KEYNOTE: The Big Disconnect: The Impact of Technology on Childhood, Family Life, and Education by Catherine Steiner-Adair

As the focus of family has turned to the glow of the screen; children constantly texting their friends and playing on iPad, parents working online around the clock; everyday family life is undergoing a massive transformation.

Childhood, family life and education have rapidly changed in thrilling ways and in challenging ways. At the same time, schools are increasingly using technology as a primary tool for learning and older students are spending more time on screens that on any other activity (including sleep).

Many students describe a big disconnect between who they are at school, and who they are on line, and struggle with an online social networking culture that is often the antithesis of family and school values. We will push the pause button to look at some of the psychological fallout of our fast-paced adaptation to tech, and refresh our thinking about how to educate/raise children in the digital age and how to use tech as an ally to strengthen family connections and school communities.

Catherine Steiner-Adair

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair is a Clinical and Consulting Psychologist and Research Associate at Harvard Medical School. In her award winning book, The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age (HarperCollins), Dr. Steiner-Adair examines ways in which technology and media change how children learn and grow, and shows parents how to balance the benefits of tech while reducing the risks it poses at every stage of development.

She identifies digital age challenges for parents and educators, and ways to strengthen children’s social and emotional development to help them grow to be responsible, resilient, confident, and capable young adults.

An internationally recognized expert in child development, education, and family relationships. She has consulted worldwide to over 600 independent and public schools and spokes at conferences on a wide range of topics including social and emotional intelligence, girl’s development, and best practices for technology at home, schools and work. Her audiences are student’s, educators, parent organizations, health professionals, corporations, non-profit organizations, government leaders and NGO’s.

As a resource to the media, Dr. Steiner-Adair has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, PBS, NPR News and she in New York Times, WSJ, Washington Post, Huffington Post, CNN Opinion, Time and in the International press. Her earlier research on educating girls to lead and preventing eating disorders lead to the development of "Full of Ourselves: A Wellness Program to Advance Girl Power, Health, and Leadership,” the first successful program of it’s kind, which is currently being translated for use in other countries.