Inspired by our 'From the Classroom to the Boardroom' panel last year during our 4th Annual #DigCitSummit, we connected panelists on stage at Webster University with virtual panelists around the world. The panelists talked about corporate social responsibility, media literacy, global education, parenting in the digital age, emerging technologies, and social emotional learning with both a live and virtual audience. It was at that moment, we knew we wanted to host our 5th Annual #DigCitSummit online during #DigCitWeek, so we could continue to connect and learn with our global community.
.In partnership with EduMatch, we will host our online #DigCitSummit during the week of October 14 - 18th. Each day we will (1) connect classrooms, (2) share #DigCitIMPACT talks, and (3) host Tweet & Talk panels.
Classroom Connections Around the World
Classrooms around the world will teach other classrooms how they put digital citizenship into action in their PK-12 classrooms and beyond. Wednesday, October 16th will feature all Spanish speaking classrooms with our partners EduKtech in Mexico and iWomanish in Spain.
We will connect classrooms 3 hours each day. Each day we have changed the start time by an hour to accommodate time zones. Presenting classrooms should plan to challenge other classrooms to do digital citizenship. The entire week will be full of connections, ideas, projects, and a call to action. Be sure to use and follow #DigCitSummit fo updates.
If you are interested in learning with us, register today. We are currently looking for classrooms to present. All you need to participate is a computer, laptop or device and Wi-Fi. An added bonus would be speakers to amplify voices and a screen to display, but these items are not necessary. We will be sending links to join the livestream each day.
Each day we'll also share #DigCitIMPACT talks which are 7 minute prerecorded stories about making an IMPACT in local, global, and digital communities. On Wednesday, October 16th all #DigCitIMPACT talks will be in Spanish. Interested in sharing your #DigCitIMPACT? Sign up today.
Tweet & Talk Panel with EduMatch
Join EduMatch for Tweet & Talk panels each night at 7 pm EST. We are assembling a diverse group of panelists and topics to discuss daily during our #DigCitSummit offerings. On Wednesday, October 16th our Tweet & Talk panel will be in Spanish.
We are looking forward to learning with you during #DigCitWeek!
As we think about the new school year, we know that our students need more positive examples of what digital citizenship looks like in action. We invite you to join us as we highlight online champions this school year using the #DigCitChampion hashtag.
Our students are counting on us.
Be a #DigCitChampion at a #DigCitSummit
Join us for one of our upcoming Digital Citizenship Summits.
Our focus on a school community, working and learning together, is exactly how you can be a #DigCitChampion at school, home, and work.
#DigCitChampion #DigCitSummit #DigCitCommunity #DigCitIMPACT #DigCitAroundTheWorld
Wherever you are in the world; if you’re a parent, you have similar hopes and fears..
All parents work hard to create loving, positive and healthy environments for their kids to grow up in. But, as parents, there just seems to be so much that is out of our control:
Money, politics, culture, trends (both social and cultural). They’re all things that happen outside of our immediate ability to influence them; and it’s what makes being a parent at times simultaneously wondrous, hilarious and terrifying!
But here’s the thing. There’s absolutely no reason why technology and the internet should add to parents’ worries.
And even better: it’s so simple.
Here are the 3 things that some of our favorite global DigCit Leaders (and DigCit Summit organizers) believe you can do as a parent to foster a positive family environment, where technology enables learning, fun, and being together:
1. Get informed
Dr. Olurinola Oluwakemi is an EduTech Consultant in Nigeria, and spoke at the DigCit Summit Cameroon last year.
Tola Olayefun, who provides much of the energy behind the DigCit movement in Africa, and organized the first DigCit Summit in Nigeria, agrees:
Maria Zabala Pino is a leading thinker in EdTech, parent expert, and organizer of the second DigCit Summit in Spain:
Ben Cogswell, award winning educator from California and organizer of the upcoming DigCitSummit California agrees that it’s about being informed, but also optimistic about what tech can do for our kids, if we know how to use it properly:
2. Be a role model
Kemi: “Our kids learn most by the example we set before them. We, as parents need to model what good digital citizenship looks like for our children. They learn more by what we do more than what we say. These can be done by spending time online together to teach them appropriate online behavior. Keep the computer in a common area where it can be easily monitored. Bookmarking favorite sites for easy access to the children. Create a safe and open environment for children to share freely and take seriously whatever reports made by them.”
Tola agrees and wants to see parents, “become full role models regarding responsible and appropriate use of technology and the internet.”
Ben sees parents’ role as modeling positive behaviors and providing practical guidance for when kids are ready to enter the digital world themselves: “I think that before we just hand kids a phone, we need to have lots of conversations about it. Just like kids have a learner permit before they can drive we need to help them learn how to use it safely, productively, while staying healthy.”
3. Do it together
Ben: “I think a key is taking time to do it TOGETHER. You can explore fun filters and photography, and discuss self image. Take some time to learn something new on Youtube. Play a game together and then have a conversation about it after.“
Maria: “I love when I see families talking about what they do, enjoy, fear, dislike, prefer or hate in their digital lives. I think it’s extremely important to normalize technology, make it part of family life through shared moments, shared conversations and shared learning.”
