentations for classes.

Nathan Year 9

What we did:
We organised multiple workshops with the middle school students where we helped them learn some of the basic and not so basic features of the Office programs and Macintosh operating system to help improve the quality of work and speed of production.

What was good about it:
I believe that within the workshops we have learnt more about the programs we were using as well as learning how to better teach others. I also believe that we have successfully taught some of the students and most importantly I believe that the students enjoyed it as much as they could.

What we hope to do in the future:
We want to go into primary schools and community places to help other members of the public with computing skills. We also plan on creating tutorials on our school Moodle.

Deanna Year 9

What we did:
What we basically did was we were given a year seven class to tutor. We taught them the basics on word. One thing on word we focused on was tables. We showed them how to make a table, to insert images to the table and also how to delete and merge cells.
We also focused on the text side of things. If someone accidentally pressed caps lock when typing and they wrote a long paragraph, there is a better way that deleting all that you have written. If you highlight your piece of writing you then go up to the top of the screen and there is a format button. If you go down the format button there is a change case button. You click and you press the lowercase dot. Press ok and there is no need to delete your writing and write it again                         Also we taught them how to edit a photo on word. Changing the saturation to changing the shape and much much more.

What was good about it:
The good thing about tutoring the year seven class was that that knowing that we could partly change and improve their ways to do their assignments. Therefor possibly giving them higher grades than before.

My plans for the future:
My plans for the future would be possibly going to the Seafood Primary school and teaching the years from 4-6 years. Or even starting from a young age so that they have that skill growing up and they will be able to use them in their high school experience.

Digital Leaders and the HOTT Team

Bhavneet Singh is the Associate Principal at Quinns Beach Primary School in WA. She is without doubt a great advocaten93cajhuy92tuye1adip_bigger for putting yourself out there, innovating and leading change. Her involvement in TeachMeets and her presence on social media are well-known. Yet, what is probably less well known about @BhavneetSingh12 is her thorough and professional approach to empowering students with technology. She goes through the following process:

  • Advertises the jobs to the students
  • Provides a very detailed position description
  • Has the students apply with an Expression of Interest signed by student and parent
  • Interviews the students
  • Ask for references from both teachers AND parents
  • Appoints those suitable

Let’s just pause a minute and remember this is primary school. How authentic, though. How significant and important these roles become as a result of the process. And as a result everyone in the school benefits.

Perhaps anybody with doubts as to worth of Digital Leaders needs to have a look at Quinns Beach Primary School’s Digital Leaders on Youtube and for the full details of Bhavneet’s process, see this Digital Leaders presentation and supporting documentation here.

Information provided through various channels by Bhavneet Singh



Empowered students with technology disturb my weekend

There I was minding my own business and enjoying a long weekend courtesy of the Adelaide Cup Day on Monday, when I take a wee look at Twitter and I see a delude of tweets from #voiceed2014 about @1moniqued and her Student techies. She has empowered her students through her role as Leader of E-Learning at Gilroy Catholic College in NSW. The tweets told me how she has created such a lovely morph of the #OzDLs concept that I can’t help but smile from ear to ear. I love her use of Edmodo in the process but most of all, I love how and why she has set up the program and what she sees happening as a result of it. Here is a great summary through her presentation: Haikudeck for Voice Ed 2014

Reflection is such a wonderful thing to do and going back to Monique’s original thoughts here, shows how something so simple yet passion-led can produce something so powerful in education. Yet, what this also reminds me and should remind anybody considering empowering students:

  1. It is not difficult. In fact it really is quite simple. As Monique says, “The concept of peer coaching is a no-brainer. I know from experience that students helping students peer-peer in a classroom or school context works.”
  2. You can make Student Digital Leader concepts work if you are passionate about it and clear about why you want to do it in the first place. Do not put the logistics, the hurdles in place. Instead, look to what you want to achieve and then consider how you are going to make it happen. (Sounds like the work of a problem solver to me!!)

Read about the full exploits of Monique’s version of Digital Leaders on her blog.

Finding Potential Digital Leaders

chris runoff flickr

chris runoff flickr

One of the most frequently asked questions in respect of starting out with Digital Leaders in a school is how do you find them. Now, I don’t mean find as in, “where are they hiding?”.  That would be a little weird wouldn’t it? I mean the suggestion that there is a group of students hidden away in a nook of the school with their technology… Anyway I digress. I am of course referring to the issue of how do you recruit those who are interested in and passionate about technology, those who have raw skills and the potential mindset to become a Digital Leader?

