special workshops


By advance registration only. Select one of TWO.
Add $25 fee if you are not attending the conference.

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Cost: $250 per person



1. Sustaining Students' Classroom Attention in the Digital, Distracted Age

There is much to learn from the multimedia, multisensory information that students find so compelling. For example, knowing what happens in the brain when a player is "hooked" on a video game yields teaching strategies that correlate with the gaming effect to evoke similar neurochemical and metabolic brain reactions and promote increased interest, motivation, perseverance, and memory of the information you teach. You'll learn how to promote that attentive response without any technology as well as using free interactive technology such as animoto, WIKI, survey monkey, and "clicker" type responses to capture students and sustain attentive focus, engagement, and promote participation.

Judy Willis, MD, EdM, Board-Certified Neurologist, Middle School Teacher; Adjunct Lecturer, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara; Author, Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning (2006) and "Attention: Adding the Science of Learning to the Art of Teaching to Enrich Classroom Instruction" (2005, Journal of the National Council of English Teachers)


2. Teaching Teens and Their Brains in the Digital Age

(Please add $40 materials fee to workshop price - includes books by presenters)

10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Part I: Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids: Changing the Mindset of Educators
Learn about both the educational mindset needed to create good learning environments for teens in a digital age and the technological tools needed to support such environments. Tackle some of the larger philosophical questions around learning and literacy, and learn how to apply this knowledge to integrating technological tools that support collaborative, challenging, and creative learning environments.

Jessica K. Parker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Education, Sonoma State University; Participant, "the Digital Youth Project"; Author, Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids: Bringing Digital Media into the Classroom, Grades 5-12 (2010)


1:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Part II: Teaching Teen Brains in the Digital Age
Examine how technology is affecting the structure, function, and development of the adolescent brain and how technology fi ts into the brain compatible classroom. There is evidence of a "digital divide" between students who were weaned on technology and students and teachers who are trying to catch up and keep up with the latest developments. Learn how to bridge the gap and manage the teenage "techno-brain."

Marilee B. Sprenger, MA, Adjunct Professor, Aurora University; Former Teacher; Author, Brain Based Teaching in the Digital Age (2010) and The Developing Brain (2008)


(By advance registration only. Select one of THREE.
Add $25 fee if you are not attending the conference.)

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Cost: $185 per person


3. High Impact Teaching in the (Generation) XYZ Era of Education

Today's teachers are facing a truly unique challenge - how to cross the biggest 'generational divide' education has ever seen! Gen X and Gen Y teachers, attempting to teach Gen Z students, need a completely different set of skills and choices when designing and conducting their lessons. Simply stated, the students walking into classrooms today are radically different than those we taught 20, 15, even 10 years ago. Having grown up with the internet, digital TV and computer games, even young kids arrive with a very different idea of how they learn and new expectations of information delivery. To draw these learners in, and help them maximize their potential, we need to use instructional strategies that more closely match their fast, exciting and instantly gratifying world. In this practical, energetic, and dynamic session you'll both hear about and experience unique teaching techniques you can use to seize - and hold! - their attention, such as using today's music, creating relevance by connecting the material to their world, maximizing their memories' potential, and many, many more.

Richard Allen, PhD, Educational Psychologist; President, Green Light Education; Former Director, SuperCamp; Author, High-Impact Teaching Strategies for the 'XYZ' Era of Education (2009), TrainSmart: Effective Trainings Every Time (2007), and Impact Teaching: Ideas and Strategies for Teachers to Maximize Student Learning (2001)


4. Building the Reading Brain in PreK-3

Reading with comprehension is the lynchpin for school success, yet no reading pathway is present at birth. Reading is literally an unnatural act for the human brain! In this session, Pat Wolfe will explain how the brain's plasticity allows it to use structures and circuits originally devoted to other purposes to build the capacity to read. Also discussed will be critical stages in the reading process, causes of dyslexia and what can be done in the years before children start formal schooling to increase the probability that they will learn to read fluently and with comprehension.

