Speaker and Sessions

DISTRESSED AND STRUGGLING STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS


Today's school-aged generations (Generation Z, which includes the school-age population from 3rd grade through college; and Generation Alpha, which includes those born after 2010) are unlike previous generations, having grown up in an age of COVID-19, stress, smartphones and social media, distractions, and school violence. Research has found that both students and educators are in distress as a result of the pandemic and constant digital usage. A 2020 survey found that compared to past generations, students today are now the most digitally connected (spending almost 6 hours a day on Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube), the most distressed (60% reporting high levels of stress, depression, and mental health issues); the most disengaged (52% have less motivation to do schoolwork); the most distracted (45% have a hard time concentrating on schoolwork); and the most learning delayed (47% feel they are not learning as much as before the pandemic). Educators have also been impacted by stress, burnout, and mental health issues. A recent RAND report found 59% of teachers and 48% of principals are burned out and 30% of teachers and principals say they are likely to leave their profession.

However, research has discovered ways to improve mental health, motivation and engagement, focus, and learning environments for students and educators.

This conference will merge the science of learning and stress, generational studies of Gen. Z and Alpha, and health and developmental science research to help students struggling to learn and educators struggling to cope. Explore science-based strategies to reduce stress, burnout, and distractions, and improve mental health, engagement, motivation, focus, learning, leadership, and teaching practice.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@learningandtheb / #LatB63) for conference updates and news.

This conference will be presented as a hybrid conference. You can either attend in person in Boston or participate virtually.

Featured Speakers

The Distressed Generation: How the Pandemic and Social Media is Creating a Mental Health Crisis

Jean M. Twenge, PhD

Professor of Psychology, College of Science, San Diego State University; Researcher on teens and Generation Z; Author, iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy -- and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood (2017), The Narcissism Epidemic (2009) and Generation Me (2006); Co-Author, “Associations Between Adolescent Depression and Self-harm Behaviors and Screen Media Use in a Nationally Representative Time-diary Study” (2021, Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology)

The Disengaged Generation: Improving Student Engagement and Wellbeing in Schools

Andy P. Hargreaves, PhD

Thomas More Brennan Chair; Research Professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College; Director of Change, Engagement and Innovation in Education, University of Ottawa; Former Professor of Educational Leadership and Change, The University of Nottingham; Educational Researcher currently working on a $2.7 million project funded by the LEGO Foundation to develop and conduct research into a national network of schools that serve high needs populations through play-based learning; Honored with the “Horace Mann” Award in the US, the “Robert Owen” Award in Scotland for services to public education, and the “Excellence in Teaching with Technology” Award from Boston College; Elected President of The International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement and Elected Member of the National Academy of Education; Co-Author, Wellbeing in Schools (2021), Five Paths to Student Engagement (2021), Teaching in the Knowledge Society (2016), Professional Capital (2013), and The Global Fourth Way (2012)

The Stolen Years: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives

Anya Kamenetz, BA

Journalist; Education Correspondent, NPR; Staff Writer, Fast Company, and Contributor to New York Times and Slate; Winner of the “Edward R. Murrow Award for Innovation”; Expert on education and technology with Millennials and Generation Z students; Author, The Stolen Years: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives, and Where to Go Now (2022), The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life (2018), The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing–But You Don't Have to Be (2016), DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education (2010), and Generation Debt (2006)

From Stressed to Resilient: Helping A Distressed Generation

Deborah Gilboa, MD

Family Physician; Founder of AskDoctorG.com; Winner of the Alpha Omega Alpha Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award as a Clinical Associate Professor for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Resilience and Youth Development Expert featured on the shows TODAY, Good Morning America, and Rachael Ray; Author, From Stressed to Resilient: The Guide to Handle More and Feel It Less (2022), Get the Behavior You Want... Without Being the Parent You Hate! (2014), Teach Responsibility: Empower Kids with Great Work Ethic (2013), Teach Respect: That's My Kid (2013), and Teaching Resilience: Raising Kids Who Can Launch (2012)

