Sunday, February 20, 2011

Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 in San Francisco, CA

San Francisco as seen from Alcatraz
From February 17-19, 2011, I was given the wonderful opportunity to attend the Learning and the Brain Conference in San Francisco, CA, on behalf of my school division. As an avid reader, it was fantastic to be able to hear first-hand from many of the authors that I have learned so much from through their books. I hope that some of the speakers I was able to hear from at this conference will come to my province in the future as I believe that their thoughts and ideas are important messages all educators need to hear and consider.

I have posted something from all of the sessions that I was able to attend. They are written in the form of notes taken during the sessions, rather than reflections on what was said so that you can see some of the ideas discussed at the conference. I have tried to include book links, videos and websites as much as possible.
The Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Alcatraz

For those of you who are reading this blog and are are in my school division, I have ordered the sessions on MP3/synced Power Points so that we can watch and learn from all the wonderful presenters at the conference at a later point in time. Let me know if you are interested in viewing any of these presentations.

Before leaving San Francisco, I had half a day to visit the island of Alcatraz. During my tour of the island and former prison, I couldn't help but feel sorry for those who were sentenced to serve their time on the island. The city sparkled against the blue water. After spending three days walking to and from the conference in the rain, we finally had a beautiful, sunny day to enjoy.

As I enjoyed the view of the cityscape from the island, I couldn't help but wonder if students might be feeling trapped in schools where they are only learning by traditional means. They might also feel somewhat unengaged and isolated at school from the more advanced world that they are living outside of the school day. Increased efforts need to be made by all educators to improve our own skills and teach content and skills in new ways that are relevant to the students of today and prepare them for their futures.

Like the prisoners who spent time on Alcatraz, our students will eventually leave the island known to them as school. They will need to solve real-world problems and demonstrate that they possess the collaborative and communication skills necessary to gain employment in the future. The experts who presented at this conference left the participants with a lot of food for thought. It is now up to the participants to help lead the way to help make the changes necessary so that learning in the 21st century will be effective and engaging for all students. If not, we will become obsolete as a profession.

Here are my notes from the sessions I attended:

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Saturday, February 20, 2011

    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Learning and the Brain 2011 - John J. Ratey

    Keynote III: Countering the Cyber Life: Getting in Touch with Our Hunter-Gatherer Genes
    John J. Ratey, MD - author of Spark

    Plato: we need a meeting of educational and physical self

    Hunter Gathers - If you did not run, you did not eat
    These are activities that we need to force or think about now.

    Evolution teaches: sitting, sitting, - the person at the computer

    Adaptation, Moving, Learning - the front part of the brain grew to help us move. The evolution movement - that which we call thinking is the evolutionary internalization of movement.

    Our genes made us do it - they drive us to load up on calories and take it easy - they want us to only use what we need and conserve the rest for later.

    Children who are normal weight, are 30 points smarter when they are older than children who are obese at 4 years old

    Resilience is just a silly word - helicopter parents take care of everything for their children - they blame or excuse everything for their children.

    You are 7% smarter when you stand up.

    You can get that resilience next year - parents who blame play time or physical activity time and excuse them from participating.

    Imagination playgrounds that promotes active play at recess
    In schools with more fixed playground equipment, children were less active.
    In schools with more portable equipment, i.e. balls and tricycles, children were more active because children have to be more creative and come up with their own games.

    Everyone gets a trophy - just for showing up - You need to learn how to fail, to learn from your mistakes, adjust the rules, solve the problem and get up and play again

    Stuart Brown's book  - Play

    Play and Exercise a way to develop resilience, tenacity, persistence and commitment.

    brain chemistry - exercise is like a mix of Ritalin and Prozac at the same time.

