Pupils as Digital Leaders

Pupils as digital leaders, student tech-team, Genius Bar, Digital Ninjas – whatever they’re called, they are the learners supporting peers in the use of digital technologies in learning.

With the ever-changing nature of technologies some teachers can feel they know a little about a lot of online tools and software but have been heard to say some pupils can sometimes have more in-depth knowledge about some ICT tools which the pupil uses on a regular basis than they do. Wouldn’t it be good to make use of these skills so that pupils with specific skills can support their peers?

Enter the Digital Leader Network. This national pupil digital leader network provides a model for giving pupils with ICT skills the opportunity to support peers across the school.

Not only does this provide a platform for pupils with specific ICT skills to share that knowledge with their peers, but that responsibility develops pupil interaction and leadership skills. And of course it can provide support in the classroom for pupils who need some help with an ICT tool to have go-to people other than the teacher.

So what are Digital Leaders?

STBVPSDigital Leaders – VPS and StB – a PowerPoint presentation about pupils as Digital leaders at St Bernadette’s RC Primary School and Victoria Primary School, both in Falkirk Council. Pupils from these two schools have presented to other schools to share their experience of how they started with Digital Leaders, what they have already done, and what they are planning to do to develop the use of digital technologies in their schools.

Here’s pupils in Quinn’s Beach Primary School talking about their pupil Digital Leaders (which they call their HOTT – Helping Others with Technology Team):



Here’s a video by Claire Waite (@mrswaite), deputy head and IT coordinator of a primary school in Berkshire, talking about her Digital Leaders in Primary School



Getting started

Here’s some resources which provide helpful guides to getting started engaging with pupils to recruit digital leaders and provide an online space for pupils to record their progress and learn from other pupil digital leaders elsewhere in an environment designed for education: https://www.makewav.es/digitalleaders (use Makewaves for free by entering the promotional code “Digital leader Network” when signing up).

Click here for the Rising Stars Startup guide to Digital leaders

Click here for the Digital Learning Network Primary-specific startup guides to Digital Leaders – with links to video and forms etc. and for links to additional resources: http://www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk/useful-links/

Watch the video below about the Digital Leader network presented by Shelli Blackburn (@SheliBB) who created the online space for the Digital Leader Network http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaRIlSAQHwo:

Click here for Information sheets describing Digital leaders, put together by Chris Sharples for Josie Fraser and Leicester City Council’s School Leadership Briefing Series. This provides a series of links to a host of resources related to Digital Leaders, the content of each link lso being described.

Here’s a template which you can copy into your Microsoft Forms to share with prospective Digital Leaders in your school (an Office 365 for Education account, such as all Glow users have, is required for this to copy to your Microsoft Forms Click here for the template to copy

Examples of Digital Leaders in Falkirk schools

Click on the links below to find out a little about Digital Leaders in St Bernadette’s RC Primary School in Falkirk Council https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/CurriculumSupport/2015/01/30/pupils-as-digital-leaders-at-st-bernadettes-rc-primary-school/ and https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/glowgallery/2015/06/19/digital-leaders-and-glow-tools-at-st-bernadettes-rc-primary/

Victoria Primary School Digital Leaders – this Falkirk primary school have their own Twitter account for their pupil Digital Leaders https://twitter.com/DigiLeadersVPS and here’s a video by them talking about what they have done and what they hope to do

Click on this link to view the PowerPoint presentation about the development of Digital Leaders in both St Bernadette’s RC Primary School and Victoria Primary School, Falkirk Council.

Pupil Digital Leaders, along with their teachers, from many Falkirk schools took part in a face-to-face session in January 2017 which is described in the Sway presentation below (and where you can see the Sway presentations each group also made and shared there) as this format could be used and adapted for use in schools or between schools.

Pupil Digital leaders from many Falkirk schools gathered together in the summer term 2017 and in groups created some short how-to videos about the use of digital tools they used in their schools. You can view these videos in the Sway presentation below

You can also view in the Sway below the outline of the session with how-to guides to what was done in the summer 2017 session for Falkirk pupil Digital Leaders – this included the description of making the how-to videos, using Yammer, using Microsoft Forms to create choose-your-own-adventure stories

#DigiDoIT was an event for pupil Digital Leaders in November 2017 where the pupil Digital Leaders from many Falkirk schools gathered together and worked through using tools including the greenscreen app from DoInk, Yammer for creative collaborative story writing, using picture-in-picture feature in the iPad movie-creating app iMovie, and creating and using QR codes for engaging learning activities. View the Sway below for how-to guides as well as examples of what the pupil Digital Leaders created and shared.

#DigiDoITAgain was an event for pupil Digital Leaders in February 2018 where the pupil Digital Leaders from many Falkirk schools gathered together and worked through using tools including multi-user real-time collaborative PowerPoint Online; 3D creation apps/sites to create a video walkthrough using the iPad iOS screen recording feature; and programmable floor devices and flying drones.

#DigiDoITAgain November 2018 was an event for pupil Digital Leaders where the pupil Digital Leaders from many Falkirk schools gathered together and worked through using tools including using the commenting feature of WordPress blogging platform through Glow; augmented reality including the use of the Merge Cube with the iPad; Apple Clips for creating how-to guide videos with an iPad; and using the Magic Move feature of Apple Keynote app on an iPad to create animations.

#DigiDoIT November 2019

Click here for the Sway describing the activities at the #DigiDoIT November 2019 session for pupil Digital Leaders from Falkirk schools

Tweets about Pupil Digital Leaders in Falkirk Schools

Browse through the tweets shared about pupil Digital Leaders in Falkirk schools below (or by clicking on this link).


  1. Anne Patterson says:

    Sounds really interesting – I am going to look at setting up a program here. Any other secondary schools in Falkirk doing this?

  2. Malcolm Wilson says:

    Thanks for the comment Anne. I’m aware that a few other Falkirk schools have pupils who act as peer mentors to support digital technologies or for a specific focus such as e-safety. They don’t all use the term Digital Leaders though.

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