Wednesday, October 16
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Fast ForWord Pre-Conference Training (additional $149 per person)
Introduction to Fast ForWord
Preparing Students for Program Use
Foundations & Literacy Series
Reading Assistant Plus
Student Motivation & Interventions
Thursday, October 17
Times listed in Mountain Standard Time (MST)
This course is offered for up to 1.2 ASHA CEUs.
(Intermediate Level, Professional Area)
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Jeff Thomas, CEO, Scientific Learning
8:45 AM - 9:45 AM
Breaking Bad: Tackling Behavior Problems at the Core
We often see behaviors at school that are detrimental to both the students exhibiting the behavior and those around them. These behavioral issues interfere with student learning because they are disruptive or consume a lot of class time. Currently, researchers and SEL experts are also interested in the foundational issues that underlie those actions. This session will review the new research on ‘top down’ self-regulatory systems, including working memory and attentional skills, that can undermine academic success and with it, confidence and motivation to achieve. The session will conclude with discussion of ways in which the Fast ForWord programs augments self-regulation.
Dr. Martha S. Burns, Adjunct Associate Professor, Northwestern University and Director of Neuroscience Education, Scientific Learning
10:15 AM - 10:45 AM
Rapid-Fire Expert Exchange
This will be a “speed-sharing” session for both onsite and virtual attendees, where you have the opportunity to get advice and input from colleagues like you, on any professional topic you like. You’ll have 8 minutes during which you and a colleague will speak about your goals, challenges, education-related questions, business practices, etc. We’ll provide prompts to make this a valuable “expert exchange” of information. Every 8 minutes, you will move on to the next colleague for more, more, and more constructive collaboration! Collectively, that’s over a 1,000 years of experience that can be leveraged to help you help more struggling readers.
Nick Andreotta, Scientific Learning
Sessions descriptions can be found here.
Friday, October 18
8:00 AM - 8:15 AM
Peter Carabi, Vice President of Global Business Development, Scientific Learning
8:15 AM - 9:00 AM
Movement and Cognitive Development
BrainFit, Scientific Learning’s value added partner for Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant in South East Asia, has built programs based on recent research in the area of movement and cognitive development. This research has revealed how physical exercises are able to impact cognitive development through numerous mechanisms, including increasing of blood flow and oxygen to the brain, as well as the release of neurochemicals that act to stimulate growth of new brain cells. This session aims to explore the latest in the body-brain connection and discuss how structured physical activities can further enhance sensory-processing in the brain and support attention and learning behaviors in the classroom. In addition, attendees will better understand how some educational institutions have integrated movement into an overall learning environment that includes the effective use of Fast ForWord and other cognitive skills-based tools.
Cheryl Chia, BrainFit, Singapore
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Building Fast ForWord Engagement – It Starts at the Top
Bobby Simma, Federal Programs Administrator and Elementary Principal at Perkins-Tryon Public Schools in Oklahoma, has used Fast ForWord in two districts and recently stated that Fast ForWord is probably the most effective product he has come across in 36 years of public school work. His passion for students and enthusiasm for learning is contagious so join Bobby to learn his strategies for engagement and what he considers ‘must haves’ for a strong implementation!
9:45 AM - 10:15 AM
An Interview with Dr. Paula Tallal
Over the last 35 years, Dr. Tallal has been at the forefront of advancing reading proficiency and language development based on cognitive neuroscience research. In this session, Scientific Learning CEO Jeff Thomas will interview Dr. Tallal, with an emphasis on the key advancements that have been made in our understanding of language development over the past three decades, and how cognitive neuroscience has played a role in this process. Participants will gain an understanding of the most important research findings during this period, and the implications of this research on educational policies and practices. In addition, participants will learn about specific examples of how programs based on cognitive neuroscience have positively impacted the lives of children.
Paula A. Tallal, Ph.D., received her Ph.D. from Cambridge University, and has previously spent her academic career on the faculty of Johns Hopkins, UCSD and Rutgers and is currently on the faculty at the Salk Institute and UCSD. Over the past 30 years Tallal has led NIH and NSF multidisciplinary research teams and published 250 papers on the neurobiological basis of speech, language and reading. She was selected by the Library of Congress to be the Commentator for the Field of Psychology at its Bicentennial Celebration and earned the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Prize for her work leading to the development of Fast ForWord software.
Sessions descriptions can be found here.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (K-12 welcome to attend)
Provider TED Talks
20-Minute Overviews on Special Topics
TED Talk #1
Implementing Fast ForWord Programs with College Students Who Have Sustained Concussions
Sharon Pollack, CCC-SLP, Cognitive Bridges
Students who have sustained multiple concussions prior to entering college are at greater risk of failure in college. Many of these students did well on their ACT or SAT, however, when they entered college and became overwhelmed with the coursework and learning environment their self-confidence and self-esteem began to go downhill. During this presentation you will learn about the impact Fast ForWord has had on my client’s who have sustained a concussion. You will learn about the progress they have made in therapy as well as how this has carried over into their academic performance and social interactions.
TED Talk #2
Making My Way From Intuition to Qualitative and Quantitative Data
Kim Delaney, M.S., CCC-SLP, Connected Speech Therapy Inc.
Come learn from the experience of one Fast ForWord Provider, who is bridging the gaps between qualitative/quantitative data and clinician intuition! “He’s struggling. Homework takes so much time. It’s much harder for him than it was for his sister. I know he’s smart.” We as Fast ForWord Providers are looking for the needle in the haystack and when we don’t find it we go back to the qualitative, recheck the quantitative, and allow our clinical intuition to keep this circle going.
TED Talk #3
Learn 3 Procedures to help Dyslexics Integrate Audio-Visual Integration using Foundations I
Dana Merritt, M.S., CCC-SLP, Merritt Speech & Learning
According to ASHA, “One out of every five of our nation’s school age children suffer from reading failures.” Fast ForWord’s Foundations has been developed to help clients create distinctive differences in the auditory signals and the phonemes themselves. We as Providers can use three specific strategies to help drive those differences in the various phonemes/graphemes to enhance vocabulary, language comprehension, and reading comprehension through Auditory-Visual Integration. In this TED Talk you will learn how to extract the maximum value from the Fast ForWord’ Foundations Series!
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (K-12 welcome to attend)
The Future of Neuroscience and Learning: Panel Discussion with Dr. Paula Tallal, Dr. Martha Burns, Cheryl Chia, and Jeff Thomas
This panel discussion will look to the future based on the latest research, trends, and educational innovations, to discuss the potential implications on reading instruction, language development and brain health. The panel will also take questions from conference participants on a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology, and how we can best prepare learners for lifelong success.
*Sessions subject to change.