A Generation in Crisis: Behavioral and Educational Best Practices for Students with Mental Health Challenges

Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA

Licensed and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst; Special Educator; Blogger, The Huffington Post; Author, “Helping Anxious Kids Move Forward” (2017, Educational Leadership), The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (2014), and “Building Positive Relationships with Students Struggling with Mental Health” (2019, Phi Delta Kappan); Co-Author, "A Skill-Building Approach to Reducing Student’s Anxiety and Challenging Behavior" (2022, Phi Delta Kappan) and The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students (2012)

Your Bounce Back Matters

Baruti K. Kafele, MA

Principal; Master Teacher and Transformational School Leader; New Jersey State Teacher of the Year; Recipient of more than 100 awards including New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence, the prestigious Milken National Educator Award and the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award; Author, "The Mental Balancing Act for School Leaders" (2021, Educational Leadership), The Assistant Principal 50 (2020), The Aspiring Principal 50 (2019), Is My School a Better School Because I Lead It? (2018), The Teacher 50 (2016), and Closing the Attitude Gap (2013)

A Generation of Distracted Brains: Helping Children and Teens With Focus, Digital Dependency, and Digital Learning

Thomas J. Kersting, LPC

Licensed Counselor; Psychotherapist, Owner, Valley Family Counseling Center; TV Guest Expert on mental health and parenting in the digital age for shows such as Fox & Friends and The Today Show; Author, Disconnected: How to Protect Your Child from the Dangers of Device Dependency (2020) and Disconnected: How To Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids (2016)

1) TEACHING DISTRESSED BRAINS: IMPROVING RESILIENCE & MENTAL HEALTH IN A STRUGGLING, STRESSED GENERATION

From Stressed to Resilient: Helping A Distressed Generation

Deborah Gilboa, MD

Family Physician; Founder of AskDoctorG.com; Winner of the Alpha Omega Alpha Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award as a Clinical Associate Professor for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Resilience and Youth Development Expert featured on the shows TODAY, Good Morning America, and Rachael Ray; Author, From Stressed to Resilient: The Guide to Handle More and Feel It Less (2022), Get the Behavior You Want... Without Being the Parent You Hate! (2014), Teach Responsibility: Empower Kids with Great Work Ethic (2013), Teach Respect: That's My Kid (2013), and Teaching Resilience: Raising Kids Who Can Launch (2012)

A Generation in Crisis: Behavioral
and Educational Best Practices for Students with Mental Health Challenges

Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA

Licensed and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst; Special Educator; Blogger, The Huffington Post; Author, “Helping Anxious Kids Move Forward” (2017, Educational Leadership), The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (2014), and “Building Positive Relationships with Students Struggling with Mental Health” (2019, Phi Delta Kappan); Co-Author, "A Skill-Building Approach to Reducing Student’s Anxiety and Challenging Behavior" (2022, Phi Delta Kappan) and The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students (2012)

The Science of Struggling Brains: Stress, SES, Motivation, and Competence in Children in Reading and Math

Joanna A. Christodoulou, EdD

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Institute of Health Professions, Massachusetts General Hospital; Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard Medical School; Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Director, Brain, Education, and Mind (BEAM) Lab; 2014 winner of the "Transforming Education Through Neuroscience" Award from the Learning & the Brain Foundation and the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society; Co-Author, "Socioeconomic Status and Reading Outcomes: Neurocognitive and Behavioral Correlates" (2022, PsyArXiv) and "Anxiety, Motivation, and Competence in Mathematics and Reading for Children With and Without Learning Difficulties" (2021, Frontiers in Psychology)

The Science of Learning: Stress, Emotions, and Learning

Jared Cooney Horvath, PhD, MEd

Educational Neuroscientist; Former Lecturer and Science of Learning Research Scientist, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne; Director, LME Global; Director, The Science of Learning Group; Honorary Research Fellow, St. Vincent's Hospital; Author, Stop Talking, Start Influencing: 12 Insights From Brain Science to Make Your Message Stick (2019); Co-Author, 10 Things Schools Get Wrong (2020), Learning Analytics in the Classroom (2018), and From Laboratory to Classroom: Translating Science of Learning for Teachers (2016)