    PE4Life - mandated PE and are to become more physically fit to help get the brain working - 45 minutes a day of fitness driven PE

    For more information and presentation slides visit:

    Learning and the Brain 2011 - Jane M. Healy

    Keynote II: Different Brains, Different Learners: Rethinking "Intelligence" and "Learning Disability" for the 21st Century
    Jane M. Healy, PhD

    Author of Different Learners - Identifying, Preventing, and Helping your Children's Learning Problems

    Learning and the Brain Conference
    San Francisco, CA
    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    There is a misfit between the learning style of the child and the evaluation of the student's learning. (i.e. standardized testing)

    Points to Ponder:
    Brain Crisis: Culture, kids and schools - the mismatch

    Learning Difference the pain, the potential

    The Educator's Response

    Are we teaching kids to be masters of their tools or tools of their tools?

    We need to put students in the position where they can rise above computer intelligence and in control - master of tools or tools of tools?

    But some things don't change:
    -Physical health issues
    -Developmental stages (waves) - is it right for every age group for the cognitive development stage that they are at? How do we know?
    -Individual differences - collaborative problem solving needs of future careers - there needs to be room to allow for individuals to work by themselves if they work better that way. (Behavioural needs)
    (Learning style, temperament, rate of maturation)
    -Need for human connections (F2F, teacher as leader, mentor, etc)

    Brain crisis - a child being born today in the US has a 30% chance of being diagnosed with some type of learning problem.

    Learning problems may include:
    academic skills - reading, math
    behavioural skills - ADHD
    Social-emotional skills - Asperger's, NVLD, etc.

    Pop Quiz -
    1. 60% of the most popular educational apps for the iPhone are for preschoolers - what kind of effects will they have on them when they reach school - how will it change their brain?

    2. Kids 8-18 spend 8.5-23.5 hrs/day with some sort of media, of which are .5 hrs with books (Kaisers Foundation stat)

    3. New research shows that background TV in preschoolers' home impairs their own inner-speech (that helps them speak) and to manage and plan their own play activities and manage their own behaviours.

    4. A new and fast-growing learning disorder diagnosis is executive function (hint: think frontal lobes)

    Who's brain is really in charge? This child's or the programmers? (Cover of the New Yorker)

    5. A recent study of highly successful entrepreneurs found that close to 50% of them were dyslexics.

    6. Michael Barry, the financial whiz who read the financial statements and sold short the sub-prime mortgage market has Aspbergers.

    Take-away - the environment of childhood has changed, and it has significant effects on growing brains. These effects may exacerbate certain learning challenges.

    Human evolution may have preserved certain neurobilogical differences for reasons that are as yet unknown.

    Our challenge: Honour the talents but ease the learning process.

    All students need reflective teaching to become masters of their teaching to become the tools of their tools.
    • Learning difference
    • The pain
    • The potential
    Cerebrodiversity - No two brains are alike and no one has a perfect brain

    The Brain Thinking - If everybody was the same and someone had a thought and it was wrong then everybody would be wrong. Isn't it better to have different thoughts? - A disproportionate number of CEOs are dyslexic. Thinking differently creates opportunities.

    Dyslexia - Talent or Liability?

    The ability of Dyslexics to interpret impossible figures makes them good at visual requirements for future careers.

    A.S.D. - Talent or Liability?
    -we see a different reaction of young children's exposure to electronic faces (which don't react the same as a human face)- this could exacerbate A.S.D. because they lacked the ability to see details in human contact (facial features and details that show human emotion)

    A.D.H.D. - Talent or Liability?
    Impulsive response - not being able to manage their own mind, they are just stimulus bound - some video games train this kind of response.

    It is not nature or nurture but it is nature and nurture.

    Epigenetics changes to the genome as a result of experience - environments shape genes and brains.

    The dance of nature and nurture.

    Culture Changes Brains - The Dyslexic Brain Changed by Teaching (showed brain scans)

    Brain Disruptor - Stress - We need balance between technology and playing in the environment with others face to face.

    Intelligence for a digital age - an educator's response
    -time uninterrupted, concentrated thought may prove to be most important skill that one can hone - John Brockman
    Are we doing this in school? It might be the only place to get it.