So, it’s simple. By taking the time to inform themselves, by modeling the behaviors they want to see adopted, and using tech together, parents have it within their power to make the most of the digital world.
As we explore in our DigCitKids book, we believe that it doesn’t matter where you live or what language you speak, we are all in this together. And as all our partners’ contributions show; parenting has the same joys and challenges all over the world!
By getting involved and sharing kids’ experiences online, parents can make sure that digital citizenship isn’t just something that is done at school. It happens at work, and at home. And it’s helping to create a more positive, connected and connected world for all.
As educators and community leaders, we’re passionate about involvement.
We’re proactive at including everybody in creating a more connected, healthier and happier world, but we know that inequality still permeates our global community, across our world and our society.
So, what can we do? How can we leverage technology and our digital connections to break down the societal divides that exist? How can we bring opportunities close to people in our global communities?
Lucky for us, some of our favorite global digital citizenship enthusiasts have some ideas for us:
Proactive government and institutions
The 4th Annual DigCitSummit focused on how digital citizenship is everyone’s responsibility. The “From the Classroom to the Boardroom” theme was a reminder that digital citizenship isn’t just what students do in school, but what we all must at home and at work. This was reinforced by Joanne Sweeney, founder of the Digital Training Institute in Ireland, when she shared her work with governments, international political organizations, national health services, police forces, and media companies on “digital transformation.” This leads us to the recurring theme of proactive governments and institutions - our interviewees had some amazing things to say:
Tola Olayefun, the founder of Resources in Flow, provides much of the energy behind the digital citizenship movement in Africa, and organized the first DigCitSummit in Nigeria believes government intervention is a requirement for ensuring wider access to the web:
Echoing these thoughts, Maria Zabala Pino, a leading thinker in EdTech, a parent expert, and organizer behind DigCitSummit Spain shares:
Ben Cogswell, award winning educator from California and organizer of the upcoming DigCitSummit California added a suggestion for radical governmental action:
Concluding thoughts shared by Eugenia Tamez, a digital citizenship and educational technology consultant, and the organizer who brought the DigCitSummit to Mexico highlight the importance government and educational institutions play:
2. Changing the narrative
At the Digital Citizenship Institute we are committed to changing the narrative, so when our global community shared their thoughts with us on this topic, it immediately hit home of all of us!
David Pollard an educator from Ireland, the organizer for the DigSummit in Ireland, and a leader in helping people to build EdTech Start-Ups, and someone with a real passion for inclusion and accessibility in the digital world:
Maria: “At least in my country, accessibility and inclusion is still a minor topic. It’s so much easier, when speaking about people and their use of technology, to focus on dangers, mistakes and concerns about what happens in the general group of people who have an easy access to digital tools… There are strong initiatives working on enhancing access to people who don’t have it, but political-social agendas keep focusing on what to do avoid problems among people who already have the access. This should change, including both topics.”
Dr. Olurinola Oluwakemi (Kemi), an EdTech consultant in Nigeria who recently spoke at the DigCitSummit Cameroon last year and will be speaking at DigCitSummit Kenya in October shared:
3. Respect and positivity
A pattern emerged during this process - a pattern highlighting the importance of positivity and respect - no matter where you are or what language you may speak. These values transcend all boundaries for us. As our DigCitCommunity Mindset demonstrates, digital citizenship is about human connections on and offline - so we can see the inherent value in the human being we’re interacting with. This is what our DigCitCommunity had to say about it:
Eugenia: “Being empathetic, we need to understand the other person´s perspective, to make a change. Being kind, to create ripples of good, in the real and online world.”
Kemi: “Creating an environment that works for everyone, ensuring involvement of everyone in creating this environment. Defining goals on appropriate and ethical use of technology. Be an advocate, friend, protector, and let them know that we are in this together.”
Ben: “Just make sure that we do our best to stay positive. Reach out to people of difference, and respect others. Don't be a troll. Leave a positive presence in the place you visit.”
Maria: “Respect would be a number 1 behavior [change] for me. Only if we forget about prejudice and respect what others think can we really make a better society, digital or otherwise. We tend to have an opinion and make it final, but there are many issues and actions that could make us better. There are practical ways to improve access or to make the web more inclusive, but these practical initiatives would lead nowhere if we don’t understand that, once we all use technology, respect for the difference is key. Fighting crime or hate is a different issue, freedom of speech is yet to be wholly defined when it comes to having a voice online, but respect is fundamental and still quite scarce.”
So it’s simple: governmental action, proactive community leadership and acting with kindness and positivity will be the principles we need to make the web a more inclusive place.
Our challenges are significant. But so is our passion. And with a global community working together and supporting each, we know we can make a difference.
Now we turn to our global community to lend their thoughts, voices, and actions to the inclusive digital world we want to create. How will you take these action steps and put them into play? What can you take with you today and implement in your home, school, or community? Be the digital change you wish to see in the world!