Working Memory Conference Highlights

Held in Sydney on August 15 at Doltone House and in Perth on August 17 at the Pan Pacific Hotel.


At Pearson, we want to help create a world that’s always learning. We know that learning unlocks a rewarding career and a better life. This year’s Working Memory Conference was a chance for researchers, educators, guidance counsellors, clinicians, and a range of allied health professionals to get together and talk about ways to unlock a better life for all.


The focus of the conferences in Sydney and Perth was all about the latest working memory research and how it can be applied to help build the capacity to learn. Attendees from across Australia learned about the importance of working memory to the classroom and the workplace. And they got a glimpse into practical strategies to help develop lifelong skills in working memory, attention, and concentration. 

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What is working memory?

If you’ve ever walked into a room and forgotten why you’re there, you know about the importance of working memory to everyday life.

Dr Jared Horvath describes working memory as the ‘workbench’ of the mind. It’s distinct from our long-term memories. It’s the space where we temporarily hold information for manipulating and processing. We use it to bring in new information to tie to our memories and what we know.

Working memory conference highlights

 

Working memory is an essential part of how we hold information in our mind. It’s critical to thinking and learning. It’s always on. But working memory is limited. The more we have to keep top of mind, the harder it is. And in today’s world, where distraction is only a click away, working memory is under threat. Learners of all ages need strategies to improve the effectiveness of working memory in a complex, digital world.

 

Who were the speakers?

Dr Jared Horvath is an expert in the field of educational neuroscience. At the conference, Jared dived into the latest thinking about working memory and how it’s different from other kinds of memory. He explored how working memory impacts the learning process and how we can use insights into working memory to improve learning.

Dr Nicola Gates is a Clinical Neuropsychologist with a PhD in neuropsychiatry. Nicola talked about the latest research into neuroplasticity and how the adult brain is trainable. She explored interventions to improve working memory and discussed a number of biological and behavioural factors that moderate the effectiveness of brain training.

working memory conference highlights

Professor Maryanne Wolf is an expert on cognitive neuroscience, literacy development, and dyslexia. A passionate speaker, Maryanne explored how we learn to read and how working memory can impact reading and literacy outcomes for students. She talked about how digital tools can be used to improve working memory and reading outcomes for students around the globe.

Penni Maher is the Leader of Learning, Enrichment and Learning K-12 at St Andrew’s Cathedral School in Sydney. Penni showcased the ways her school has implemented programs to improve the working memory of students. A practical exploration of strategies, her talk exposed how one school has tackled the learning issues associated with working memory.

Working memory conference highlights

working memory conference highlights

What did attendees say?

“The sessions were professionally run, engaging, and interactive. Good information shared.” – Russell Wylie, assistant principal

“I loved hearing about the latest research that can help my students to engage and learn better.” – Alyssa Curtayne, classroom teacher

“A difficult subject well presented – excellent speakers each with a different slant on the topic.” – Brenda McCann, support staff

“The content was brilliant and I will take this into my class. It also confirmed my teaching pedagogy – if a student doesn’t learn the way I teach, then I need to teach the way they learn.” – Mandy Nunn, classroom teacher

 

 

 

How can I find out more?

Register your interest for our 2018 Pearson Academy conferences >


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