Online Gaming: The Impact on Young Male Brains

Jill Sweatman (Neuroscience Communicator and Learning Expert)

Centre for Learning and Leadership, Lower Level, Rooms C01-C02

While online gaming has its many attractions, there are many more concerns surrounding this medium of entertainment with significant cognitive, psychological and social challenges.

The latest neuroscience research (Saunders 2018, Warburton 2018) indicates that the impact of too much online gaming on the brain is similar to substance abuse. The short-term implications are clear: physically measurable changes in the brain, poor grades, poor sleep, anxiety and depression, disconnection from family and increased aggressive or violent outbursts. Evidence is mounting that for many, the long-term implications are frightening. And we don’t want it to be too late before we act.

As educators, we need to protect children from the impact of excessive online gaming, and to ensure children continue to lead healthy, balanced lives. Therefore, the fundamental question is how much is too much? It is imperative to learn strategies and successful practical tips to assist our young men who may become, or are already, addicted to online gaming.  Jill will share: why the latest research on the changes in the brain from online gaming is alarming; how to recognise the signs in different subject areas e.g. Maths and English; how to apply immediate strategies and practical tips; and how to approach parents.

Jill Sweatman, neuroscience communicator and seasoned educational consultant, is an international speaker and author on educational transformation success and positive technology in a digital world. She has appeared on Sixty Minutes and Today Tonight as an expert on online gaming and is known as the BRAIN WHISPERER TM. She coaches and tutors parents and children with online gaming concerns, providing strategies and solutions for positive technology education. She is a board member of the Network for Internet Investigation and Research Australia and a regular media commentator.

Mindset and Resilience

Tyson Popplestone

Centre for Learning and Leadership, Upper Level, Senior Library

As a driven kid, I quickly realised that our culture viewed successful to mean wealthy and well-known. I trusted that definition and decided to try and become a success myself. Initially, that was through running, where I won the Melbourne Marathon 10km, Victorian Mile Championships and ran for Australia at the World University Cross Country Championships. In 2011, I graduated from University with a degree in Education and stepped into a teaching job with the idea that this was stage one in my journey to success. The game had begun and I was excited to be amongst it. Then 6-months into my role I realised something. A lot of us were playing the same game… and a lot of us were miserable. This session will look at the simple, practical, and evidence-based strategies to assist students on their journey. With a particular focus on mindset and the power of focus, physiology, language as well as our personal stories, the audience will be better equipped to navigate the trials of their lives when they arise.

Boys’ Motivation and Engagement in Science: Where are They at and What Can We Do About it?

Roger Kennett (TKS), Andrew Martin (UNSW), Emma Burns (UNSW), Joel Pearson (UNSW) & Vera Munro-Smith (TKS)

Centre for Learning and Leadership, Lower Level, Auditorium

Motivation and engagement play a vital role in developing young men who are resilient when challenged academically and willing to put in the effort to persist through to task completion. With a focus on motivation and engagement, this workshop will explore a well-established and empirically validated model which illuminates the 11 key dimensions of motivation and engagement in science, including the positive and negative aspects. Using evidence collected from nearly 6,000 Australian science students in 2018, we will come to a richer understanding of the role of self-efficacy, success orientation, self-sabotage and the other 8 dimensions at play in the lives of adolescents as they study Science at school. We will also explore ideas for educational practice that can help Science teachers empower students to reach their potential by maximising their motivation and engagement.

Building Emotional Muscle in Young Men

Tom Bell (Tomorrow Man)

Centre for Learning and Leadership, Lower Level, Rooms C03-C04

What does it mean to be a bloke today and what do we want it to look like tomorrow? The tide is changing for men young and old and the outdated stereotype is leaving some of our young men stranded without the tools for a healthy life. It’s time we got in a room to have a no holds barred conversation about the state of man, face the stats, and create room to flex the stereotype and expand our understanding of what it means to be a man. Tomorrow Man specialises in building emotional muscle in men of all ages. It doesn’t matter if you’re a teenager, elite athlete, or a bloke working on the mines, we step into all environments to create and foster environments where men of all ages can speak openly and learn from one another.

Stoking the Fires 

Simon Brooks

Dining Precinct, Arnott Room

Simon will use this workshop to extend and explore in more detail the message of his Friday morning conference keynote, How K-12 Teachers Might Cultivate Students’ Epistemic Curiosity to Enhance Engagement and Deepen Understanding.

The Brain in the Classroom

Jared Cooney Horvath

King’s Theatre

Jared will use this workshop to extend and explore in more detail the message of his Friday morning conference keynote, The Brain in the Classroom: Foundations of Thinking and Learning.