Why should you employ digital leaders?

‘Consider the rapid change in technology over the last 20 years; schools may just feel like they’re getting to grips with one aspect of technology when another emerges. The change from ICT to a new computing curriculum does not alter the fact that children need to experience and use a wide range of technology to support, extend and transform their learning. Schools that rely solely on the ICT coordinator are in danger of falling behind if that person leaves, therefore a more sustainable approach is necessary. Digital leaders are one solution.’

Rising Stars, Getting started with digital leaders: a practical guide

View the guide via the following link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bw8rscVFZlaOMVdWWEtmZjl4WlE/edit

Scargill Junior School Digital Leaders train new teachers at the University of East London

On Wednesday 20th March 2013, seven of the digital leaders at Scargill Junior School, Havering were invited to talk about ICT in their school to PGCE students of the University of East London, at their Docklands campus.

Each digital leader explained how we use a variety of handheld devices and software across the curriculum. The main focus of the event was on how to create your own ICT content to extend learning.

The Hsis Computing and ICT Team would like to congratulate Scargill Junior School for this impressive achievement.

See more pictures at http://scargilljunior.edublogs.org/2013/03/20/digital-leaders-at-university-of-east-london/

It’s half-term – a pause for breath and time to think about setting-up a Digital Leader Group

Everyone at the Havering School Improvement Services’ ICT Team hopes that readers are having a good half-term break.  If you have a spare moment why not consider the idea of setting-up a Digital Leader Group in your school/academy?

Visit the Digital Leader Network for ideas http://www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk/?page_id=21

There is even a really handy flowchart to help you get started https://sites.google.com/a/norfolkadvisory.co.uk/digital-leader-network/getting-started

As well as this there are application forms and flyers that you can tweak too.

Don’t forget we also have our own Havering Digital Leaders’ Network Co-ordinator in Mr Andy Knill from Bower Park School.  Feel free to contact Andy via aknill1.311@lgflmail.org or @aknill on Twitter

We think the Digital Leaders idea is fantastic – just ask some of our schools who are growing it.

Japanese Ministry of Education visit Havering


On Tuesday 2nd October 2012, a delegation from the Japanese Ministry of Education consisting of representatives from 12 prefectures (local authorities) visited Scargill Junior School in the London Borough of Havering. The delegation were treated to a tour of the school where ICT was being used to support teaching and learning in every class. iPads, PSPs, visualisers, interactive whiteboards, iMovie, GarageBand, Flip cameras, the London Managed Learning Environment and more was being used confidently by pupils and staff in imaginative ways to impact on pupil outcomes. Headteacher Mrs Amanda Ireland and ICT Leader Mrs Karen Webley, ably assisted by the School’s Digital Leaders shared their thoughts with the delegation on the benefits of ICT. The delegation were very impressed at the array of ICT in action and were delighted to see the expressions of joy and interest on the pupils’ faces as they not only worked hard but had fun too.

On Wednesday, the delegation are off to The Brittons Academy to explore the Brittons’ approach to Bring Your Own Device…

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Andy Knill’s Digital Leader Update – It’s time to get your school involved too…

In June 2012 I spoke to the Primary and Secondary ICT leaders in the borough about the idea of Digital Leaders – engaging pupils in supporting their peers and teachers with the use of digital technology.

Engayne Primary and Elm Park Primary have both signed up to the UK Digital Leader Network (www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk) alongside Bower Park School where I work. Both Havering primaries are using digital leaders to extend the use of technology and give lots or responsibility to pupils. Their achievements are often blogged about through the ICT in Havering blog and retweeted via Twitter.

Elm Park are becoming very active in the Twitter #DLChat on Thursday evenings between 9 and 10pm each week with examples of work that they are developing.

At Bower Park our digital leaders have recently been given the same starter training for our Promethean Activboards as the staff and are able to assist in class if needed. They can be identified by their badges worn on lanyards – a design competition run last term. Their next major task will be to man a room at our Open evening on Thursday 4th October where they can talk to our visitors about why they joined digital leaders, what they are doing so far and how they want to shape the digital future of the school.

