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On 23 January, Bournemouth University will host an international conference that aims to improve how students use technology and interact online. Called the Digital Citizenship Summit UK (DigCitSummitUK), it is a unique conference geared towards safe, savvy, and ethical use of social media and tech.

“Digital Citizenship” is an umbrella term used to describe the expectations of being a digital citizen in regards to ethics, etiquette, rights, and responsibilities. Common topics that are discussed include cyberbullying, empathy online, trolls, security, savvy use of social media, and online reputation. Digital Citizenship Summit UK will feature a diverse range of prominent educational, parenting, and industry leaders, including four American speakers from the inaugural Digital Citizenship Summit held in the United States last October.

Founder and CEO of Digital Training Institute which is based in the NUIG Innovation Centre, Joanne Sweeney-Burke will present alongside her 20-year old daughter Sophie, a 2nd year Accounting student at NUI, Galway. Sophie also works part-time as a Digital Marketing Executive in the family business.

Joanne says, “Sophie and I have been speaking, writing and developing educational resources based on Mike Rabble’s ‘Digital Etiquette’ theme for the past four years. We will share details of our work and outline why we have a passion for digital citizenship. I parented Sophie through the digital revolution and together we set down mutual ground rules on social media and digital technology use – both from a parent and a teens’ perspective.”

Joanne and Sophie will deliver a joint presentation entitled ‘Empowering Generation Z’ while Sophie will also chair a panel debate ‘The Digital Future of Teens’.

Digital Citizenship Summit UK is suited for educators, parents, administrators, students, industry, and organisation leaders. The day will include a various speakers and industry experts including a student panel discussion, Barclays Coding Playground, and ample time to network with others from across the UK, Europe, and the United States that are involved in improving student social media and tech use. The all-day event (9 AM until 5 PM) is free; registration is through DigCitSummit.com.

"This is an international event with speakers coming from Singapore, Ireland, United Kingdom, Spain and five American and will include two student speakers. This is a remarkable testament to the connected educator community and grassroots movement the desire for reform and to impact change, and demonstrates what educators are capable when there is a culture of trust and collaboration” says co-founder Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran, an American educator and recognised digital citizenship leader. “Digital Citizenship Summit UK has been organised by a group of volunteers within 2 months and is shaping up to be an exciting event where people can truly influence the global conversation around social media and tech use.”

William Jenkins, Community Manager connected with Curran on Twitter and after a Skype call saw the value of bringing the Digital Citizenship Summit to the UK.  Jenkins saw an opportunity, “I agreed with everything that Chris van der Kuyl had to say at the Scottish Learning Festival about Raising a Digital Nation, I felt that what van der Kuyl was advocating for was possible, but the #1 priority to realise this was for educators to ‘get social’. I felt an event like this could assist with this and a number of other projects in the UK like Scotland’s Developing the Youth Workforce, Digital Learning Scotland and Keeping Children Safe in Education consultation. Another thing that appealed to me was how diverse and collaborative the first Summit was, where all voices were welcome and heard.”

Student Speakers
The student speakers in the lineup includes:

Timmy Sullivan, Coca-Cola Semifinalist, Educational Activist, Freelance and original digcitsummit student speaker will explore the world of digital branding for students and share how to leverage social media tools.  Curran will also co-present with her nine-year old son on his journey for digital access for all students, everywhere. 

Mother/daughter team of Joanne Sweeney Burke and Sophie Burke from Galway, Ireland. Joanne Sweeney Burke is the Founder and CEO of Digital Training Institute.  She is a published author, TEDx speaker and 2011 finalist on the Apprentice in Ireland.  Sophie Burke is the Digital Marketing Executive at the Digital Training Institute.  She is a second year Accountancy student at NUI Galway and was named one of Ireland’s top youth entrepreneurs in 2014.

To kickoff the excitement for the DigCitSummitUK, EdCamp Global is partnering with DigCitSummitUK to run a “digcitathon” on the 19th of January. The twelve-hour online event will highlight connected students and classrooms practicing action-based digital citizenship throughout the world. Students from every corner of the globe are connecting and collaborating on the best ways to be safe, savvy, and ethical online. The digcitathon will be live on Google Hangout on Air and a video will also be presented at the DigCitSummitUK on the 23rd of January.

The Digital Citizenship Summit UK (DigCitSummitUK) is the first of three international Summits happening in 2016.

For updates, please follow @digcitsummit and the hashtag #DigCitSummitUK on Twitter; you can also sign up for our updates at the official website http://www.digcitsummit.com

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