Learning Opportunity

Overview: Thriving in the Digital World: 4-Part Series For Parents

Registration closes:
Oct 19, 2023 at 5:00 pm MTN
Webinar will be recorded
Facilitator: Janet Bell

This is a multi-day event.

Day 1Sep 07, 2023 (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm MDT)
Day 2Sep 28, 2023 (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm MDT)
Day 3Oct 05, 2023 (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm MDT)
Day 4Oct 19, 2023 (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm MDT)
No Charge
Location: Virtual
Session Code: 24-TI-082
Focus: Curriculum Implementation and Pedagogy Mental Health and Wellness

Target Audience


Also Recommended For

Teachers, Educational Assistants

About this Learning Opportunity

Session 1 - September 7

What does it mean for Kids to “Thrive” in Today’s Digital World?

Our first session lays the foundation for the following sessions by 

introducing the whats and whys of challenges and opportunities within today’s digital world, and what a digital citizen needs to look like in this world (this is the “what”)
summarizing current research findings about the impact of digital interactions on children from preschool to young adulthood (this is the “why”)
presenting an informed and achievable call for action for families as we together shape a journey that focuses on “Maslow before Bloom” (this is the start of the “how”)

Leave today’s session knowing about the digital citizenship components of digital well-being, digital safety, digital literacy, and social responsibility (Edvolve) - all things we can intentionally model ourselves and support our children with mastering themselves, whatever their age, so they can truly be prepared to thrive in the digital world.

In upcoming sessions, we’ll then dive more deeply into these components to explore what the research tells us, discover helpful resources, and put in place practical strategies that can help our children truly thrive in today’s digital world.


Session 2 - September 28

Digital Well-Being - Let’s Help our Kids Experience the Positive Potential of the Digital World 

Concerned that your child might be addicted to their smartphone, maybe even sucked into the dark side of tech, all in all seeming to lack a sense of presence in the "real" world and/or a sense of balance in the digital one? Today's digital citizen is "inclusive, informed, engaged, balanced, and alert" (ISTE) - attributes that align when our hearts and heads are in sync in positive ways, guided by a strong inner compass that keeps distractions and aberrant behaviors in check. What can we parents do from the start (and along the way) to help our kids develop that strong inner compass? 

In this session, we’ll explore timely practical strategies and resources that can help us and our families foster digital wellbeing. Knowing how to keep away from/deal with malicious sites and people (digital safety), how to separate truth from fabrications, how to stop algorithms from controlling our online journeys, and how to keep our online/offline lives in balance are all strategies that open the door to digital wellbeing. Leave with an age-related research-based framework and a toolkit of tried and true resources to help you and your family navigate the path to digital wellbeing.

Session 3 - October 5

Digital Literacy - Let’s Help our Kids Navigate the Productive Potential of the Digital World 

Our children are challenged from early years in school onwards to contribute ideas online, yet the tools students use are often shifting. How can you ensure your child is prepared to create assignment responses that meet curriculum assessment criteria without spending too much time on the tech tool itself?  There are some basic digital literacy skills - from keyboard shortcuts to AI influences - and general literacy support tools - such as online dictionaries and text-to-speech tools - that can be used across applications and subject areas, which, once known, can help us all to keep our focus on ideas more than on technology. Leave today’s session with a toolkit of commonly used tools, resources and strategies that you can share with your child to help empower them as literate learners and online contributors.

Of course, the tools of digital literacy can be used to amplify how well we “read” and interpret the content we encounter online, but reading doesn’t stop there. Once our kids have the skills to read and write to the web, the next step is to learn how to “read laterally”, exercising a mindset that questions what we read and write, checks it against other information, knows what makes a credible source, etc. How can we as parents help develop this open and critical mindset in our children? Leave this session with the confidence that by providing tools, modeling practical strategies, and encouraging our kids to grapple with ambiguity within various settings, we can create an environment at home that can shape our children to become informed and literate critical thinkers.

Session 4 - October 19

Social Responsibility - Let’s Empower our Kids to Leverage the Digital World for Positive Change!

In this big picture session, we’ll address the question: How can we and our children mindfully shape social media (and other online) interactions to effect positive change? In the last of our four “Thriving in the Digital World” sessions, building on the “Maslow before Bloom” idea from Day One, and deep dives into digital wellness and digital literacy in days two and three, we’ll explore how digital wellness creates the openness to become digitally literate, digital literacy opens up the ability to make an authentic impact, being able to make an impact provides a vision for digital leadership, and a leadership mindset can effect positive change. 

Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and now that society is increasingly becoming more aware of how dubious digital ethics have shaped parts of our social media world today, and lack of forethought may be shaping our future in dangerous ways, we are also, in parallel, increasingly becoming better prepared to take charge ourselves - and show the “magic” of social media and AI influences as merely manipulative conjuring tricks. 

Having a generation of students who know their rights as digital citizens; who have the literate ability to deconstruct, assess, and use social media for good; and increasingly have the technical ability to even shape digital technologies themselves (as Computer Science becomes a new organizing idea within the Alberta Science curriculum K-12) means our future can be shaped to be a friendly one, by people who truly know how to thrive in this environment. As parents, families and teachers working together, we can help shape success. Leave this session with resources and strategies to use digital technologies to support social responsibility, and to continue this conversation with your children as well as with other educational stakeholders.

This session addresses the LQS competencies

  • #2: Modeling Commitment to Professional Learning
  • #4: Leading a Learning Community

This session addresses the TQS competencies

  • #2: Engaging in Career-Long Learning
  • #4: Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

This learning opportunity is being subsidized through funding from Alberta Education.

About the Facilitator

Janet Bell

An English teacher originally, Janet's career evolved over the years from classroom teacher to consultant, co-leading edtech integration across the province as a member of the 2Learn.ca and ARPDC provincial teams, to school and district leadership as a Department Head at Lillian Osborne High School and a TIPS (Technology Integration and Planning Supports) Consultant with Edmonton Public... Read more »