If other schools at primary or secondary level are interested in sharing ideas please contact me at knilla@bowerpark.havering.sch.uk .It would be good to get some of our primary and secondary digital leaders together and develop each other’s skills.

Andy Knill – Havering Digital Leader Co-ordinator wearing his mega badge to encourage students to sign-up to becoming Digital Leaders

Andy Knill – Leader for Cross-curricular ICT at Bower Park School, Havering

Digital Leaders – Leading the way in Havering schools

It has been great to see the recent growth in Digital Leaders in Havering schools.  Over the next few months we are aiming to showcase good practice with Digital Leaders.  Here are some to start with…

Digital Leaders at Engayne explain how they use Pixlr to help them with photo editing here…


Explore the presentations that new Digital Leaders at Elm Park Primary School undertook recently here…


Check out the ways in which Engayne’s Digital Leaders have been supporting ICT development at the school too…


Visit the Digital Leader Network for ideas and examples of digital leaders in action.


Andy Knill @aknill of Bower Park School is working with the Hsis ICT Team to help further develop Digital Leaders in Havering.  Watch this space…

Havering Digital Leaders’ Network – Sign-up now…

Would you like your pupils/students to be even more involved in the development of ICT at your school?  Well, we think we have an answer…

In this blog post Andy Knill, Leader for Cross-curricular Learning at Bower Park School outlines his plan to develop a Digital Leaders’ Network in Havering in association with the Havering School Improvement Services’ ICT Team and Havering schools.

It was my privilege to recently address both sessions of the Havering School Improvement Primary ICT Leaders’ Network meeting in June 2012.   My topic was ‘The Development of Digital Leaders’.  Digital Leaders are pupils utilising their technological skills to support other pupils and even staff in their school.  In February 2012, a number of teachers on Twitter got together to chat about establishing a free network for primary and secondary schools to share the concept of Digital Leaders.  That chat #DLChat continues most Thursdays at 9 pm (UK Time).

The network developed a site: www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk

As a Leader of Cross-curricular ICT at Bower Park School I was keen to see more Havering schools involved. I started with a group at Bower Park who have met four times and are establishing a sense of purpose.  Engayne Primary have used Digital Leaders to train pupils and staff.  Other pupil developments along these lines have included updating learning platform/Managed Learning Environment (MLE) content at Towers Juniors.

Other ideas include:-

  • Involving Digital Leaders in searching for additional web-based resources and Apps to support teaching and learning
  • Developing and updating an Entrance Hall PowerPoint presentation
  • Creating content for school websites to further promote the work of the school and enhance home:school learning
  • Surveys of pupils to ascertain levels of pupil home ICT use and views on ways to improve in-school ICT provision

My proposal at the Primary meetings was that we establish the idea in Havering schools.  I have volunteered to co-ordinate and ensure good practice is shared both within the Havering LA and with the national network, with the support of the Havering School Improvement Services’ ICT Team.

The intention is to provide the following:-

  • Regular blog posts (half-termly) on the ICT in Havering blog and through email updates (if schools wish to subscribe) and Twitter
  • Updates within the Termly Primary ICT Newsletters and Termly Primary ICT Leader Network Meetings
  • Suggestions of ideas for activities to link Digital Leaders across schools

Links between primary, secondary and other sectors will hopefully be enhanced.

Since the idea was promoted Elm Park Primary have already made an international link with Elm Park School, New Zealand whose leaders are called ‘Digikids’.  A great start to widening our involvement as a borough.

Please contact me to get involved…

I can be contacted at @aknill (Twitter) or knilla@bowerpark.havering.sch.uk

I look forward to hearing from Havering schools.

Best regards,

Andy Knill

Leader of Cross-curricular ICT at Bower Park School, Havering

Listen to Andy presenting at the Essex TeachMeet 2012 by clicking here

Andy Knill