Next Wednesday and Thursday, over 400 of the world’s leading experts on online safety gather here in Washington, DC for the Family Online Safety Institute 2013 Annual Conference. It’s going to be quite a show.
This year the theme is Connect · Share · Empower and we will explore the extraordinary range of issues, challenges and opportunities our new digital world offers to us and our kids.
Obviously we believe that to connect with others is a good thing. Except when it’s not. So we will look at the need to switch off, to take a break – like a digital sabbath – and how best to model a balanced digital life to our kids.
One of the first things we teach our kids is to share, and sharing on social networks, texts, tweets and timelines is also a good thing. But we also need to recognize when we are over sharing and when best to withhold information or photos or comments or all of the above.
And we need to focus our efforts on empowering others to make informed choices about what they access and post and how they conduct themselves online. To give our kids and parents and teachers the tools they need to build a strong sense of digital citizenship. To demand our online rights while accepting our digital responsibilities. To be an upstander rather than a bystander to bullying, abusive behavior or racist remarks.
If you aren’t able to join us (there are a few seats left!) then follow us on Twitter using #fosi2013. Later, we will post video, photos and reports from the conference at www.fosi.org/fosi-events/annual-conference-2013.html. And, by the end of next week, we’ll begin the planning for FOSI 2014. We hope to see you there!
Cover image courtesy of Flickr.