Keep up to date with all that is happening in the Highlands, or use the #ThisIsHighland on Twitter.

Raigmore Primary School - Google Reference School

With many schools well under way with the 1-1 Chromebook roll out there have been many examples of great practice. One Inverness school has thrived from the moment they received their devices and their story is really quite incredible.

Raigmore's attitude to Digital Technology was one that allowed the children to be the leaders of their own learning. Upon a successful appointment of Digital Developers 10 children began the journey that would lead the school to dizzying heights and an approach that would be recognised and appreciated by schools all across the country.

Raigmore's hard work and success has now been recognised and labelled as a 'Google Reference School' and the children of the school welcome many visitors, staff and pupils to observe how they learn and how they have embedded Chromebooks into their school life.

This school understands that this is just the beginning of their journey, and one that has engaged children beyond belief. To keep up to date with their story follow them on Twitter @RaigmorePS

Young Digital Leaders

More and more schools have already recruited pupils as Digital Leaders to help drive digital learning forward and we are keen to find out how this is working across Highland Schools.

Schools have incorporated skills for learning, life and work in the recruitment of their Digital Leaders by posting application forms online and inviting children to apply. Applicants have then been invited to interview, a process at a young age that will be memorable and invaluable as they progress through their educational journey and employment.

By giving the children in our school a voice we empower them to drive this exciting change to learning forward. #LearnersLeadingLearning

"Pupils are often leaders in understanding technology and use this to your advantage when exploring the possibilities presented by its use." (Golspie High School)

If any school has created a team of Digital Leaders and would like to share the journey taken so far in terms of how they were recruited and how they have been involved in supporting learning (and teaching), we would love to hear!

We are considering holding a Digital Leader Conference in 2018 to allow pupils to gather together and share their experiences with one another. If any school would like to be involved in this event, please let us know this too!

Check out the link below to see how Falkirk Schools have been using this model effectively.

Tips and Tricks

I was recently asked by a primary head teacher if I could share some quick tips that they could share at an upcoming CAT session with staff. Below are some quick tips I thought teachers may find useful...

  • If you have something on the smartboard and want to carry on doing work on your PC normally you cant because its mirrored. You could hold down the Windows Key (bottom left corner on keyboard) and press the letter P. You can then select to extend your screen which effectively gives you an extra monitor. A lot of staff do this so emails and SEEMiS info doesn’t show up on display to kids.
  • If your staff shared area is hard to find anything on. Instead of you digging through folders each time you could right click on the relevant folder and go to ‘Send to’ and then click on ‘Desktop (create shortcut)’.
  • Instead of you scrolling through your start menu trying to find a program you can click on the start menu and just start typing the name of the program and it will appear.
  • CALL Scotland have a load of posters that you can download for your classroom with IT tips and relevant apps to help with reading, writing, dyslexia etc.
  • I would encourage staff to show videos from YouTube or wherever on the teacher smartboard instead of getting them to watch it as they normally get distracted or spend more time trying to find the relevant video.
  • If you are on a document that you want to print you can push the ‘Ctrl’ key and the letter P as a shortcut. You can also save a document with Ctrl key and press the letter S.
  • Instead of you searching through a PDF, website or document you can push the ‘Ctrl’ key and press F. You will then get a box to type in the word you are searching for.
  • Adobe Spark is a website that works on Chromebooks or normal desktops and allows staff and pupils to create amazing/professional looking posters and social media pictures in such an easy way. You can sign in using your Google account. You can create videos, posts or websites and they are all really simple to do.​

Digital Citizenship & Safety

Google have recently launched a Digital Citizenship/Internet Safety curriculum. ​The Be Internet Awesome site features a game called Interland. The game is set in a virtual world that students navigate by correctly answering questions about Internet safety.

Be Internet Awesome is based on five key concepts for kids:

  • Share with care.
  • Don't fall for fake.
  • Secure your secrets.
  • It's cool to be kind.
  • When in doubt, talk it out.

Helping students be responsible digital citizens.

The Be Internet Awesome curriculum gives educators the tools and methods they need to teach digital safety fundamentals. The materials developed by Google in partnership with iKeepSafe enable educators to bring the most critical teachings—and the excitement of Interland—into the classroom.

Included in the curriculum are lesson plans for the five topics, with activities and worksheets that were designed to complement Interland.

The link to the left gives you full access to all these free resources.