Future Tense: Anxiety and the Pandemic on Students

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, PhD

Neuroscientist; Anxiety Researcher; Director, Emotion Regulation Lab; Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience; Co-Executive Director, Center for Health Technology, Hunter College; Founder and CSO, Wise Therapeutics; Author, Future Tense: Why Anxiety is Good for You (Even Though It Feels Bad) (2022); Co-Author, "Longitudinal Change in Adolescent Depression and Anxiety Symptoms From Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic" (2022, Journal of Research of Adolescence)

2) TEACHING DISTRACTED BRAINS: IMPROVING FOCUS & WELLBEING IN A DIGITAL GENERATION

The Distressed Generation: How the Pandemic and Social Media is Creating a Mental Health Crisis

Jean M. Twenge, PhD

Professor of Psychology, College of Science, San Diego State University; Researcher on teens and Generation Z; Author, iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy -- and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood (2017), The Narcissism Epidemic (2009) and Generation Me (2006); Co-Author, “Associations Between Adolescent Depression and Self-harm Behaviors and Screen Media Use in a Nationally Representative Time-diary Study” (2021, Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology)

A Generation of Distracted Brains: Helping Children and Teens With Focus, Digital Dependency, and Digital Learning

Thomas J. Kersting, LPC

Licensed Counselor; Psychotherapist, Owner, Valley Family Counseling Center; TV Guest Expert on mental health and parenting in the digital age for shows such as Fox & Friends and The Today Show; Author, Disconnected: How to Protect Your Child from the Dangers of Device Dependency (2020) and Disconnected: How To Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids (2016)

Behind Their Screens: What Teens Are Facing and How to Help Them

Emily Weinstein, EdD

Research Director, Senior Researcher, Project Zero; Co-Director, "Digital Dilemmas" and "Reimaging Digital Wellness" Projects; Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Former Digital Learning Consultant, Common Sense Media; Co-Author, Behind Their Screens: What Teens Are Facing (And Adults Are Missing) (2022), "15 School-Based Initiatives Promoting Digital Citizenship and Healthy Digital Media Use" (2022, Handbook of Adolescent Digital Media Use and Mental Health) and "Shelter in Place, Connect Online: Trending TikTok Content During the Early Days of the US COVID-19 Pandemic" (2021, Journal of Adolescent Health)

DISTRACTED: Why Students Cannot Focus

James M. Lang, PhD

Professor of English; Director, D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence, Assumption College; Monthly Columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education; Editor, West Virginia University Press; President, The Lang Family Foundation; Author, Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It (2020) and Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (2016); Co-Author, Small Teaching K-8: Igniting the Teaching Spark with the Science of Learning (2022) and Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes (2019)

The Science of Distraction, Motivation, and Memory: Fulfilling the Promise of Teaching and Learning With Technology

Michelle D. Miller, PhD

Neuroscientist; Professor of Psychological Sciences; President's Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Northern Arizona University; Author, Remembering and Forgetting in the Age of Technology: Teaching, Learning, and the Science of Memory in a Wired World (forthcoming, 2022), Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology (2014) and Minds Online: What Cognitive and Brain Sciences Tell Us About Teaching With Technology (2012); Co-Author, “Changing Counterproductive Beliefs About Attention, Memory, and Multitasking” (2020, Applied Cognitive Psychology)

Your Bounce Back Matters

Baruti K. Kafele, MA

Principal; Master Teacher and Transformational School Leader; New Jersey State Teacher of the Year; Recipient of more than 100 awards including New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence, the prestigious Milken National Educator Award and the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award; Author, "The Mental Balancing Act for School Leaders" (2021, Educational Leadership), The Assistant Principal 50 (2020), The Aspiring Principal 50 (2019), Is My School a Better School Because I Lead It? (2018), The Teacher 50 (2016), and Closing the Attitude Gap (2013)