    What is worth preserving?
    • life in the real world
    • nature
    • interpersonal skills
    • childhood

    intelligence for a digital age
    symbolic reaction

    Tools of the Mind - self regulation that needs to be taught or implemented in schools

    What is right for a 16 year old is probably not right for a 6 year old. Consider that difference can be an asset so don't neglect the brain builders...

    Learning and the Brain 2011 - Gerald N.Tirozzi

    Keynote I: Faulty Connections: How School Reform Ignores How the Brain Works
    Gerald N. Tirozzi, PhD

    Saturday, February 19, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Learning and the Brain Conference

    The Brain Rule - a book to check out

    It is important to understand how the brain works before you make decisions about how school works. Why does school start at age 5 when the brain is developing the most prior to this.

    Educational taxidermist - stuffing students uniformly with little or no understanding of how children learn.

    Why does the day end at 3:00? Is that when the brain stops working? Why does school not happen in the summer? Poor students do not have access to summer programing that give wealthier students rich experiences that help them when they come back to school.

    Why do high school teachers mostly lecture? Students need to see images, graphics, etc to learn from a lecture. We do not see with our eyes, we see with out brains.

    Why do we offer foreign language in high school when it is best to start in elementary?

    Why do we start high school at 7:30 AM when adolescents learn better at 9 or 10 AM? This is simply to accommodate bus schedules and coaches' schedules not in the interest of learning.

    Waiting for Superman - depicts charter schools as the holy grail of education reform. We want a level playing field for all students (ELL and Special Education students, access, etc.)

    Standardized testing does not recognize the different learning styles or background knowledge or learning context. They are marked on how well they fill out a bubble. Students are marked incorrect when they are actually giving correct answers. They are just not giving the answer we want to hear.

    Gardner - the bell shape curve should be 3 dimensional to reflect the 8 multiple intelligences. Students are failing because they excel in areas that are simply not assessed.

    Point: Parenting programs, voluntary school for 4 year olds, voluntary all-day kindergarten programs. Extend the school day and the school year doing things differently (not if we are doing the same thing). National childhood literacy policy - make sure they are reading before they are leaving the 3rd grade.

    "If we teach students today how we did yesterday, then we are robbing them of their tomorrows." - John Dewey

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 - Marc Prensky

    Teaching Digital Natives - Partnering for Real Learning
    Marc Prensky, MBA
    Games to Train (Develops software)
    Author of Teaching Digital Natives
    Keynote #3 - Learning and the Brain Conference 2011
    February 18, 2011
    San Francisco, CA

    Look at life from the perspective of students - what do they want and need?

    "Brain Based" Learning? - Learning vs Teaching

    Neuroscience - has potential to steer educators in wrong directions. What is the right mix of learning strategies and the Right Motivation to learn? The context of education has changed - don't try to bring back what has worked in the past. Previously, for students, the past was similar to the future. Now, for students, the future is different from the past.

    "The perfect storm of change"
    In our student's lifetime, technology will become one 1 trillion times more powerful. - The Multi Uses for a Cell Phone

    Verbs vs Nouns = Skills vs Tools

    Presenting - Powerpoint
    Communicating - email
    Learning- wikipedia

    Verbs stay the same but the nouns change rapidly.

    The digitally wise person requires digital tools because there are things our brains do well but that machines do better. Wisdom in the 21st century is a combination of both.

    Where we share the work
    - Students do what they do well: use tech, create, finding content
    -21st Century teacher is the coach, guide, partner by being able to ask good questions

    Better pedagogy is needed in the form of partnering between students and teachers. Teachers are tools in education. We need to implement 21st century tools by focussing professional development on changing pedagogy first. We need to create an environment where students are teaching themselves with their teachers guiding and coaching them along the way. Leturing and technology as a combination does not make sense. It is like a runway crossing a highway. (airport in Gibraltar)

    Final point: We need to change how we teach and what we teach because the context around the kids is changing.

