Author, Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in their Digital World
Dr. Devorah Heitner is the authority that parents turn to for empowering, research-based advice on raising resilient and kind kids in our always-connected, increasingly challenging world. Advocating for mentoring, not (just) monitoring, her keynotes engage audiences with fresh insights about Digital Natives, communication across the generations and what it’s really like to grow up in the digital age. Read More >
TEDTalk: Empathy is the App
Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive in Their Digital World
Screenwise Book Trailer
Devorah Heitner on WTTW
Parents today worry that kids are addicted, detached or distracted because of digital devices. Often, adults are less conscious about what they are modelling with their own relationship with technology. According to Dr. Devorah Heitner, our concern should go far beyond what kids are doing today. These tech-savvy Digital Natives need mentorship to thrive, develop social skills and succeed in a future where they will likely find a job, meet their spouse and build their reputations in interactive, digital communities. Drawing from Screenwise, her popular guidebook for parents and from the latest research, Dr. Heitner provides gems of guidance to help parents become confident digital media mentors to texters, gamers and social media users from preschool to young adult. You’ll learn what it is like for children to grow up in a world where school experiences, family life and friendships are all shaped by digital connection—and how you can share your own lifetime of social wisdom to mentor children to become the best people that they can be.
In the digital world, no skill is more crucial than empathy. Dr. Heitner’s research with Digital Natives shows that kids are highly attuned to the relationship challenges and stressors that constantly-connected digital lives can create. Expanding on her popular TEDx talk, she shows how to mentor kids and teach them the criteria for making thoughtful decisions. This inspiring presentation addresses empathy, boundaries and etiquette that can set children up to for a lifetime of success as digital communicators. Dr. Heitner’s compelling stories from her research with young people demonstrate the urgent need to mentor our children. She also shows that kids are ready to co-create solutions, if we just listen to them.
First email account. First gaming avatar. First social media account. First smartphone. There are many milestones involved in growing up in the digital age. This talk for professional (counselors, educators and school leaders) informs these professionals about the latest research on digital natives and helps them to appropriately support young people as they encounter and master these digital skills. Audiences leave with a powerful message: Limiting or monitoring technology is no substitute for mentoring and engagement.
Drawing on her research with young people, parents and educators, Dr. Heitner offers a helpful framework for thoughtfully engaging parents and kids with educational technology initiatives. By sharing experiences from a range of independent and public schools, she can empower educators to understand parents and students at a deeper level without resorting to assumptions that can hamper engagement and undermine success.
"Devorah’s message was invaluable and should be heard by parents everywhere. Based on this awareness, our teachers are now more empowered in the classroom. We are already beginning to plan her next visit!"
"Devorah was a wealth of knowledge in sharing her perspective on raising our kids in a digital world. She brought a lot of great ideas to the room for parents of toddlers through the teenage years. It was refreshing to hear her point of view about embracing technology in a healthy way for the entire family. She gave a powerful presentation and then had a great conversation during the Q&A. HIGHLY recommend Devorah to inspire a healthy, interesting conversation."
"I have worked with a lot of speakers, and Devorah is a dream come true. She is responsive, meticulous, and patient and above all else: an expert in her field. Her speech was thoughtfully researched, empowering and 100% relevant."
"Dr. Heitner’s talk not only addressed the obstacles that a multitude of digital connections present, she also offered practical advice. Attendees walked away feeling reassured rather than overwhelmed and encouraged to mentor rather than monitor, to understand, instruct and guide their children’s use of technology as they are coming of age."
"I was feeling overwhelmed by the technology in my 6th grader’s life; my daughter was accessing online tools and social media sites I wasn’t familiar with, and I needed to provide more guidance in her digital life. After speaking with Devorah of Raising Digital Natives, I now have a framework for keeping my daughter healthy and happy online."
"Devorah moves effortlessly between a student perspective on the digital world, a parent’s perspective, and an educator’s point-of-view. She focused on building empathy, understanding and ultimately, positive identities. She illustrates clearly how technology exists in a developmental context for every human being, and how awareness of the context, thoughtfulness and transparency can harness the power of technology (including social media) to help children learn and grow. Devorah helps translate the digital world across generations in ways that honor children and adults, and that offers a vision for nurturing sound judgment and independence in students as they grow up in a global, digitized community."
"This discussion offered a refreshing perspective on kids and media that went beyond the common admonishment to limit “screen time”. The feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive, with many commenting that the discussion went beyond expectations."
"Everyone walked away with a sense of calm and renewed confidence in their ability to mentor their digital native(s). Devorah’s guidance was timely and resonated with our students. This is my new ‘must do’ for the start of the school year!"
"I really enjoyed Devorah’s talk. Her style and personality made it engaging, and her academic background coupled with being a mom makes her credible and accessible."
"Devorah did an amazing job connecting with parents about raising digital natives. She had terrific ideas about how to set reasonable boundaries and weave technology into family life in healthy, thoughtful ways. Devorah is thinking deeply about these issues as a parent, teacher, and researcher. She can be a guide to all of us exploring this new frontier."
"She offered practical takeaways, wise advice, and a lot of great information about social media and screen time. Devorah is an engaging speaker and was willing to not only answer questions from the parents but also to stay connected after the lecture. We were thrilled with her presentation and highly recommend her for any school or parent speaking engagements."
"Devorah has a clear, culturally-based perspective on the digital world in which our children (natives) live and how we as parents (immigrants) can best navigate this world with the most positive results for everyone involved. She combines humor, the latest research and practical takeaway points, all making for a very effective thought-provoking presentation."