Patricia Wolfe, EdD, President, Brain Matters; Educational Consultant: Former Teacher; Author of Building the Reading Brain, PreK-3 (2004) and Brain Matters: Translating Research into Classroom Practice (2001)

immordino 5. Emotions, Culture and Brain-Body Connection: What Teachers Need to Know

All good educators know that emotion is critical to learning, and that some people seem more empathic or more emotional than others. But what is emotion? Why do we have it? What is the relationship between the body and mind during emotion, and how does this relationship influence learning? In this session, Dr. Immordino-Yang will discuss these questions from a neurobiological perspective, and relate them to issues about teaching and learning. She will present her latest research on the neurobiology of social emotions like admiration/awe and compassion, and show that even these complex moral emotions involve both the body and mind, as well as our own sense of "consciousness-awareness" and "self." She will discuss new data on cultural and individual differences in the brain during social emotions, as well as possible implications for children and adolescents living in unsafe or urban environments, and for children who overuse technology.

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD, Assistant Professor, Rossier School of Education; Research Assistant Professor, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California; Author, "Implications of aff ective and social neuroscience for educational theory" (2010, Educational Philosophy and Theory)


By advance registration only. Select one of FOUR.
Add $25 fee if you are not attending the conference.

1:00 PM - 4:30 PM Cost: $175 per person


1. Play, Exercise and Learning in the Digital Age

Take a closer look at the evolution, neurobiology and characteristics of play and exercise, their embedment in the brain's survival circuitry, and the growing data on the relationship of play and exercise to school performance, innovation and creativity, emotional regulation, and overall well-being. The consequences of play deprivation and reduced exercise to individual life and culture in this digital age will likewise be reviewed.

John J. Ratey, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Author, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (2008), and Stuart L. Brown, MD, President, The National Institute of Play; Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego; Co-Author, Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul (2009)

pearlman 2. Teaching and learning 21st Century Skills

Explore schools and classrooms around the country where students become self-directed and self-assessing learners mastering 21st Century knowledge and skills. Examine the best practices in these schools in project-based learning, assessment, technology, and new learning environments that support 21st Century Learning.

Bob Pearlman, BEE, Strategy Consultant, 21st Century School and District Development; Contributing Author, 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn (2010); Author, "Making 21st century schools" (2009, Educational Technology)


3. Stress, Addiction and the Growing Brain: New Challenges for Teaching Today's Students

Stress and screen addiction are two potential "brain disruptors" that are increasingly prevalent among today's students of all ages. Often unrecognized, they may present as disorders in learning, attention, behavior, or social-emotional adjustment, disrupting children's academic progress, creating physical problems, and interfering with optimal input for critical stages of brain maturation. Yet "screen time" is part of everyday life and "good stress" is necessary for motivation and learning. This workshop will explore the neurological and genetic roots of the stress response and addictive behaviors in video gaming, difference between "good stress" and "bad stress," and how to identify and minimize damaging sources of stress at home and in school.

Jane M. Healy, PhD,Educational Psychologist; Author, Your Child's Growing Mind (2004), and Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children's Minds and What We Can Do About It (1999)

smithdearborn 4. Brain-Compatible Approaches for Motivating Reluctant Learners

Standard teaching models don't always work with reluctant learners. So how do we address "rebel" students who seem to have the hardest time paying attention and getting work done? Recent research on the brain reveals some of the reasons why students struggle, and offers myriad possible solutions to those struggles. This interactive workshop will provide teachers and staff developers with practical "brain-based" strategies that they can use to help get "rebel" students of varying abilities and learning styles involved and motivated, and help them retain more.

Rick Smith, International Education Consultant; Former Teacher; Co-Author, Conscious Classroom Management: Unlocking the Secrets of Great Teaching (2004) and Grace Dearborn, Curriculum Specialist; Literacy Coach; Former Bay Area Teacher; Director of a year-long literacy intervention social studies course in a high school in Oakland, CA.



THURSDAY, FEB. 17 from 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM - Free ghj_amp Open to All Attendees
Enjoy this opportunity to meet other attendees and some of the nation's brightest minds.Neuroscientist Gary Small, MD, Psychologist Larry Rosen, PhD, and Educator James Paul Gee, PhD, will be in attendance to sign their recent books.

Advance registration required on the registration form.