    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 - Linda Darling-Hammond

    Linda Darling-Hammond
    Transforming Teaching Learning and Assessment
    How Can We Prepare Learners for a Flat World?

    Morning Keynote #2
    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 - San Francisco, CA

    Author of The Flat World and Education

    Key points: This keynote was very interesting but mostly spoke about the need for reforms in the American education system. She used PISA scores and spoke about the need to evaluate 21st century learning skills through task-type/problem solving type assessments as opposed to testing based on memorization. Used Australian examples of assessment.

    The Need for More Powerful Teaching - Loved the clip from Ferris Buller's Day Off. Anyone? Anyone?

    More knowledge has been created between 1999-2003 than in the history of mankind preceding it.

    Expectations for Learning are Changing:

    The new context means new expectations. Most studies include:
    communicate, change teams, problem solving, etc. list by Chris Wardlaw (Improving on Being First in PISA)

    A Rich Task: Science and Ethics Confer (Queensland, Australia)
    an example of an assessment requiring the skills in the above list.

    Worldwide Reform Initiative Generally Seek to "Teach less and learn more" giving the time for the analysis of problems, develop critical thinking, etc.

    Tests for learning, not high-stakes "punishments"

    What does the score mean and what are we measuring?

    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 - Tony Wagner

    Overcoming the Global Achievement Gap: Learning, Leading and Teaching in the 21st Century
    Tony Wagner, ED.D.
    Innovation Education Fellow
    Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard
    Author of: The Global Achievement Gap

    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011, San Francisco, CA
    Morning Keynote #1 - February 18, 2011

    What is the "crisis" in American education really all about - what's the "problem"?

    The rock: New Skills for work, continuous Learning and Citizenship in a "knowledge society" for All Students

    They are skills we don't teach and don't assess

    This Net generation is differently motivated to learn

    Reform vs. Reinvention
    - we need new structures, different ways of teaching and testing and new ways of evaluating (reinvention)

    -The seven survival skills for careers, college and citizenship
    1. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving - demands of employers today for its employees to be able to do. The ability to ask really good questions and the right questions.
    2. Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence - lead by peers.
    3. Agility and Adaptability
    4. Initiative and Entrepreneurship
    5. Effective Oral and Written Communication - kids can write because they don't know how to think and they don't know how to write with voice. This makes them not very persuasive.
    6. Accessing and Analyzing Information - question curriculum that requires memorization. Move beyond textbooks.
    7. Curiosity and Imagination - 70% of US Economy is consumer driven and the savings rate was -2% - People are spending money they do not have on items that they do not need. We need young people who are going to be innovative and solve the worlds problems.

    Learning walks - see how people are teaching and propose change (evaluation of practice - spend as much time debriefing as you spend observing)

    The only curriculum in American schools is test prep.

    What is the Global Achievement Gap - it is the gap between what even our best schools are teaching and testing versus the skills all students will need for careers, college and citizenship in the 21st century.

    What motivates the Net Generation- accustomed to instant gratification and always-on connection
    use the web for:
    1. extending friendships, 
    2. interest-driven, self-directed learning and as a tool for self-expression, 
    3. constantly connected,
    4. creating and multitasking in a multimedia world-everywhere except in school
    The Net Generation has less fear and respect for authority accustomed to learning from peers wants coaching but only from adults who: don't talk but do, want to make a difference and do interesting things.

    Rigor - guess who?
    - not content driven but give them the 21st century skills - need to know how to write, research and form an effective study group (peer group learning)

    Focus on Timeless learning that has stood the test of time:
    • Rigor is content mastery (getting more right answers)
    • studying existing content by disciplines
    • learners working alone and in competition
    • motivated mainly by extrinsic rewards (grades)
    • taught by isolated content experts through memorization/recall
    • assessed mainly by multiple choice, computer scored tests

    Focus on using content to master the competencies of "Just-in-Time Learning"

    Rigor is figuring out the right question/problem to be solved, exploring questions and new problems within and across disciplines

    Habits of Mind - learning to ask the right questions - copied and re-posted from - Habits of Mind section of their website:

    Five Habits of Mind
    The Mission Hill Habits of Mind are an approach to both the traditional academic disciplines (math, science, literature and history) and the interdisciplinary stuff of ordinary life. They are what lead us to ask good questions and seek solid answers. They are our definition of a well-educated person.

