Susan Greenfield at EduTECH

Recently Herrmann International Asia exhibited at EduTECH – the largest education and training event in the Southern Hemisphere.

EduTECH ran from 30th May to June 1st bringing together over 6,500 education experts, technology providers, teachers, and trainers. It’s all about how technology is playing an important and growing role in education and workplace learning.

EduTECH began with a plenary address by neuroscientist and author, Baroness Susan Greenfield, on how the digital world will change the way we think and learn. The Baroness focussed on the question – What is Thinking?

Greenfield cited brain research which established that enriched environments lead to brain cell growth. Brain cells branch out increasing their surface area making them a bigger target for connections to other brain cells.


Just learning something doesn’t mean you are understanding it. We need connections. Our experience of our own trajectory in space and time is all down to the connection of brain cells. She talked about how an adult with Alzheimers loses the connections they need in order to think the way they used to think. Dementia retraces childhood. There’s no recourse to previous experience to help them understand what’s going on – one becomes completely sensory again.


Using the example of a gold wedding ring Greenfield talked about the different ways a baby through to an elderly person might think about it.  A baby is all about making connections in a sensory manner. Then as we grow, we make other connections about the ring, its material, its origin, its worth, its symbolism in the context of promises, marriage, children, divorce, happiness, sadness, fulfilment, loss. Increasingly complex connections are built from that original baby who simply wanted to put the gold ring in its mouth.

Effects of technology in today’s environment

Greenfield is concerned that the technology which children and to a large extent adults are focussed on is not exactly an enriched environment as much as it feels like it is. Our fascination with screens from a very young age – sensation trumps consequences and cognitive function. All this information at our fingertips means that memory is not regarded as important. We can always look that up again. And yet real memories and real personal experiences are so important to make the connections we need to grow as thinkers and as individuals.

Greenfield establishes that a formula to co-exist and grow our thinking alongside screens is: Stories + Physical Activity + Individuality.

At EduTECH, Herrmann International Asia showcased our well known blended delivery of products and services which can be used in workshops or virtual settings. We have a new HBDI® App, modularised eLearning and more digital products in the pipeline which can be used in conjunction and as support to the face to face workshops happening right now in many workplaces and educational settings.

Read more about Susan Greenfield’s research in her book – Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains

Watch a video about HBDI® and Whole Brain Thinking – How Will You Adapt?
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