As we move into 2020, it’s time to have a fresh approach for your school and tech. Why not select a couple of Year 5 students to be Technology Leaders to help you encourage the positive use of technology for, and in, learning.
The benefits of having Technology Leaders
- Encourage a love of tech amongst students
- Tech Leaders can teach their peers, teachers and parents
- Organise events and activities. For example, cyber safety campaigns & coding club
- Complete simple tasks (unboxing devices, cleaning device screens, plugging laptops into chargers)
- Take photos and or create videos for the newsletter, the school’s social media or foyer TV #marketing
We’ve tried this a few times across different schools via different iterations, so here’s our final guide:
- Select six year 5 students. The reason you’re focusing on Year 5 students is for longevity. You’ll get a good 2 years to shape these leaders and #getstuffdone
- Select your Technology Leaders who are hard working, have some tech skills and work well in groups. To make your job easier, select students who you don’t have to ‘manage’ socially as the idea of this group is to #getstuffdone
- Create a logo and team name
- Each term, have a focus in mind. For example, tech skills, cyber safety, tech equipment, the school’s social media. Pick a focus, flesh out the idea with leaders and deliver for the term
- Use Google Classroom to manage workflow, documents and comments Meet weekly during a lunch break. Be smart about this though and ask to have this be one of your yard duties #worksmart
- The lunch meetings should have a clear focus otherwise your 6 Tech Leaders can go quite rogue with their ideas. Use these meetings to discuss and work on ideas. Anything that isn’t finished is homework (hence the need for hard working students)
- Your Tech Leaders should be customer facing – teaching the younger year levels, assisting parents and grandparents with using tech and regularly updating the school community with what they are currently working on
- Allocate them a shared iPad where they take photos of school events and upload into a Google Drive folder for all staff to access (e.g. Footy Day)
This is TechOLOPy from Our Lady of the Pines Primary School Donvale. The TechOLOPy team taught St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Primary School students how to code in Scratch. They offered student workshops with varying coding abilities.
Starting A Student Led ICT Club
Written by Student Guest Writer – Mohan
Hi fellow students,
Starting a student led ICT club can be tricky as you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. How many kids will show up? Will they listen? What will they be interested in? Hopefully, this article will show you that it’s not scary and inspire you to have a go. I will show you all the mistakes in ‘Mohan’s Tips’ to help you make your own club successful. And always remember, make sure everyone has fun!
Make sure you have a teacher present and select a time that suits everyone (especially the teacher).
I chose a time and ours was Wednesday lunchtime as it suited everyone. Our club ran for 40 minutes. To ensure teachers are able to supervise, you might think about having a rotating roster for teachers. Here’s an example below:
Mohan’s Tip #1 To run a successful ICT club, you will need at least half an hour for grades three and up. For lower grades, you will need at least twenty minutes.
Talk to classes to spread the word and find out how many people are interested.
You need to start talking to different classes about what’s happening, and maybe stick up a poster or two in classrooms and around the school. Try using something engaging to hook in your fellow students, like posters and flyers made with Lucidpress or slideshows with Slides Carnival.
Mohan’s Tip #2 Ask the classroom teachers if you can visit and give their students a description about what your ICT club is about.
Plan your Lessons, especially your first.
Start off with something engaging. By this point, you’ll probably know the number of people who are attending and the resources you will need. For example, you may need to access Chromebooks and iPads. Remember to have them handy.
You may want to start with something fun like a warm up game of Kahoot then move onto the main activity. You can also change things up a little with letting students play a few games or just code within a group of friends. Closer to the end, tell them when the club will be next on and wrap up before you’re meant to go.
Mohan’s Tip #3 For younger students, when giving them instructions for the session, make sure they are sitting on the floor and DO NOT have devices in their hands. Because younger students tend not to listen when you explain what you are doing in a session, especially if the iPad is in their hands! And it’s not their fault, it’s yours.
Going further – Introduce a greater variety of games, topics & activities. Invite other year levels or even make big projects.
The 3/4’s in Terms 1 & 2 focused on something different each time. That is, a different activity each week. We were also learning as we went. We found out that we needed about 15 minutes to explain it twice and then 25 minutes to do the task right up to the bell.
Mohan’s Tip #4 Create a Google Site to write about what each session will be focusing on. Also include details about the club and good websites/books to go to to get some help. Here’s our website.
When we were focusing on something each week, we use a Google site to write what we are doing. We were also able to write a few extra things, including details about the club and good websites/books to go to to get some help. These activities ranged from WeVideo to code.org.
With the grade 3/4’s in Term 3 (their last term), we used green screens to make their own movie (and maybe a cool trailer). The students made their own storyboards, chose their backdrops and wrote their own scripts in groups of 5. The students were very passionate about this big project, and always requested more time. This was very successful.
Mohan’s Tip #5 Make sure your time management is perfect with these bigger projects. If you need the last two lessons to film & edit, make sure you have that time ready.
Ask the teacher and your fellow students how you’re going.
Ask your teachers for feedback about how your club is going. Act on their feedback, as after all, they are professionals in teaching.
So why wait… hopefully this article has inspired you to have a go and give you a head start with your club.