    1. Evidence: How do we know what’s true and false? What evidence counts? How sure can we be? What makes it credible to us? This includes using the scientific method, and more.

    2. Viewpoint: How else might this look like if we stepped into other shoes? If we were looking at it from a different direction? If we had a different history or expectation? This requires the exercise of informed “empathy” and imagination. It requires flexibility of mind.

    3. Connections/Cause and Effect: Is there a pattern? Have we seen something like this before? What are the possible consequences?

    4. Conjecture: Could it have been otherwise? Supposing that? What if...? This habit requires use of the imagination as well as knowledge of alternative possibilities. It includes the habits described above.

    5. Relevance: Does it matter? Who cares?

    None of these five habits stand separately. And the way we use such habits differ if we are studying a mathematical proof, a scientific hypothesis, an historical dispute, a debate over economics, the appreciation of a piece of art, a critique of a novel, the telling of a myth or narrative, or the settling of a playground dispute.

    The Mission Hill Habits of Mind are supplemented by Habits of Work: the habit of meeting deadlines, being on time, sticking to a task, not getting frustrated quickly, hearing out what others say, and more.

    Both sets of “habits” are developed in the process of gathering appropriate knowledge and skill in school and out. The best test is whether students use such habits in the course of their work. And again, not just in school. Knowing “how-to” is no substitute for having good habits. Who cares if you could drive well, if you’re not in the habit of doing so? Who cares if you could be on time, if you never are?

    Redefining District Organizational Excellence: Accountability
    Hold ourselves accountable for What matters Most (AYP vs Attainment)
    Track cohort graduation rate and how well students do once they are in College (

    1. Use the College and Work Readiness Assessment to assess analytic reasoning, critical thinking, problem-solving and writing

    2. Academics - Doing the New Work: teaching and assessing the skills that matter most - the 3 Cs (Critical and Creative Thinking, Communication and Collaboration) in every class and at all grade levels. Pilot interdisciplinary courses around essential questions that require all students to have digital portfolios, work internships and a service internship project

    3. Collaboration: Doing the New Work in New Ways
    -every student has an adult advocate
    -every teacher on teams for collaborative inquiry looking at student and teacher work
    -Transparency: videotape teaching, supervision and meetings (lesson study vs. evaluation)
    -Digital portfolios for teachers and leaders

    4. Policy implications for REAL Innovation
    Accountability 2.0 Systems: Tracing read grad rate
    School based Research and Development - creating lab schools - pictures of what 21st century schooling can be like New Tech High and High Tech High; videotape exemplary lessons and teacher team meetings.

    5. Performance standards to license and re-license educators.

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 - Linda Jackson

    Linda Jackson
    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 - Breakout Session (PM)
    Internet, Video Games and Children: Relationships with Academic Performance and Creativity - Children and Technology Project

    What is IT doing to our children? Is it helping, hurting or having no effect on a multitude of developmental outcomes?

    Academic Outcomes?

    HomeNetToo Project 90 Families in Michigan were given computers and Internet for 16 months.

    Frequency of Children's Internet Use - Mostly spent on websites and playing games.

    No effects on psychological well-being
    no effects on social involvement
    positive effects on academic performance (GPA and MEAP reading scores)

    By using the Internet, they were reading to figure out where to go. They weren't hanging out with their friends at the mall or doing other activities that wouldn't require reading (testing out this hypothesis right now).

