Digital Children


Children, Digital Technology and Christian Ministry: A vital forum
This special conference will present 9 (15 minute) talks on the subjects below. You will be able to choose to go deeper on 3 of the subjects and play your part in a conversation about the issues raised around your chosen themes

Key subjects to be addressed include:

Tablet and Smartphone: Changing how children learn and communicate
Bible Engagement for the digital generation
Engaged Learning: Helping the child discover faith through technology
Christian Social Media: Learning spaces for Christian children?
Child protection and social media
Technology and the special needs child
Digital Teachers: technology, RE and school assemblies
Church, children and technology, Lessons from history
Restless and unfocused: Is this technology a plug in drug

June 11/12 2013 *  Cliff College, Derbyshire

Sponsored by the Children Matter coalition

The price for the conference is £95. This includes food and accommodation. Day visitor rates
are available.


Here is a draft programme. There is likely to be some changes but this is substantially what it will be.

First Session 11th June 1.30pm 3.15pm

 Session Host Jane Butcher

 Title                 Tablet and Smartphone: Changing how children learn and


 Speaker.         TBC – Booked speaker had to withdraw

 Plenary.            Yes

Small Group.        Yes

This will be a scene setter for the whole conference and will seek to outline the big headlines about technology, children, learning and communication. It can and should reference other subjects to be addressed in more depth later in the event but should focus on the learning/education aspects primarily. It should be both descriptive and analytical

Title                 Church, Children and Technology: Lessons from History

 Speaker.          Dave Roberts

Plenary.           Yes

Small Group.    No

From clay tablets to electronic tablets – this 15 minute overview will look at how technology has bought faith to children throughout the millenia. It will touch on the early alphabet aids, the printing press, early classroom technologies, radio, tv and video, flannelgraph and finally land at 2013 and the ubiquity of the smartphone. It will briefly comment on the theological and societal implications of this innovation and how it will impact the church and children today.


Title                 Engaged Learning: Helping the Child Discover Faith Though


 Speaker.               Maggie Barfield   (Scripture Union)     

Plenary.           Yes

Small Group.    Yes

 What are the learning theories that lie behind the increasing role of electronic media in the teaching and learning experience, with particular reference to the role of games. What learning styles do these media help emphasise. What is the understanding of those working in the childrens ministry as to how these media forms will contribute to spiritual discovery and formation. Where do they fit into the wider vista of Christian life and community.


Session 2         3.45pm 5.30pm

 Session Host: Sue Price

 Title                 Bible Engagement for the Digital Generation

 Speaker.          Terry Clutterham (Scripture Union)

Plenary.           Yes

Small Group.    Yes

 With Maggie having described the general principles of electronic media and the learning experience, Terry will then look at the very specific area of Bible Engagement. This will be a mixture of general principle and descriptive information about the ideas being explored in the Bible Engagement project. It can reference other ideas from around the world but should help the delegates understand the emerging resource base in this key media channel

 Title                 Technology and the Additional Needs Child

 Speaker.          Mark Arnold & Kay Morgan Gurr

Plenary.           Yes

Small Group.    Yes

 One of the narratives or common reports that surround the new technology and specifically the tablet computer is that it will often be very helpful to additional needs children. What is the foundation for this insight and what implications does it have for work with additional needs children within the Christian family and community contexts.


Title                 Digital Teachers: Technology, RE and School Assemblies

 Speaker.          Awaiting Confirmation

Plenary.           Yes

Small Group.    Yes

 With new technology playing an increasing role in the education process the child will adapt to these new methodologies in the school context. For those who enter the school to offer specialist services and lessons there will be a need to communicate using these new tools. This presentation should ask about the relevance of these media forms to school worship and religious education and suggest what is being done and what might need to be done.

 Session Three             7.30pm 9.00pm

 Session Host Alan Charter

 Title:  Children and Culture A Wider Perspective

 Speakers: Bishop Paul Butler
                 AN Other


The two speakers can present for up to 15 minutes each and we will then open up the discussion to the floor.

 The content is at the discretion of the speakers but they will want to step back from the digital discussion and paint a wider picture about the influences that help shape the lives of our children

 Session Four 12th June, 9.30am 11.15am

 Session Host: Mark Arnold


Title                 Christian Social Media Learning Spaces for Christian Children

 Speaker.          Allen Reesor (Scripture Union Consultant)

Plenary.           Yes

Small Group.    Yes

 Given the wide use of social media by children generally what creative thinking is being done about creating social media contexts for Christian children. What is the basic thinking about what these virtual worlds can contribute to the life of the child and their participation in Christian community. What are some examples of this in action.


Title                 Child Protection and Social Media

 Speaker.          Kay Morgan Gurr

Plenary.           Yes

Small Group.    Yes

 Many who work in this sphere are aware of safeguarding guidelines to protect both the child and the worker. We should refer to these as a resource. But the major thrust of this presentation will probably be towards – what are the big negative issues within the wider culture with respect to social media and children. How do those unhelpful uses of the technology filter down into the Christian context and what foundational steps do we need to take to ensure the wellbeing of the child within these media contexts


Title                 Restless and Unfocused Is this technology a plug in drug?

 Speaker.          Bex Lewis

Plenary.           Yes

Small Group.    Yes

 Most of us will have experienced situations where people are not present because they are referring to their phone or tablet quite often. Others worry about the new technology rewiring the brain. What are the realities of these fears. Is the issue the medium or is it us and how we use it or can it be a bit of both? Is there wisdom for us about a wise use of technology


Session 5             11.45am 12.45pm

 Closing Session

 Session Host Dave Roberts

 General Overview
Final Questions and Discussion

10 minute presentation on new resource ideas from Children Matter



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Richie Gardiner April 25, 2013 at 12:46 pm

This looks brilliant! something I’d really like to be a part of this discussion as something I’ve observed greater and greater with kids bringing their gameboy’s to church sitting in the back, and adult church has become lazy with not engaging the kids!!! heading for a disaster I feel!


Graham McDonald May 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm

As I unable to attend this critical conference can you advise me as to what access we will have to what the speakers are saying?
I dare to say this is one of the most critical issues facing the church today and I do not see many denominations even considering it.
I would appreciate any information.
Many thanks for holding such a session.
Every blessing
Graham McDonald
National Children’s Advocate for Children of the World a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ Australia.


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