3) TEACHING BORED BRAINS: IMPROVING MOTIVATION, AGENCY, & ACTIVE LEARNING FOR A DISENGAGED GENERATION

The Disengaged Generation: Improving Student Engagement and Wellbeing in Schools

Andy P. Hargreaves, PhD

Thomas More Brennan Chair; Research Professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College; Director of Change, Engagement and Innovation in Education, University of Ottawa; Former Professor of Educational Leadership and Change, The University of Nottingham; Educational Researcher currently working on a $2.7 million project funded by the LEGO Foundation to develop and conduct research into a national network of schools that serve high needs populations through play-based learning; Honored with the “Horace Mann” Award in the US, the “Robert Owen” Award in Scotland for services to public education, and the “Excellence in Teaching with Technology” Award from Boston College; Elected President of The International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement and Elected Member of the National Academy of Education; Co-Author, Wellbeing in Schools (2021), Five Paths to Student Engagement (2021), Teaching in the Knowledge Society (2016), Professional Capital (2013), and The Global Fourth Way (2012)

Motivating a Love of Learning: The Science of Active Learning, Play, Curiosity, and Exploration

Elizabeth Bonawitz, PhD

Cognitive Scientist; David J. Vitale Associate Professor of Learning Sciences, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Recipient of the James McDonnell Foundation Understanding Human Cognition Scholar Award and the Jacobs Early Career Research Fellowship; Former Associate Editor for Journal of Cognitive Science and Governing Board of the Cognitive Development Society and Children Helping Science; Co-Author, "Early Environments and Exploration in the Preschool Years" (2022, PsyArXiv), "Wow, I Did It: Unexpected Success Increases Preschooler exploratory Play on Later Tasks" (2020, Cognitive Development), and "Choosing to Learn: Evidence Evaluation for Active Learning and Teaching in Early Childhood" (2018, Active Learning From Infancy to Childhood)

Increasing Student Engagement and Behavior During Challenging Times

Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA

Licensed and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst; Special Educator; Blogger, The Huffington Post; Author, “Helping Anxious Kids Move Forward” (2017, Educational Leadership), The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students with Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (2014), and “Building Positive Relationships with Students Struggling with Mental Health” (2019, Phi Delta Kappan); Co-Author, "A Skill-Building Approach to Reducing Student’s Anxiety and Challenging Behavior" (2022, Phi Delta Kappan) and The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students (2012)

Alienated and Discouraged: Strategies to Motivate Children to Learn

Kathryn R. Wentzel, PhD

Professor of Human Development, Department of Human Development, Learning, and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland; Editor, Educational Psychologists; Author, "Peer relationships, motivation, and academic performance at school" (2017, Handbook of Competence and Motivation 2nd edition) and "Competence Within Context: Implications for the Development of Positive Student Identities and Motivation at School" (2015, Self-concept, motivation and identity: Underpinning success with research and practice. International advances in self research); Co-Author, “Peer and Teacher Supports in Relation to Motivation and Effort: A Multi-level Study” (2017, Contemporary Educational Psychology), Handbook of motivation at school (2016, 2nd edition) and Social Influences on Social-Emotional, Motivation, and Cognitive Outcomes in School Contexts (2016)

The Science of Motivating Students

Peps McCrea, PhD

Dean of Learning Design, Ambition Institute; Director of R&D, Steplab; Advisor, Department for Education; Former Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Brighton; Author, Developing Expert Teaching: What Expertise Is, and How to Develop It (in Ourselves and in Others) (2022), Motivated Teaching: Harnessing the Science of Motivation to Boost Attention and Effort in the Classroom (2020), Memorable Teaching: Leveraging Memory to Build Deep and Durable Learning in the Classroom (2017) and Lean Lesson Planning: A Practical Guide to Doing Less and Achieving More in the Classroom (2015)