Typically, the answer lies in a recruitment campaign. Advertising and promoting the ‘new’ role and seeing who comes forward. However, there are alternatives and a good example is through the ‘club’ approach:



Set up a club or a few clubs at lunchtime and/or after school where the focus is related to something you want to achieve with Digital Leaders. Good examples are a Web Design club, a Gaming club, a Photography club, a Raspberry Pi club, but of course there are many more. If the focus is something you want to achieve then this is more likely to lead into enabling setting up Digital Leader programs. So, relating to the

colemama flickr

colemama flickr

examples given, if one of your early ideas for Digital Leaders is to have them become Digital Journalists for the school then set a Photography club. Teach them the basics of digital photography and put cameras in their hands then lead them into the area(s) you had in mind for the Digital Journalism role. Let them produce the material say in the form of a website then start to hand over control to them where they become the leaders, the controllers of the product, in this case. In time, this leads into Digital Leaders and the journey has well and truly begun without them really knowing it.


Growing up a Digital Leader

Since the start of secondary school, my school-life, self-confidence and general ability have been vastly altered – gladly, in a good way. In Year 7, I applied to join the DLs, which involved sending an inventive Morse-code application and then being interviewed in the head teacher’s office, and soon after was introduced to a new group of people and a new set of challenges. I never had worked in a team like this before, with the age range being from the youngest in the school to the oldest, and so we learnt how to communicate with each other, work together and generally have a laugh – skills which will be useful throughout my life.

I also learnt (and am continually learning) how to present to audience and this has become my favourite type of work that we do. This has been one of the best opportunities for me, and I now have experience training teachers, speaking at conferences and at TeachMeets – all of those in order to help others and spread the use of technology in education. Recently, I have been able to help other DLs to improve their skills and so I hope that students and teachers alike can have an positive influence on their education. Overall, I enjoy being a DL and think that I learn vital skills that you can’t learn in a classroom – as well as helping others. We are changing the world around us and we are being heard.

Ethan Redmond – Digital Leader

Why is a math book so sad?

Because it is full of problems.

Could the same logic be applied to schools? I really don’t know. Schools are full of problems but people solve those problems all the time. Should one really be sad if the

problems are constantly being solved? Students and teachers solve problems all the time. Some people can’t solve certain problems. We seek out help from others who may know how to solve our problem.

My name is Nick Patsianas, I help others solve technology troubles at school and online. During my 4 years at high school I have embarked on an incredible journey. My journey has taken me in many different directions. Right now I currently work with the Oz Minecraft Educators group but I do a whole lot of other stuff too.

Last year I began working with a few Year 8 students on some preparation for running a bring your own device program. I provided technical information and shared my experiences with bringing my own iPad. Sharing my experiences was probably one of the most important parts. One major point I tried to make was that things will need change from constrained tasks such as something like “use this program to do this” to “create something that shows topic of interest”. I expect that we will need to a little bit more before everything is set.

Another task I worked on was providing both technical and student point of view feedback on a program we plan on running with some of Year 7 and 8. Some of my suggestions and ideas were implemented. I was also responsible for trialing out the many different ideas and reporting on which one worked best. Some other work I had done involved looking into the future of the project. I can’t say much about this just yet but I know it’s going to be awesome when in action.

Towards the end of the year, lots of stuff happens. Our annual talent show, Year 6 visits and their orientation day are just some the major things that happen. I’m involved in a lot of these things in some way. Each year I am borrowed by Music to work with our Sound and Lighting team during our annual talent show. Every year I try to step things up a little. Last year I think I managed quite well, I have written a post about some of things I did to improve behind the scenes stuff  for our talent show.

I always try to be a part of Orientation Day, I didn’t really have a great time at Orientation Day when I was in Year 6 so every year I try to make sure everyone has great time. During their break times I actively seek out people who look lonely and  talk to them. I speak with groups of people and tell them about our school. Minecraft is a popular topic so I tell them about some of the Minecraft stuff we have done throughout the year. Usually all doubts are cleared and they can’t wait to be apart of our school. Orientation Day once left me only more worried and confused.

That’s just a short summary of some of the things that happened during 2013. Every year I try to be better. This year things will need to change, I’m not sure how yet but I know there’ll need to be change. I hear Year 11 is very different, difference always results in change. I’ll still continue to work on projects that I’ve committed myself too but I’m not sure about working on new things. I like to share but often forget to do so because I get so caught up in what I’m working on. I’m on Twitter, if you’d like, you can scroll back and read some of my tweets to follow my journey from Year 8 to Year 11. Best of luck in 2014!

Year 11 student empowered through technology

Digital Leader you say? Who me?

Firstly I’d like to start off by bringing a common stigma to light and demolishing the beast. A common stigma around Digital Leader groups is that it’s going to be full of

geeks and freaks that are amazing with computers and already know all about coding and websites, etc. While we definitely do idolise and use these people as a core part of our group they are not the only ingredients which create the awesomeness of Digital Leaders. I would definitely be an example of someone who people don’t commonly think would be part of Digital Leaders. So who am I?

