New Conference Aims To Boost Parent-power In The Digital Age

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23rd August 2010, 03:44pm - Views: 977

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New conference aims to boost parent-power in the digital age

iConnect Conference – September 11-12, 2010

Parenting in the 21st century will increasingly rely on the adoption of new mindsets, knowledge and skills –

particularly those that aim to close the ‘digital divide’ between parents and their tech-savvy children.

iConnect a new conference developed by the Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT (CCSP)

combines seminars by educators, child-rearing, and technology experts in a jam-packed weekend  at the

Australian Catholic University, North Sydney. 

Social commentator, author and journalist/editor Mia Freedman will deliver Saturday’s keynote speech –

Pop Culture, Technology and Your Kids then, on Sunday, delegates will hear from educator, author and

media commentator Dannielle Miller in her keynote address, Beyond Toxic:  Raising Amazing Girls

CSSP executive director Danielle Cronin said delegate parents would be able to “tailor-make” their

conference experience through a raft of workshop choices. “iConnect has been designed so parents are

able to extract the maximum benefit for their family and situation, no matter what their child’s (or

children’s) age or ability,” Ms Cronin said. 

Parents would leave the iConnect conference “armed with crucial tools and skills to help them support and

raise strong, resilient children in this incredibly exciting, yet problematic electronic age”.

“Along with topics about technology, the conference will address matters new to education – such as the

soon-to-launch Australian Curriculum and the rise of e-learning and its teaching methods – as well as

practical strategies to help protect children from cyber bullies and online predators,” Ms Cronin said. 

The conference had not adopted a “hard and fast” format. “No family – or no parent or child, for that

matter – is the same as the next, so it’s only fitting that the conference be flexible to the needs and desires

of our parents. That’s why we have an emphasis on workshopping so parents can come armed with their

question and concerns,” she said. 

iConnect also aimed to help parents navigate the increasingly tricky technology maze; understand the

pressures children faced in the digital age; provided coping strategies for children entering the transition to

high school and beyond; and, a focus on the changing role of fathers in the 21st century.

“Most of all, the conference will underscore the pivotal role parents play in helping their children learn, be

it providing the best environment for a special needs child, helping senior students cope with the Higher

School Certificate, or dealing with anxiety issues,” Ms Cronin said.


sold-out Master Class by Professor Alma Harris, a director at the Institute of Education (London) and at

the London Centre for Leadership in Learning, kicks off iConnect on Friday, September 10. Prof Harris is a

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prominent researcher in the fields of educational leadership and parent engagement with student

achievement. Prof Harris was lead researcher on Engaging Parents in Raising Achievement: Do Parents

Know They Matter?

The conference represents the second major initiative produced by CCSP recently. Partners 4 Learning,

which launches August 30, was devised by the CCSP in answer to the Federal Government’s recent push –

under its National Family School Partnership Framework – to encourage school community members to

become more engaged with each other. The new portal will provide resources to create, strengthen and

evaluate the levels of current parental engagement with their child’s or children’s school. It will offer

streamlined processes for planning, implementing and evaluating school community partnerships and



Media inquiries:  Danielle Cronin (0420 518 616) or Kathryn Barton (0418 416 478)

Partners 4 Learning:  (pre-launch)

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