    Summary: (finding on the Effects of IT Use, 2005)
    Internet use: suggestive evidence of benefits to reading scores and GPAs of under achieving children. Children Claim it is important to school performance

    Communication Using the Internet: Mixed in the larger literature, there is evidence of positive and negative effects (e-mail, Instant Messaging) on social connections.

    Cell phone use: very little research, especially on children's cell phone use.
    Videogame Playing: Evidence that playing violent video games is also related to lower GPAs and in adults, to better visual-spatial skills.

    Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory of Development Applied to IT Use:
    Person & Context (graphic to look up online but took photo)

    Children and Technology Project:
    482 children from 20 middle schools in Michigan

    Internet use predicted reading skills
    communication using the Internet predicted nothing
    Cell phone use predicted nothing
    video game playing predicted visual-spatial and negatively predicted GPA.

    Students who are low benefit the most from video game use and Internet access.

    Internet use increases reading skills but this relationship may be limited to children who are initially low in reading skills.
    Video game playing increases visual-spatial skills but this relationship maybe be limited to children who are initially average in school performance.
    Cellphone use increase reading skills but the nature of this relationship is unclear. Cell phone use was infrequent in this sample of 12 year olds.

    Communication using the Internet has no effect on any gender.

    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011: Don Massaro

    Universal Literacy: The Digital Age Engages the Learning Brain
    Dom Massaro
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    Learning and the Brain breakout session (PM) - February 17, 2011

    Late Intervention
    Multi-sensory Pattern Recognition = Speech
    Perceiving Talking Faces: Value of the Face importance in vocal recognition

    Baldi - See What I'm Saying

    Vocabulary Knowledge is important to understand what we are teaching. Baldi was developed to help teach vocabulary.

    Used to teach students that are hard of hearing to learn vocabulary successfully because he shows face movements, not just hearing a voice. The articulation is important.
    Early Intervention:

    Cost of illiteracy is $240 Billion because 75% people on welfare don't know how to read.

    Goal is to have universal literacy at an affordable cost.
    Theory that Reading can be learned just as naturally as speech. The current dogma is that speech is naturally learned and reading is learned artificially.

    Critical Periods:
    Auditory System
    Visual System
    Language System(s) (Speech, Sign, Reading)

    What's Needed for Literacy? Written Language (See Things, Signal analysis, learn categories)

    Have words projected as the caregiver speaks (incorporating a virtual learning environment) similar to closed captioning on TV. So that reading becomes natural from an early age.

    Funding for early childhood literacy would help offset the literacy deficit.

    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011: James Paul Gee

    Keynote#3 - Language and Learning: From the Age of Literacy to the Digital Age
    James Paul Gee, PhD
    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011
    San Francisco, CA

    Next book to be released soon: Language and Learning in the Digital Age on Amazon

    Also author of Good Video Games and Good Learning (2007) and a few more: List on Amazon

    Good learning and teaching consists of the following:
    • Emotion
    • Goals
    • Reflection on Action
    • Copious Feedback
    • Cognitive Load
    • Interactive - Inside and Outside
    • Experiences

    Video Games are very good teaching/learning tools because they can incorporate all of these things.

    Good teachers design good opportunities for learning and allow for social interaction. This is a well designed activity or program.

    Language is what we learn first - being able to cope what the language is going to be to learn in a formal educative setting.

    Humans learn from experience. To learn the language necessary for learning, they need to learn it from experience.

    Video games allow images and experiences to be connected to language and makes it memorable. It puts words into action.

    YuGiOh (Card and Video Game) - It teaches language that is highly technical because each word is connected to an image, action or dialogue.

    Learning and video games:
    • Problem solving
    • Clear Goals
    • Copious Feedback
    • Well Designed Experience
    • Mentoring In game and in Meta-Game
    • Performance Before Competence
    • Failure
    • Well-Ordered problems
    • Cycle of Expertise
    • SMART tools

    Teaching through problems lets people to be good at what you are teaching because they work on all the skills necessary to solve the problem.

