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.
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.
Young people are told to "brand themselves" for college applications and to find work. But people are complicated and multi-faceted. You are more than a brand. Yes, you can look at your digital footprint and put your best foot forward, but you can also resist the attempt to have a perfectly curated life. And you can recognize that your peers and mentors have complex and multi-faceted lives, too. Growing up in the digital age makes social comparison too easy. This talk busts some of the myths of "personal brand" to emphasize the positives of being yourself and recognizing the pitfalls of social comparison.
This talk emphasizes how communicating about how to communicate is crucial. Heitner myth-busts the stereotypes about Generation Z and millennial workers and shares the many advantages of intergenerational teams at work.
The research is in. Always on is NOT the most productive. But the tools and connectivity are 24/7 and for many colleagues, they are right there at home? How can we create boundaries and get the whole team, including leadership, to buy in.
In this talk for recruiters, HR and anyone who hires and trains new and recent graduates, Heitner shares her own research and other data about Gen Z to help understand how to recruit, inspire and mentor this generation for the best results.
Heitner shares her research on admissions to reduce fear and increase understanding of the realities of today's admissions landscape.
"Dr. Heitner was outstanding. Important message, well delivered. Devorah was excellent, I appreciated her perspective and understanding of teens. I would have loved to hear more from Dr. Heitner!"
"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 hosted a webinar for thousands of employees at leading companies around how to make distance learning work for kids during the pandemic. The parents who attended shared that Devorah's guidance gave them practical advice and tips on how to best support their kids - and themselves - right now. Her perspective and expertise on how to guide children in this digital age is what parents need right now."
"I have worked with a lot of speakers, and Devorah is a dream come true. She is responsive, meticulous, patient and above all else: an expert in her field. She made my life so much easier in planning a large and complex event. Her speech was relevant, thoughtfully researched and 100% on topic--tons of our attendees approached me afterward to let me know how much they enjoyed it."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"After watching Devorah speak to different constituencies on our campus, (teachers, parents and students) I'm impressed by her ability to reach, inform and relate with each audience. She offers an exceptional mix of having a highly developed EQ and research-backed content. It's a powerful combination."
"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."
"The relevant, positive and insightful energy that Devorah brought to over 500 educators will stay with all of us far beyond 2018. We truly appreciate Devorah’s commitment to supporting social and emotional learning for all!"
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