ATA bringing communities together to talk tech

Release Date 2018 04 04

April 4, 2018

Two events hosted this week by the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) will feature renowned researchers discussing the impact of emerging technologies on children, youth and families.

On Thursday, April 5, the ATA will host a public lecture at the Fantasyland Hotel in Edmonton. It also will be livestreamed on as registration for the venue is at capacity. Featured speakers are Jean Twenge, PhD, and Michael Rich, MD.

Twenge is a professor at San Diego State University and the author of more than 130 scientific publications and six books, including iGen:Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood. Rich—well known as The Mediatrician—is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, associate physician at Boston Children’s Hospital and founder of the Center on Media and Child Health.

On Friday, April 6, the ATA will host an invitational research colloquium. Twenge and Rich will also be keynote speakers at the colloquium and members of a panel that will discuss the impact of mobile technology on Canadian youth. A third expert on the panel will be Valerie Steeves, PhD.

Steeves is a professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa. As the lead researcher for MediaSmart’s Young Canadians in a Wired World research project, she has been tracking young people’s use of new media since 1999. She also co-leads the eQuality Project, a seven-year partnership initiative funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

“At a time of rapid technological change, those who work with children, families, schools and communities need to understand the ways in which online digital activities have an impact on offline health and mental well-being.  Events such as the public lecture and invitational research gathering that the Alberta Teachers’ Association is hosting bring together world-class research expertise so we can learn from other groups also being affected by digital technologies across society.”

— Phil McRae, PhD, ATA executive staff officer, Research

Media Availability April 5

Available: Michael Rich, Valerie Steeves and Phil McRae
Date: April 5
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: ATA head office in Edmonton (11010 142 Street).

For more information on the research colloquium, public lecture and ATA research activity, see the attached backgrounder.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, as the professional organization of teachers, promotes and advances public education, safeguards standards of professional practice and serves as the advocate for its 46,000 members. It conducts and uses research to support teachers in their practice and improve the teaching profession.

Direct media inquiries to

Laura Harris
Communications Officer