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Digital Leader's (Part 2): Recruiting your new team!

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This is my second post on the subject of Digital Leader's and follows on from this one here where I outlined the rationale behind setting up a school Digital Leader system and how we went about setting up a successful Digital Leader system at Our Lady's. The purpose of this post is to explain how we've now recruited a new team for next year and to highlight some of the changes that we've made to the application process and roles for next year.

At the start of this half term, we began to plan for next year by discussing how we could make the Digital Leader system even better. During Digital Leader club myself and the current Digital Leader's all agreed that the process for applying for next year could be improved. For next years applicants, we agreed that the process should be more rigorous and reflect the same kind of system as when applying for a job in the 'real world.' We decided that we would create an application form for children to apply and we would then choose candidates for interview. We all agreed on what the application form questions should be and then one of the Digital Leaders created this form using Google Forms. Once finished, I then embedded this on our Digital Leader blog and we promoted this through assemblies, posters displayed around school and advertising through our main school blog and Twitter feed.

We also agreed that another way to make the system better next year, would be if each Digital Leader had a clearly defined role. We talked about some of the areas that would be beneficial to focus on next year and eventually came up with the following specific job roles;

  1. Social media coordinator - responsible for collecting information, photos and videos to tweet about and ensuring that the school blog is kept up to date. Also responsible for helping me with tweeting links to blog posts that have been made.
  2. E-safety leader -  responsible for writing an action plan of how we can improve awareness of e-safety across school and having specific responsibility for preparing presentations and workshops for pupils and parents. Also responsible for designing surveys/forms to embed on the school blog and assisting me with reviewing the 360 degree safe e-safety review tool.
  3. Code Club blogger - responsible for setting up and managing a new Code Club blog. Ideally a current Code club member or Computer Science/coding enthusiast with good writing and presentation skills and previous experience of setting up and writing their own blogs.
  4. Digital Leader blogger - responsible for managing and improving the Digital Leader blog, promoting it and looking at ways of creating links with other schools (possibly through Quadblogging).
  5. Club coordinator - responsible for running a regular dinner time club and organising and promoting regular 'Kidsmeet' sessions.
  6. iPad leader - responsible for maintaining the school iPads (e.g. by organising apps and clearing photos and videos from the camera role at the end of each half term). Also responsible for training up staff with using the iPads to enhance teaching and learning.

Whilst waiting for pupils to apply, we spent time during Digital Leader club planning the interview day. We agreed on a list of 8 questions (building on from those that were on the application form) and each one chose a question to ask on the interview day.

Once the application deadline had passed, we then spent a session looking at all the applications. We eventually choose the ten best one's for interview. Each Digital Leader chose a candidate and designed an invitation which they then gave to them.

On the interview day itself we timetabled each interviewee with a specific time slot and I discussed with the current Digital Leader's beforehand the basics of conducting a successful interview. I was really impressed with how they all took on board the advice they were given and they were careful to conduct the interviews in a professional but friendly and sympathetic way. The took the process really seriously; each one making detailed notes about each child and assigning them an overall mark out of 10!

Later on, during Digital Leader club, we compared notes and scores and eventually agreed on the final six. We were keen to ensure that those that hadn't been selected didn't take the news too badly, so each current Digital Leader typed up a personalised note for each child that had been interviewed. Within it they sensitively informed them if they had been chosen or not and thanked them for their time. These were then printed out and given to each child that had taken part. The new Digital Leader's that have been selected will be unveiled during assembly tomorrow!

Overall, I feel that the process of recruiting the new Digital Leader team this year was much more successful. Both the current Digital Leader's and those selected for interview gained so much from the experience and I'm really looking forward to getting started with them in September.

If you would like help or support with setting up a successful Digital Leader system in your school, please don't hesitate to get in touch here.

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