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ELIANT Conference November 28th, 2017
TOWARDS A HEALTHY DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM

Closing Speech, Summary


The closing address of ELIANT´s conference about digital literacy was delivered by Prof. Dr. Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt, neurobiologist with more than 20 years research experience in the neuroscience field. Her presentation delivered important messages regarding how essential it is to manage and limit the interactions between children and digital devices.

Prof. Teuchert-Noodt centralized her argumentation around the role of the brain ecosystem, which develops when having the right conditions for maximizing cognitive capacities. One key message of her speech addressed time and space as the most necessary prerequisites for performing cognitive functions. As digital technologies are commonly known to disrupt the traditional time and space perceptions, Prof. Teuchert-Noodt emphasized that children need to develop through analogue conditions for establishing the healthy ecosystem in the brain. Her conclusions derive from two major studies of the last century, which explored how neurone connections emerge and stimulate intelligence growth. Connections between neurone cells determine the intelligence capacity. A high risk of limiting this capacity occurs when facing longer screen exposure on daily basis. This fact holds true for individuals up until their 16th year of living, as the healthy brain ecosystem requires sufficient time to fully internalize, notes Prof. Teuchert-Noodt. In this process both parents and teachers play significant roles by encouraging, for example, the creative development of children and their deep thinking capabilities. Parents can only become good role models in case they manage to renounce screen-based media as far as possible in their private lives, argues Prof. Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt. Furthermore, the good surrounding and the experience with nature and environment in terms of continuous physical activities are important milestones stimulating the development of thinking.

“Learning is experience. Everything else is information and not learning. (…) Use your brainy more than the handy and navy.”, stated the final message of the neuroscience professor. Understanding whether today we actually help creating intelligent generations of tomorrow is a subject scientists like Prof. Dr. Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt are trying to investigate. ELIANT, on the other hand, contributes with giving the platform to spread this message, which is crucial for the progress of our future generations.