Connected Learning in Focus @ Digital Child AU: Program


Day One – Thursday, July 13

9:00Introduction Sue Bennett
Welcome to CountryAunty Denise Proud
Opening RemarksSusan Danby
Gavin Sade
9:30Keynote Presentation  Rhianna Patrick

Rhianna will speak about the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities in the mainstream Australian media, her experience as an Indigenous journalist and how to get young people thinking critically about the news they consume.  
10:30Young children speaking out about the digital worldElodie and Ava; Chair: Amanda Levido.

In this session we will be joined by two children who will share their thoughts on digital technology, including what they hope to see in the future. We will also showcase some projects within the Digital Child that centre the voices and perspectives of children.

11:00Morning Tea 
11:30Dreaming up dirtgirlworld Cate McQuillen 

Explore the birth of 'dirtgirlworld' with Cate McQuillen, its visionary creator. From a humble bush Church home to Gene Simmons handing over an Emmy in Cannes , journey through her eco-adventures that inspire global change. Understand how storytelling can empower us to promote environmental stewardship, fostering a sustainable future. Be part of this insightful session on creating content that not only entertains but also educates and motivates the next generation towards eco-consciousness. Dive into the world of 'dirtgirlworld', a testament to the power of dreams, storytelling, and love for the environment. 
12:15Does the children’s metaverse exist?  Daniel Johnson, Jed Dawson, and Erika Verkaaik. Discussant: Michael Dezuanni 

The ‘metaverse’ has become one of the buzz words of the past couple of years. Some say Minecraft and Roblox are ‘metaverses’.  But does the metaverse exist and are kids already in it?  
1:45Children, Media and Pandemic Parenting Panel Hyeon-Seon Jeong , Xinyu (Andy) Zhao, Rebecca Willett, Sarah Healy

This panel draws from an international comparative study to discuss the key actors that shape and influence children’s access to and experiences of connected learning across social and national settings. Following an introduction by Rebekah Willett, Hyeon-Seon Jeong will discuss South Korean parents’ roles as enablers and constrainers of digital literacy in the connected learning environment for their children. Sarah Healy will then draw on the Australian data to illustrate that when children learn how to make digital creations through programs run by cultural institutions, parents can develop an expanded idea of ‘creativity’, corresponding with new and/or enhanced affinity with children’s digital lifeworlds. Lastly, Andy Zhao will reflect on how China’s state policies and governance in relation to children’s online and extracurricular activities play a crucial role in producing the meanings of (connected) learning for parents and children. 
2:30Connected Learning Research Panel: Data in Focus Kate Manell, Tama Leaver, and Luci Pangrazio

While digital technologies have a range of benefits that help families organise, entertain, learn and connect, many of these processes rely on the generation, collection and processing of personal data. Yet the rules, policies and social norms around the sharing, ownership and future uses of personal data remain unclear.  In response, regulators, advocates, and scholars have raised a range of concerns about how these processes might impact the rights of families and children. This panel will focus on how family life is datafied through everyday technologies in the home and the complex and nuanced connections between these technologies, the multi-billion dollar companies behind them, and their business models which are premised on datafication at an enormous scale. 
3:15EdTech start up pitches Lauren Glina, Andrew Duval, and Troy Merrit

In this session, three Australian industry experts will ‘pitch’ their innovative EdTech: 1) Lauren Glina from, a build your own computer kit; 2) Troy Merritt from Bitlink, who supply classroom programming kits with micro:bits; and 3) Andrew Duval from Frankenstories, which is a live multiplayer online writing game. After hearing all three ‘pitches’, the EdTech experts will sit down and engage in a Q&A with the audience to provide insights on opportunities and challenges on creating EdTech in Australia. 
4:30Social Gathering 



Day Two – Friday, July 14

9:00Welcome Sue Bennett 
9:15Mimi Ito in conversation with Julian Sefton-GreenMizuko Ito and Julian Sefton-Green.

Professor Mimi Ito in conversation with Professor Julian Sefton-Green about making connected learning visible. Mimi and Julian will discuss connected learning as a concept, including its history and practices and will discuss why it is important to make connected learning visible. 
10:00Early Years practitioner panel - digital technologies and young children  Lucy Murrell, Amanda Levido, Natasha Gregory, Karlien Kerr. Chair: Kristy Corser

This panel will discuss and share the wonderful work they are doing with young children and digital technologies ranging from practice, a program of activities, or a whole of centre approach.    
11:00Morning Tea 
11:30Dis-connectioned learning:  Digital inclusion and low income families research Michael Dezuanni and Kim Osman
This presentation will outline findings from the ‘Advancing Digital Inclusion in Low Income Families’ ARC Linkage project. The project is taking place in six communities around Australia and involves enthographic work in families, complemented by mapping the connected learning ecologies available to families in each community.
12:15Co-Designing research in Indigenous communitiesGrace Sarra, Marnee Shay, Fred Cobbo. Chair: Annette Wood

In this session Professor Grace Sarra and Associate Professor Marnee Shay will lead a discussion about undertaking community-driven research with Indigenous communities. Grace and Marnee will talk about Indigenous research paradigms and their practical application in with educators and children in a Queensland Indigenous community.

1:45Mapping the Children’s Internet Whitepaper Pre-Launch Michael Dezuanni, Aleesha Rodriguez, Julian Sefton-Green, and Tama Leaver.

A team of researchers at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child have been mapping the territory of what is, the so-called, ‘Children’s Internet’. Using the term as a heuristic or ‘thought experiment’ for investigating children’s networked digital media experiences, this session highlights how the ‘Children’s Internet’ is experienced through technical access, imaginaries, entertainment, education, regulation, and digital labour.  
2:00Media Literacy and Connected Learning PanelAmanda Levido, Stephanie Smith, Alyssa Coursey, Troy Merritt, John Davis.

During this session, panellists will discuss the connection between media literacy and connected learning. We will discuss how children learn about and through the media and consider the role of communities, public institutions and industry in supporting this, including current approaches to the delivery of media literacy support and content. Panellists will discuss the current and future considerations of media literacy, including what they consider to be important areas of focus in the near future.
3:00Young people’s connected learning panelAlisa Johnson, Aahana and Layla, Chair: Amanda Levido

In this session we invite youth who use digital technologies to discuss how digital technologies can be used for youth activism. We have 2 different projects that the youth will discuss, one from the School Strike 4 Climate and another from Crushed But Ok. The panel will discuss how they used technologies through their respective projects and how this impacted their activism work.

The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child acknowledges the First Australian owners of the lands on where we gather and pay our respects to the Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits of this country.

The Centre recognises that the examples we set in diversity and inclusion will support young children to respect and celebrate differences in all people. We embed diversity, inclusivity and equality into all aspects of the Centre’s activities and welcome all people regardless of race, ethnicity, social background, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and national origin.