Teaching and Motivating Generation Z and Alpha

Allison Zmuda, MA

Founder/Curator, Learning Personalized; President, The Competent Classroom; Co-Author, "Meet Generation Alpha: Teaching the Newest Generation of Students" (2017, Solution Tree Blog), Students at the Center: Personalized Learning With Habits of Mind (2017), Learning Personalized: The Evolution of the Contemporary Classroom (2015), and Transforming Schools, and Breaking Free from Myths About Teaching and Learning (2010)

4) LEADING BRAINS THROUGH BURNOUT: IMPROVING RESILIENCE & LEADERSHIP IN TEACHERS & LEADERS

Your Bounce Back Matters

Baruti K. Kafele, MA

Principal; Master Teacher and Transformational School Leader; New Jersey State Teacher of the Year; Recipient of more than 100 awards including New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence, the prestigious Milken National Educator Award and the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award; Author, "The Mental Balancing Act for School Leaders" (2021, Educational Leadership), The Assistant Principal 50 (2020), The Aspiring Principal 50 (2019), Is My School a Better School Because I Lead It? (2018), The Teacher 50 (2016), and Closing the Attitude Gap (2013)

From Stressed to Resilient: What Educators Need in These Challenging Times

Deborah Gilboa, MD

Family Physician; Founder of AskDoctorG.com; Winner of the Alpha Omega Alpha Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award as a Clinical Associate Professor for the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Resilience and Youth Development Expert featured on the shows TODAY, Good Morning America, and Rachael Ray; Author, From Stressed to Resilient: The Guide to Handle More and Feel It Less (2022), Get the Behavior You Want... Without Being the Parent You Hate! (2014), Teach Responsibility: Empower Kids with Great Work Ethic (2013), Teach Respect: That's My Kid (2013), and Teaching Resilience: Raising Kids Who Can Launch (2012)

Strategies for Leading a Pandemic Population of Students

Andrew McPeak, MA

Co-Host, "Leading the Next Generation" with Tim Elmore Podcast; Vice President of Content, Growing Leaders; Co-Author, Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population (2019) and Marching Off the Map: Inspire Students to Navigate a Brand New World (2017); Contributor, The Pandemic Population: Eight Strategies to Help Generation Z Rediscover Hope After Coronavirus (2020)

5) TEACHING STRUGGLING BRAINS: IMPROVING LEARNING IN A DISCOURAGED, DELAYED STUDENTS

The Stolen Years: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives and Learning

Anya Kamenetz, BA

Journalist; Education Correspondent, NPR; Staff Writer, Fast Company, and Contributor to New York Times and Slate; Winner of the “Edward R. Murrow Award for Innovation”; Expert on education and technology with Millennials and Generation Z students; Author, The Stolen Years: How COVID Changed Children’s Lives, and Where to Go Now (2022), The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life (2018), The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing–But You Don't Have to Be (2016), DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education (2010), and Generation Debt (2006)

The Disintegrating Student: Struggling But Smart, Falling Apart, and How to Turn It Around

Jeannine Jannot, PhD

School Psychologist; Adjunct Instructor, Georgia State University; Student and Parent Coach/Productivity Coach, Peachtree Psychology, LLC; Founder and CEO, The Balanced U; Founder and CEO, The Balanced Student, LLC; Author, The Disintegrating Student: Struggling but Smart, Falling Apart, and How to Turn It Around (2021)

Teaching Vulnerable Learners: Strategies for Students Who Are Bored, Distracted, Discouraged, and Likely to Drop Out

Suzy Pepper Rollins, MA

Education Consultant, Fast Lane Learning, LLC; Founder, Math in the Fast Lane; Former Remedial Education Coordinator; Expert in remedial education and learning acceleration; Author, Teaching Vulnerable Learners: Strategies for Students who are Bored, Distracted, Discouraged, or Likely to Drop Out (2020), Teaching in the Fast Lane: How to Create Active Learning Experiences (2017) and Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 Ways to Put ALL Students on the Road to Academic Success (2014)