12 months ago I wrote a post about the ‘Infant Tech Leader’ program I initiated – See here for a re-cap. I thought it was time to reflect on how the program has gone so far and what developments have been made.
There was never any doubt that this leadership program was going to work, when you put young enthusiastic people with technology, you have a recipe for excitement and engagement. The past year went well, the children engaged in their role, they learnt new skills and were buzzing with excitement, however, I felt with a little more structure, it could be done even better.
If you are thinking about setting up Tech leaders in an infant school, here a few tips and ideas to get started and to make it successful:
1. Target children who are ready to be risk-takers, they may not initially stand out as your ‘geeky’ student but a risk-taker will give anything a go.
2. Have the children initiate and be part of the development of their role description. They will have a better understanding of the expectations and the role will be authentic to them. At my school, the Learner Profile plays a big part in daily activities, so we also discussed how the different elements of the profile fit into the tech leaders role. Take a look at what our tech leaders came up with
3. Allow the children to have a ‘voice’. Ask them what they would like to learn about and what they feel their classmates need to know a little more about. They will be genuine and the skills they are taught and teaching about will be relevant to the now. Some examples of what my students cam up with are: How to know what information is needed on websites when researching, How to use iMovie, navigating a program menu or searching for apps on the iPad, drawing applications and how to present information e.g. powerpoint use. I’d like to also take them through the use of Google Education Apps.
4. Meet regularly, but not so regularly that they feel they are missing out on time with their friends. We meet one lunchtime every second week. They are enthusiastic when they arrive and actually ask me when the next time will be.
5. Give them a badge. They are leaders after all, and it’s important the rest of the school can acknowledge that. We have even gone as far as creating a leadership notice board for them. We have placed their photos up so everyone knows exactly who to turn to for support with tech.
6. Involve the parents. I send a letter home giving a brief outline of what we will be doing Tech Leaders letter 2014-2015
7. Give them a task/ message to take back to class. This way they have an opportunity to share their skills and knowledge.
8. Have fun, because that’s what leadership is all about…isn’t it?
So look to the younger members of your school to lead, you won’t regret it!