If you say yes, you are not alone…
Our ability to focus and stay connected to the people in our lives is diminishing due to the distractible nature of technology, even though current research shows that sustained attention is the number one predictor of success in life. Technology is not going away, so how do parents and children moderate a healthy and productive use of screen time when their attention is constantly pulled away by the allure of their iPhones, iPads, and social media?
In her talks and discussions, Susan Reynolds, M.Ed. focuses on the reasons for our attachment to digital devices. Susan outlines voluntary and involuntary attention, two key concepts needed to understand in order to shift one’s attention when distracted by not only technology, but the myriad of tasks required to balance work and family life. In addition, she suggests strategies to shift children’s and teens’ focus from the virtual world of their screens to their real life of school, friends and family. Empowering parents, teens and children alike, she provides key steps and strategies for the healthy use of technology, including awareness of attention, mindfulness, and an intentional use of technology.
With mindfulness being the key practice to shift the brain for better focus, attention and ability to monitor one’s own technology use, Susan demonstrates simple tools to integrate into one’s daily work, school and home life.
As a former middle school teacher and author of the blogs, “Teens and Technology,” and “Confessions of a Tech Addicted Yogi,” Susan’s work appeals because she understands what it’s like to have her attention snatched by digital devices. Weaving in understandable neurobiology and research data with her own experiences, Susan teaches her audiences to moderate, but not eliminate, their use of technology with intention and awareness. Through the key strategies outlined in this talk, participants come to learn why they are so attracted to digital media, how it’s changing their brains, and how to take their power back to learn to focus over an extended period of time.
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Technology Toolbox #1: From Surviving to Thriving in the Digital Age
Join a conversation between parents and teens/20s on the impact technology is having on school work, socializing and mental health. The class will begin with a group viewing of Simon Sinek’s “Millennials in the Workplace” viral video, and progress to reaction, discussion of the problem and suggestions for solutions. Young adults who have unique perspectives on the topic as high school and college students will join in the conversation. After the discussion, specific strategies and tools to manage the increasingly fast paced, distracting, and anxiety producing impact of the digital age will be taught and practiced. There will be an opportunity to peruse books and resources after the class.
Technology Toolbox #2:Technology, Multitasking and Homework
Does homework take twice as long as it could? Is it hard to focus for an extended amount of time on one assignment without multitasking? If you said yes, you are not alone. Most adults and students alike cannot attend to one task for more than 5 minutes without being pulled off by a distraction, whether a ding, a social media site, another assignment or a thought. There are specific tools, strategies, and skills you can learn to maximize your focus while studying. Mindfulness practices to train our brains to maximize attention and concentration will be included. Students will have an opportunity to practice the skills during the sessions, so you should bring homework if you have it.
Technology Toolbox #3:Teens, Technology and Mental Health
How do technology and mindfulness connect contribute to the growing mental health struggles of teens and 20s? “Do We Need Less Technology and More Mindfulness?” What about Technology AND Mindfulness together? During this class parents and students will learn the “Power Down for Presence” process that has proven to increase attention and focus as well as foster greater well being in students with lessened anxiety and depression. As the speed of the 24/7 digital world increases, the lure of technology becomes even greater. The brain science as well as specific strategies to pause one’s use of technology and come into presence for greater mental and brain health will be taught. Tools and skills to take home will complete the class.