2014 Concurrent Morning Strands

Wednesday, June 25 – Friday, June 27
9 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Strand I - Cerebrodiversity and Learning

This 3-morning strand is designed to provide participants with an understanding of the neuroscience involved in the learning process. Insights into how to brain works and how students process information can offer educators a new lens and a scientific basis for best practices in teaching. By engaging in hands-on activities to recognize the neural processes underlying cognition and perception, participants will learn effective, brain-based strategies to motivate student learning.

Presenters will first provide an overview of the brain’s anatomy and discuss:

  • Neuronal structure and the contribution of neural networks and neurotransmitters in the information processing system
  • Brain regions involved in attention, language and memory processing
  • Executive functions and how they are impacted by the development of the prefrontal cortex

The second part of this strand will then discuss the intersection of neuroscience and education. Presenters will make connections between current findings on the neuroscience of dyslexia, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and instructional practices that support cerebrodiversity. Topics will focus on:

  • The role of the brain's "emotional filter" in student learning
  • Increasing student participation and maximizing learning from mistakes
  • Sustaining student focus
  • Promoting information transport to the reflective brain instead of the reactive brain


Strand II - Executive Function Coaching: Helping Students Increase Motivation, Decrease Stress, and Get Things Done

Many students struggle in school, not because the work is too hard, but because of the executive function challenges they face when trying to juggle academics, social life, athletics, and jobs.  Executive function (EF) refers to the cognitive processes that allow us to organize thoughts and activities, prioritize tasks, make decisions, and take action.  Students who receive one-on-one executive function coaching often experience increased motivation and decreased stress around academics, and over time, develop greater ability to independently manage their lives at school.

Participants in this highly interactive 3-morning strand will deepen their understanding of EF and its impact on student success and will practice using a model of executive function coaching that provides a practical approach, strategies, and tools for one-on-one support for students who struggle with EF challenges due to increased academic demand, ADHD, or ASD.

Practice sessions will introduce participants to specific ways of supporting students around

  • Initiating and completing work
  • Staying motivated
  • Dealing with stress


Strand III - Ubiquitous Technology: Using Tablet-Based Apps to Support Students who Learn Differently

Apps are ubiquitous, prolific, can be installed in seconds and accessed anyplace anytime. Several technologies that were once thought of as assistive technologies (such as speech-to-text and text-to-speech) have now moved into the mainstream. However, access to technology alone is not enough to ensure learning; students need to employ apps strategically to take advantage of what these technologies have to offer. This workshop will provide training on evidence-based pedagogical practices and study skills that have proven effective for students with learning differences. Participants will learn how to implement time tested Landmark College approaches to supporting students who learn differently using the latest apps.

This 3-morning strand will open with an overview of pedagogical principles and best practices for tablet-based classrooms in a Universal Design framework, as well as guidance on selecting and managing apps that support active learning. One morning session will offer hands-on exploration and practice with a variety of apps for students, including tools for

  • Mind mapping for writing and organization
  • Note taking
  • Test preparation

A second session will focus on instructor tools for supporting

  • Student collaboration
  • Strategic engagement
  • Guided practice with feedback

Participants should plan to bring their own ipads or tablet devices.  (A limited number of devices may be available to borrow during these sessions.)