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 (ozdls.com). 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.”
P-12 eLearning Coordinator