Inspiring The Younger Generation: Welcome to the 2015 Student Digital Leader Team

By JASON BROWN, Wednesday 17th December 2014, 21:57 PM

As regular readers of this blog will be very aware, we are very much into ‘student lead’ projects at Wymondham High. Over the past year we’ve had students such as myself, 15 year old Nick McGee and 18 year old Harry Traynor working with the IT team over the summer holidays to update the school’s infrastructure, install new IT suites and turn the school into a Windows 8.1 and Office 365 haven in the space of six weeks. We also introduced the first Student Digital Leaders in late 2013/early 2014. These are a group of younger students, typically aged between 11 and 13 who also work alongside the IT team and the O Team members on projects such as flying Raspberry-Pi cameras and helping out at events showing off the IT capabilities of Wymondham High Academy.

Over the past year the 2013/14 Student Digital Leaders have made students in the school aware of the amazing possibilities that being a Microsoft IT Academy brings (you can learn all about what Wymondham High can offer by reading my articles here and here) and as a result student interest in IT at school has exploded over the past year. You can read all about the interview process for the 2015 Student Digital Leaders here which I summed up quite nicely as ‘the two ends of the school working together’ (referring to some of the youngest students in the school working with some of the oldest). As I wrote in that article, we were simply overwhelmed with responses from new Year 7 intakes who wanted to become Student Digital Leaders. We were extremely impressed by the response and we feel very privileged to be working with a such great team of enthusiastic, keen students with a passion for technology.

We officially appointed these Digital Leaders on Friday 12th December in a lunchtime meeting. I delivered a Sway presentation that I had prepared outlining the course, which you can see here if you are interested.

So without further ado, I am delighted to introduce the 2015 Student Digital Leader Team!

The 2015 Student Digital Leader Team. Excuse the Christmas jumpers - it was all for charity (honestly!)
The 2015 Student Digital Leader Team. Excuse the Christmas jumpers – it was all for charity (honestly!)

From left to right along the bottom we have:

Tyler Smith (Year 7) – Tyler is a keen user of Yammer and uses it to communicate and collaborate with his friends and work colleagues. He is a keen musician and has some produced some great music using technology.

Lewis Cromack (Year 8) – Lewis was one of the founding Student Digital Leaders appointed last year and is staying on the team for 2015. He is also a keen user of Yammer and Office 365 and has represented Wymondham High Academy on both local and international-scales in Worldwide K-12 YamJams and also at the WyConf 2014 Teacher Training Event in June 2014.

Elliot Joyce (Year 7) – Elliot is a technology enthusiast and has been attending the after-school Tuesday IT Club that we run each week. He is extremely enthusiastic and a great buzz about him!

Toby Petitt (Year 7) – Toby is also a member of our Tuesday IT Club and has been interested in technology for most of his life.

Savina Ghunowa (Year 7) – Savina was recommended to me personally by her IT Teacher, Mr Howard, to be a member of the 2015 Student Digital Leader Team. Savina is passionate about technology is looking forward to working on IT projects.

From left to right along the top we have:

Alfie Dalton (Year 7) – Alfie is a confident user of technology and will make a great asset to the Student Digital Leader Team.

Ollie Frary (Year 8) – Like Lewis, Ollie is a founding member of the Student Digital Leader Team. He has also represented Wymondham High’s use of technology on an international and local scale.

– That’s me in the centre – Year 12 AS Student and O Team member who is head over heels in love with technology and dreams of a career at Microsoft who is going to be leading the 2015 Student Digital Leader Team alongisde Year 10 student Jenny Andrews (not pictured).

Nia Preston (Year 9) – Nia is going to be a valuable asset to the 2015 Student Digital Leader Team. She is completing her GCSE Computing qualification and has a fantastic understanding of computer programming in languages such as Python and a keen interest in learning other languages such as C#.

Tom Evans (Year 9) – Tom is also going to be a valuable asset to the team. His knowledge of Office 365 and IT is strong and will certainly continue to grow!

In addition to the above we also have (not pictured):

Toby Dunn (Year 8) – Toby was one of the founding Student Digital Leaders. His Office 365 skills have really shown over the past year and we are delighted to have him on the team again.

Will Singleton (Year 8) – Will was also a founding member and uses his Office 365 skills and knowledge to sell the product around the school.

Jenny Andrews (Year 10) – Jenny is my co-leader and will also bring an enthusiastic buzz to the Student Digital Leader Team.

So there’s our 2015 Student Digital Leader Team. I am really looking forward to working with these enthusiastic students and really seeing their skills develop. They will be working as Student Digital Leaders from January to October 2015 and when they will have to reapply and we will be appointing new Year 7s once again.

Seeing the two ends of the school working together is absolutely fantastic and shows great unity. I’ve already made good friends with the Digital Leaders who talk to me on Yammer and even ask me for computer help. It’s relationships like this that allow an 11 year old Year 7 student to communicate a 17 year old Year 12 student and this is what makes the team work. It’s incredible to think that I can’t remember a time in my life without broadband, Windows XP and a mouse, yet these students probably can’t remember a time before smartphones and tablets. I feel that I can learn as much from them as they can learn from me, and this is the mentality that keeps us spinning.

The first Student Digital Leader meeting will take place at lunch time on Friday 9th January 2015. From there, there will be a meeting every other Friday at lunch time where we discuss Student Digital projects (some of which are outlined in the Sway presentation).

I've used this photo many times before, but I'll use it again because it encapsulates perfectly what the Student Digital Leader Program is all about: all ends of the school working together - Year 7 students, A level students and teachers - for technological achievement at Wymondham High Academy.
I’ve used this photo many times before, but I’ll use it again because it encapsulates perfectly what the Student Digital Leader Program is all about: all ends of the school working together – Year 7 students, A level students and teachers – for technological achievement at Wymondham High Academy.

Be sure to follow the Wymondham High O Team on Twitter for regular Wymondham High IT updates: @WyHighOTeam

The O Team also has a YouTube Channel with several Office 365 tutorial videos for students at Wymondham High Academy.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter so you can read all about my amazing life(!):@JasonBrown2K13

Also be sure to follow Kevin Sait’s Twitter for Microsoft Educational updates and updates on IT in the classroom at Wymondham High: @kevin_sait

Last updated: Wednesday December 17th 2014, 22:06 PM

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