Business Happenings Lifestyle Schools

Inaugural ‘Digital Citizenship Summit’ To Be Held in West Hartford

Digital Citizenship Summit co-founders David Ryan Polgar and Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran. Submitted photo courtesy of Stan Simpson Show, FoxCT

The University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford will host a first-of-its-kind event focused on use of technology by children and teens.

Digital Citizenship Summit co-founders David Ryan Polgar and Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran. Submitted photo courtesy of Stan Simpson Show, FoxCT

Digital Citizenship Summit co-founders David Ryan Polgar and Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran. Submitted photo courtesy of Stan Simpson Show, FoxCT

By Ronni Newton

Issues including cyberbullying, online reputation, social media, security threats, and empathy will be the focus of discussion by a panel of experts at the inaugural Digital Citizenship Summit to be held at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford in October.

“The Digital Citizenship Summit is an opportunity for West Hartford to have an integral role in shaping the national conversation towards better tech use. For whatever reason, a significant amount of activity concerning digital citizenship stems from West Hartford. We have the West Hartford Public Schools that have been promoting improved tech use through Cyber Compass, the internationally-recognized Dr. David Greenfield with his Center for Internet & Technology Addiction, and the leading work on the topic coming from the University of Saint Joseph,” said David Ryan Polgar, a West Hartford resident who is co-founder of the Digital Citizenship Summit.

The full-day event, which will be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015, will include speakers and a panel discussion, as well as opportunities for attendees to network with nationally-recognized experts on the use of technology. According to a news release, panelists at the Digital Citizenship Summit will include Dr. Mike Ribble, an international speaker, researcher, and author of the books Digital Citizenship in Schools and Raising a Digital Child; and Dr. Shelley Prevost, co-founder and CEO of Torch and columnist for Huffington Post. Speakers include Janell Burley Hofmann, author of iRules: What Every Tech Healthy Family Needs to Know About Selfies, Sexting, Gaming and Growing Up; and Diana Graber, co-founder of CyberWise and founder of Cyber Civics.


“Our panel discussion happening at the Digital Citizenship Summit will include a moderator from Florida, an panelists from Tennessee, Kansas, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. On Oct. 3, West Hartford is becoming a melting pot of educators, administrators, organizational leaders, and industry that are working towards safe, savvy, and ethical use of tech. It’s the first of its kind in the country, and it is happening here,” Polgar said.

Topics have been chosen to appeal to parents, educators, school administrators, and students, as well as representatives of businesses and organzations focused on the technology industry.

According to the release, the umbrella term “Digital Citizenship” encompasses “one’s role using technology within the realms of ethics, etiquette, rights, and responsibilities.” Summit organizers state that “according to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health (2015), which surveyed children’s health issues, Internet-safety and sexting rank higher than smoking and tobacco use as health concerns.”

Polgar, who is a frequent speaker (two-time TEDx) and tech commentator (Boston Globe, Financial Times, New York Post, CNN.com) on ethical uses of technology, said that children and teens are often expected to automatically understand how to correctly use technology. “As witnessed from countless examples of tweets gone bad and inappropriate pictures uploaded, as well as online communication lacking empathy, there is a real need for education about the misuse of technology and a forum for real solutions,” Polgar said.

University of Saint Joseph Associate Professor of Education Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran teaches courses in digital citizenship and digital literacy. She is co-founder of the Summit along with Polgar and views it as “an opportunity for everyone to be a part of this critical conversation and part of the solution.”

The Digital Summit will take place on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 9:00 a.m.5:00 p.m. in the Bruyette Athenaeum at the University of Saint Joseph, 1678 Asylum Ave., West Hartford, CT. The cost is $50 ($15 for students) and includes a light breakfast and lunch. Click here to register online.

For more information on the Digital Citizenship Summit, visit www.digcitsummit.com.

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author


We-Ha.com is the place to go for the latest information about West Hartford – a town that "has it all"! We-Ha.com is part of and proud of our community, and we bring a hyperlocal focus to news and features about the people, schools, businesses, real estate, sports, restaurants, charitable events, arts, and more. Contact us at: [email protected] or [email protected].

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Translate »