What happens when a school district uses the latest in brain science to inform its edtech purchasing decisions? Students become more engaged and test scores go up, according to school district officials who shared their experiences at a brain science conference.

“Brain Futures” was a two-day event that attracted high-profile neurologists, psychiatrists, and researchers from all over the country. General sessions included presentations on the latest findings in brain health and the military’s ongoing battle with Traumatic Brain Injury. A series of breakout sessions on the conference’s second day, however, focused mainly on what brain science research has to offer for the education system.

Kisya Johnson is an official in the 129,000 student Duval County Public School district that services Jacksonville, Fla., and the surrounding areas. She recently partnered with Bruce Wexler, a Yale psychiatrist and founder of C8 Sciences, for a pilot program in three of her K-2 schools. During a presentation, Johnson explained how adopting Wexler’s education services led to a transformation in some of the district’s most impoverished and low performing classrooms.

“When the students are on the brain training software it helps them to focus, it helps them to be able to listen in class and do the work that they need to do,” said Wexler, who explained that chronic absence rates dropped while proficiency rates spiked in the pilot schools subject to Wexler’s interventions.

(Next page: How brain science and edtech approaches can work together)


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