A wonderful example of an IT Class Agreement can be seen on the wall of Year 3. At the beginning of the year the students worked together to create this list of expectations when using an iPad. The agreement is displayed at child height and serves as a reminder of good practice whenever they use the equipment. What a great idea!
This has become an invaluable part of my weekly coaching routine. Setting up appointment slots at the beginning of each week has allowed me to reach out to more staff members and become more accessible for coaching.
Within Google Calendar there is a specific function called Appointment Slots. It allows you to set up availabilities on your personal calendar that people can reserve to meet with you. Appointment slots are quite simple to use once you get into the habit and have proven to be very useful in my role.
To learn more about how to set up Appointment slots please click here.
Once people choose a time slot on your calendar you are notified by email and are given the opportunity to accept or decline the meeting invitation. As a part of my appointment booking instructions, I ask staff to nominate where they would like to meet. I find this opens the door to colleagues being willing to share; often people are more comfortable in their own working space. It also gives me opportunities to see what is happening in different classrooms.
Now that I have been using appointment slots regularly, I have begun to include other events on my personal calendar such as school trips on which I will attend. This helps staff to understand how I use my non appointment slot days and shows my accountability for non teaching time.
Overall the use of appointment slots has greatly improved my Digital Coaching process. The amount of staff initiated contact has significantly increased with more and more staff members approaching me, willing to discuss their IT goals and ideas.
This year we introduced an exciting new opportunity for students in Year 5 and 6 to become Digital Leaders. These students are passionate about IT and applied to be a part of this exciting lunch time club.
The club meets every Tuesday and students have the opportunity to experiment with new technologies and tools, develop skills to teach others and help improve IT at our school.
In the first week of our club, the students worked together to complete a SWOT analysis of how IT is used in our school. They considered the Strengths, Weakness’, Opportunities and Threats and the impact they have on our school. The discussion was very rich and our young leaders had valuable insights into the direction they would like their learning to take. Interestingly the students identified that there needs to be a balance of IT use within school. The children were aware that prolonged screen time can have a negative impact on their daily lives.
One area that the students felt passionately about was learning to code. The students agreed that they would like to see an increase in the teaching of coding at school. In response to their discussions, we decided that participating in Hour of Code would be a great way to kick start the enthusiasm for coding across the Lower School. In the following weeks, the Digital Leaders took action and split into teams to research resources for an Hour of Code week. The students put themselves in the shoes of different aged students and reflected on which resources would be suitable for each year group.
The Digital Leaders and teachers are looking forward to an exciting Hour of Code week early in the new year!
Ever had a “got to share this awesome tool” moment? Well a DEMO SLAM is the perfect place to do so. It’s a relaxed and fun way of sharing IT ideas with colleagues.
Recently in the Lower School we had our first ever Demo Slam between staff. It was action packed with audience volunteers and laughs from the crowd. We had four wonderful staff members who delivered an engaging and useful Demo Slam to staff. It was great to see the audience being so supporting of our four risk taking presenters.
In each Demo Slam we have volunteers called, Demo Slammers, who have submitted their IT tip to the Digital Literacy Coach before the staff meeting. During the DEMO SLAM, there are a few simple rules:
- Each Demo Slammer will have 3 minutes to present their handy IT tip in an engaging way.
- If tech fails or the trick doesn’t work, it’s all good, just laugh it off and we can try again another time. As a staff we support each other, even when things don’t work.
- At the end of the demos, the audience will vote for their favourite one. The winner gains the crown of Demo Slam King or Queen!
Inspired by Google Demo Slams
Transition from ICT Coordinator to Digital Literacy Coach.
In September 2015 I was lucky enough to begin a new role at my PYP school in London. The school was looking to move forward with the use of ICT and wanted to invest more time into Continual Professional Development in this area.
So a Digi Coach I became! I spent the summer looking into relevant research and reading up on coaching techniques. I was conscious that a coaching role should be approached differently to my previous curriculum coordinator role.
A resource that particularly stood out was a multi touch book called Coaching for Digital Literacy (available for free on iTunes). This book is a collaboration of International School Educators and provides practical suggestions and case studies to help equip Digital Literacy Coaches with valuable skills to support others. One point that resonated with me was that wherever possible the focus of coaching should be on student learning, not on teacher expertise.
Once September rolled around, it was time to start coaching. I will admit that it took a little while for the ball to get rolling but once teachers realised that I was there to offer support, the pace started to pick up. Teachers began to approach me with new ideas and were gradually willing to share skills with others.
We are still very new into our Digital Coaching journey but the future is bright! Stayed tuned for more updates!