The Big Disconnect: The Future of Event Content Delivery

Published by Gina Wentling | Topics: Associations, Blended Learning, Conferences, Content Strategy, News, Print

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Two reading boys. With paper book and electronic bookIt’s clear that technological advances in recent years have made a major impact on many aspects of life as we know it, but parenting doesn’t often enter into that conversation. Yet children are being seduced by screens large and smaller, from increasingly early ages.

In her book “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age,” Catherine Steiner-Adair addresses how technology has quickly moved from helpful tool to potentially damaging distraction. Children benefit from three-dimensional experiences that are critical for early learning, from creating imaginary scenarios to meeting challenges to carrying on conversations.

Leading by example is important, as children pick up this skill and so many others from their parents, according to Psychology Today in its review of Steiner-Adair’s book. In fact, kids recognize a parent’s mobile devices as a competitor for Mom or Dad’s attention. What follows is often a weakening of family ties as parents, brothers, sisters, and extended family become other people in the room with something better to do than interact with a child. Even classrooms, where social, participatory learning has been a fixture for decades, are starting to resemble subway cars, with everyone focused on individual activities and engaging in very little interaction with each other.

It’s true that advances in technology offer advantages to children that were not even a possibility when we were kids. In many ways, their lives will be richer for this exposure to information and innovative tools. But you have to wonder if we’ve gone too far when some four-year-olds can download an app before they can tie their own shoes. The trick is to incorporate technology in a way that doesn’t hinder child development and family connection.

Time to answer the question that’s been on your mind since you started reading this: Interesting information, but what does this have to do with educational content for associations? SCD Group, Inc. president and industry thought leader Steve Drake considered this in his blog post, “Hard Wired for Giving and Touchscreen Toddlers: Great Info for Association Executives,” which references the Wall Street Journal review of “The Big Disconnect.”

Technology tools, particularly smartphones and tablets, have had a significant effect on how people consume content, for better or worse. Today’s toddlers are tomorrow’s professionals. Is your association ready?

Let Omnipress help. Though we lack an actual crystal ball, we are looking ahead to see what educational content will look like in the future. To hold you over for now, we offer mobile event apps and event content websites, featuring responsive design. We also offer print, which will always have its place, and to make your life easier, we can be your one-stop shop for event content delivery with EventCMS.

Whatever the next big thing turns out to be, Omnipress will work through it with you so your association and its content speaks to the next generation.


About Gina Wentling

During her time as Marketing Communications Coordinator (2013-16), Gina wrote hundreds of blog posts for Omnipress. Her work has also been published in association publications. Read More.

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