Register here.

The Jesuit Institute has partnered with the Catholic Institute of Education (CIE) to host a seminar on Digital Pathfinding. Both the Institute and CIE have heard, in their respective spheres, that many schools and parents are struggling to keep up with the pace at which online life is effecting more and more young people. The common response we hear is: “we just don’t know what to do about this phenomenon”.

Talking at the opening of the Child Dignity Conference in Rome in October 2017, Baroness Joanna Shields, the first UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security, asked the question: “Years from now, when history writes the chapter entitled ‘the digital age’, will it celebrate the immense benefits that technology has delivered and the great human progress that followed? Or, will it be a requiem of regret for childhood lost?”

She went on to say “As it stands today my fear is that history will judge us harshly unless we act now. The next generations will rightly ask why we didn’t do more. Why we didn’t act decisively. Why we waited so long before coming together to find solutions. But this is not a time to despair. We have within our grasp the opportunity to shape the future and we must act.”

It has become clear that scare-tactics are not working, and many young people are taking risks on social media, risks that could be dangerous. But social media is also changing the way that young people interact, live and think. Our approach is not one that simply speaks about the dangers of social media. We believe that while this has some part to play in the formation of young people, what we really need is to be able to help young people live with integrity in the digital world. We believe that, together, we have to work on “digital pathfinding” as technology continues to change and mould our world. The digital world is here to stay, how can we form young people to live authentic lives in the digital space? How do we help young people, in age-appropriate ways, to live with integrity in the digital world?

This seminar is initially aimed at educators – but anyone is welcome to attend. We have found, in our work, that educators struggle most to navigate this complex new world with young people. We hope that this seminar will equip schools with some additional strategies on how to deal with the many challenges that they encounter.

Some Catholic Schools in the USA are already attempting to minimize screen time – as spotlight.africa reports.

The seminar takes place 13-14 September 2018 at the Sierra Hotel in Randburg. A number of issues will be discussed and a wide range of professionals will offer inputs on these and other topics: child psychology and what studies are showing about screen time and online bullying, current South African law, law enforcement, digital policy development, what online software developers can do to help and a peer-to-peer programme will be made available. There will be time for interaction and conversation on issues such as best practices.

The seminar is relevant for all teachers (not just IT teachers), principals and SMTs, parents, therapists, school lawyers, school board members and anyone else interested in safeguarding children.

To register for the conference, click here.

Bookings and payments for accommodation can be made directly with the hotel (Sierra Hotel in Randburg).

For further information contact Kelsay Corrêa (Communications Manager) at CIE. Office 011 433 1888 ext 108 and Website www.cie.org.za

Please return to this page as we will soon update this and provide you with additional information.