Evangelising Digital Citizenship on the Twitter Stage in San Francisco

Dr Marialice Curran (left), founder and CEO of Digital Citizenship Institute pictured with CEO of Digital Training Institute, Joanne Sweeney-Burke at the Digital Citizenship Summit which took place at Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco recently.
Nov 07 2016 Posted: 09:09 GMT

Mother and daughter team from NUI Galway address global audience of influencers and announce partnership with US-based Digital Citizenship Institute

NUI Galway-based Digital Training Institute is partnering with US-based Digital Citizenship Institute to certify trainers, accredit courses and create digital citizenship programs for professionals and companies across the globe.

The announcement was made at last week’s global Digital Citizenship Summit which took place at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.

CEO of Digital Training Institute Joanne Sweeney-Burke who is based at the Innovation Centre at NUI Galway has been writing and delivering digital citizenship programmes for the past four years in conjunction with her 21-year old daughter Sophie, a final year NUI Galway accountancy student.

They were speakers at the summit and addressed an audience of influencers on The Digital DNA of Generation Z.

Where it all started

Four years ago Joanne and Sophie wrote a course for teens called Young Minds Online which was piloted in Salerno Secondary School in Galway. It was later sold to Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s largest Internet security companies.

Last week their work on digital citizenship brought them to Twitter headquarters in San Francisco where they addressed a global audience of influencers.

Speaking from San Francisco, Joanne said, “I wrote a blog post after the Digital Citizenship Summit explaining why parenting at 17 years old inspired me to be a digcit parent. My age coupled with my digital skills gave me the confidence and know-how to help Sophie navigate the social web as a 13-year old teen. It planted a seed of how both of us could empower others in digital citizenship.”

Digital citizenship is the safe, savvy and ethical use of the Internet, a term coined by Dr Mike Ribble, referred to as the godfather of digital citizenship and author of Digital Citizenship in Schools, 3rd Edition who also spoke at the Digital Citizenship Summit. Dr Ribble is part of the Digital Citizenship Institute research team along with Jason Ohler, author, professor and digital humanist.

Co-founded by Dr Marialice Curran and David Polgar, the Digital Citizenship Summits have taken place across the US and earlier this year took place in Bournemouth in the UK. Joanne and Sophie spoke at this event also.

Digital Training Institute & Digital Citizenship Institute partnership

Joanne also announced a formal partnership with Digital Citizenship Institute and its founder Dr Marialice Curran who has an extensive career in academia. She has also founded DigCitKids, a platform for children to promote and advocate for good digital citizenship which she runs with her 10-year old son Curran.

Dr Curran commented: “I am delighted to partner with Digital Training Institute who have done so much work in Europe on digital citizenship. Joanne has an excellent digital portfolio and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Her vision is to ensure all workplaces are digital citizenship friendly and that no generation is left behind in the Digital Age.

“My Institute will provide accreditation for our corporate programmes, as well as certifying digital citizenship educators in the workplace. Much of the work done in the United States has been focused on education and the corporate word has been largely ignored, however Joanne has identified a need and collectively we have the solution.”


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