Digital linking can be one way of enhancing the linking experience for children by creating additional, joyful interaction between link classes. Over the last term, we have been trialling out different ways that digital links could occur- here is a bit of a roundup of our favourites!
This may sound like an obvious one, but photographs can make for an excellent digital exchange. For schools that have class visits coming up soon, why not take photographs or video clips of places in each school that will be used during the visit? We know this is good practice for children with anxiety or autism but this is helpful for most of us to have a sense of where we are going including visiting teachers. An example of a video a Bolton teacher made with her linking class is here
Exploration of the question- Where do we live? could include taking photographs of key places in the local area that children like to visit. These photographs could be shared with link classes, prompting discussion on similarities and differences between the locality of each linking school. If time allows, videos also make for a fantastic exchange. Ideas include- sending across Curiosity Questions, making a video tour of your school to send to your link class or why not use Green Screen to create videos to share?! The talented digital leaders at St Joseph’s Catholic School, Keighley have made an impressive guide on how to use green screen and their video guide can be found here https://thelinkingnetwork.org.uk/resource/how-to-green-screen/
Video calls, whether using Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime, Zoom (whichever your systems permit) can be a really exciting way for children to interact between face to face meetings. Activities teachers have used include a voting game- (see the photograph below of the game in action), playing charades, singing a shared song, discussing big ideas and a shared story time together at the end of the day.
Book Creator is another creative way for schools to keep in touch. This handy, user friendly app can be used to create a digital book, which can be shared between classes. Children we have worked with have found the app really easy to use. We have a new digital linking area on our website which can be found here https://thelinkingnetwork.org.uk/resources/digital-linking-2/ with a wide and growing range of ideas and resources being created by the network.
Digital Linking Top Tips:
- If you want to run a video call between classes:
- Decide on which teacher will run the session
- Decide on the method of video calling that works best for you and your link teacher (e.g. Facetime, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom)
- Test the connection and that your technology works in advance
If you are asking Curiosity Questions, collating and practising saying these in class before the video call may be useful
- If you’re wanting to share a quick, easy to make video to share with your link class this works well – the app Boomerang is fun for this.
- In all of this work schools work within their own safeguarding and GDPR policies.
- For more information see our training video https://thelinkingnetwork.org.uk/resource/digital-linking/