I’m your average year 10 student. My name is Amber and while I may be a geek and a freak, I have no idea about coding. Yeah I can get my way around a computer and I can do some of the basics I certainly don’t have the skills required to create games or websites. Now, this far I have only listed what I cannot do, so what about what I can do? What do I offer to the table? Maybe from reading this you can have a pretty good guess, I’m the writer, I love writing, it’s my passion. My part in Digital Leaders is brainstorming and putting together the writing pieces.

As well as all the writing and thinking, I also do a lot of presenting. During my time in Digital Leaders I have presented at iPad nights, ran a twitter workshop from teachers and counsellors, taken part in one of the Digital Leaders youtube live videos and also helped a group of Japanese students, visiting our school, make an iMovie video.

I guess now you’d be wondering as to why I’ve taken part in Digital Leaders, so here’s just as few reasons:

  1. I get to meet and work with an amazing, talented group of students from my school.
  2. I’ve been able to work on my public speaking. This used to be a big, ‘Oh NOOO! WHYYY!’ sort of issue for me, but after throwing myself in the deep-end, I’m now able to confidently present to groups of people.
  3. It’s a place to exercise my writing.
  4. I love the internet and all it has to offer. I love using facebook and twitter. I have about 4 or 5 blog sites and I don’t know what I’d do without them. I see the internet not as an evil creation where everyone is trying to harm you; but as a magnificent tool that can be used to our advantage. It moves people one step closer to their dreams, connects the world and is somewhere to get yourself seen, somewhere to leave an eternal ‘footprint’. So, because of this one thing I’m extremely passionate about is teaching people how to positively use the internet and why it should not be seen in a negative way.

Well, that’s me, what I do and why I do it. Honestly Digital Leaders has been a great experience and I’m looking forward to all the surprises the next few years bring.

Amber Wurst


Y10 student

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

Finding out about OzDLs by Steve Brophy

Setting the scene

I found out about the Digital Leaders Network through my Twitter feed as and was instantly drawn to the authenticity of the student role and voice that it promoted.  I also was very excited about the prospect of providing a global community of student Digital Leaders for our students to connect with and learn from.  Our Primary ICT Professional Learning team had worked on developing the concept of student digital leadership positions at our school and so the discovery of the Digital Leaders Network was a perfect match.  The flexibility and adaptability of the framework allowed schools to make it work for them and even though the network was largely based in the UK, we as a professional learning team decided that it was the right fit for us moving forward.  In 2013, our Year 5 students had implemented the first 1:1 iPad program in our school and so with their subsequent move into Year 6 in 2014, we knew that we had a cohort of students with the digital savvy and skillset to begin our journey and lead change in our school.

Through a chance connection and dialogue with Nick Jackson (@largerama) on Twitter, I discovered that he had set up the Australian Digital Leaders network (   When I learned that he was also responsible for setting up the Digital Leaders Network in the UK, I knew that our school had to be a part of the network.  Connecting with someone who has so much experience setting up Digital Leaders in schools will provide pivotal guidance and support as we begin our journey.

Why Digital Leaders?

The Australian Digital Leaders network will provide our students with a forum to see the possibilities for change that their voice and action can bring about.  It will be a local platform for real change and digital contribution and a global community for connecting and learning.  It will harness the talent and thinking of our students and develop their personal responsibility and willingness to contribute to the development of their local and global community.  It will allow our students greater opportunity to mentor and be mentored.  It will challenge community thinking about the typical roles of young people and will work to empower our students to stand up and have their say.  It will also help develop life skills such as leadership, problem finding, problem solving and team work, further develop digital savvy and harness and promote individual and group creativity.  The journey for us is just beginning but as the old Chinese proverb goes “the journey is the reward.”

Steve Brophy

P-12 eLearning Coordinator

Why OzDLs?

Digital Leaders represents an unique area of all our lives where the playing field is ‘not level’ but is a real mish-mash of experience and knowledge that has nothing to do with age, gender or, to some degree, intelligence. In other words, if we say we have two sets of people involved in education:

  1. Young people (students)
  2. Adults (teachers, teaching assistants, senior leaders in schools, parents)

But both of these sets are also part of the ongoing technological revolution and within the sets there are some who enjoy/are good with/are afraid of/need help with/keep abreast of/etc etc etc… Therefore, this offers a very real opportunity for a community of practice to develop in an education setting where collaboration and sharing are at the heart of advancing what is offered.

The barriers are broken down by this ‘uneven playing surface’. It is a chance to give away elements of control to those who can and want to push things forward with technology. Digital Leaders = School Improvement