    It has got to be challenging but doable.

    Assessment: integrate learning and assessment, copious information, multiple variables, growth across time, trajectories across time, preparation for future learning, informative=evaluative

    Gamers purposely submit their data to compare themselves to other gamers. A very complex form of assessment because it is multi variable.

    Learning and the Brain Conference 2011 - Dr.Gary Small

    Dr. Gary Small, MD
    Director, UCLA Center on Aging
    Cornell Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
    Co-Author of iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind

    Keynote- iBrain Technological Alteration of the Student Mind
    Learning and the Brain Conference
    San Francisco, CA
    February 17, 2011

    Relationship with Technology:
    • It's Personal
    • Let's do an experiment
    • Turn on your cell phone

    When you turn it on, you feel connected and excited to find out what is going on. Now swap with a stranger. You are likely feeling anxious right now.

    We need to find time to disconnect.

    Network Organization - Specialized Brain
    Perception of Image or sensation. Intense emotional reaction, connection or memory.

    Our brains our very plastic. They are very much like a computer.Our brains have neural circuits/synapses that will strengthen as we use them.

    Malleable Young Brains

    When you are young, learning is fast (language and instruments)

    Our brains adapt based on the environment we live in.

    Is the environment really changing. Young people between age 8 and 18 total of how much tech time each day - 11.5 hours. A lot of this time is multi-tasking.

    Digital Natives:
    Born into technology.
    24/7 use and access
    Instant gratification - wants the newest technology as soon as it is developed.
    More technology, less direct, face-to-face social interaction

    Brains still developing
    Empathy, complex reasoning skills

    Technology and Addiction- When does it become a problem?
    Email follows an exercise in operand conditioning. You keep checking and checking in order to get that one "happy face" email in amidst all the spam.

    Does Technology Affect Face-to-Face Social Skills?
    Study of 197 students, aged 17-23 years.
    One study suggests that playing games, removes the ability to recognize face expression.

    Everyone loves to be connected and kids who text feel the connection.

    Learning to listen and maintain eye contact.
    Usually the conversation is back and forth so it is hard for the listener not to respond.

    Technology and Attention Deficit

    Computer use is associated with ADHD in elementary school children. Some pediatricians have recommended that very young children not have access to technology.

    Is Technology making us Less Productive? Search engines, social networking, etc.

    Components of creativity:

    Predictors of creativity
    Tendency to be open to new ideas

    Positive and a Negative
    improved reaction time
    instantaneous access to information and communication

    collaboration, online discussion

    cons: disconnected and interact in person less

    Learn technology later in life
    older brains may be slower
    resistance to innovation

    Do you Remember?
    Colour TV
    first mobile phones

    Use of computer technology according to age:

    Less than a third of 75 year olds use technology

    Is Google Making us "Stoopid"?
    Study comparing those over 60 who were Tech Savvy and those who had never searched online

    When the Internet savvy people searched online, use all parts of their brain. Their brains are more active.

    Healthy Lifestyle Strategies Associated with a Lower risk for Dementia

    You can train the brain to remember things better using a healthy lifestyle program.

    You see the big picture more quickly and have the ability to solve problems.

    Look - SNAP - CONNECT
    Activity observe what you want to learn, Take a mental picture of it and make a connection

    Video - WHoDUNIT? Did you notice the 21 changes?

    It is easy to miss details - you can train the brain to be more perceptive to remember things because you make visual connections to help us remember.

    Technology can Train our Brains
    -surgeons who play video games make fewer errors because you can develop better peripheral vision and better motor skills

    The Future Brain
    Computer Interface Technology
    Thoughts will be wirelessly transmitted to other devices.

    Is Search the end of Memory or is it the opportunity for Collective Wisdom?

    Action items:
    Reach consensus on nature and extent of problems
    Be aware of multitasking and make time offline
    Twitter: @DrGarySmall

    iBrain: Surviving the technological alteration of the modern mind