What a wonderful two days we just had - got to love hotel living! My daughters and I spent two days in San Francisco at the Sex::tech conference and had a blast! I was presenting Saturday morning so all of the youth advisers on the WAY2GO! wellness assessment for teens project joined us, volunteered a few hours in a bright tangerine t-shirt to earn their registration fee and came along! For most of them it was their first conference and they had a great time!
For those of you who do not know Sex::tech, it is an annual conference sponsored by ISIS-Inc about technology, reproductive health and youth! This year the focus was on social media and technology. You can actually watch some of the presentations and see the slides on the conference homepage - soon, if not today.
This year there were four tracks at the conference:
Innovation highlighted innovations in the intersection of technology, sexual health and youth - with suggestions for how integrate it into your programs and interventions.
Success gave overviews of pilot projects from around the world that are currently changing the landscape of sex education, sexual health interventions, outreach and more.
Tech Intensive focused on how to effectively use Twitter, how to run an online contest, and more!
Everyone’s An Expert gave participants a chance to ask an expert (librarian, sexual health peer educator, business owner, tech guru ...) any question and included a panel of actual youth!
I attended sessions that crossed all tracks, but the teens preferred the expert sessions and suggested that there needed to be a youth track as the keynotes (all grown ups) were a tad dry! They also suggested a "they didn't really say that, did they?" panel each day where the youth could say "Today I heard someone say that ... and just want to clarify that I do not fit that assumption, stereotype, or generalization. The biggest irritant to the teens was the "all teens are having sex" statements they kept hearing - and just a reality check - in many communities, most teens do not have sex until after high school and the teens who know the most about sex ... are the least likely to be doing it!
Anyway, for parents out there, keep talking with your teens! I was absolutely amazed that even my kids, who have grown up with a reproductive health researcher and educator, had many questions at the end of every day - their questions were great opportunities to share values and information!