State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143), ranking member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee, and the Commission on Children are hosting a forum designed to explore the relationship between the use of educational technology and student learning and cognition.

Technology in the Classroom: What Computes? will feature representatives of the academic, public education, and business worlds. It will take place Tuesday, Dec. 1, starting at 10 a.m., in Room 1-D of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. There is no charge for attendance, and all are welcome.

Discussion at the forum will explore a range of questions about technology and learning.


  • How does technology influence young toddlers?

  • How should educators best use technology in teaching?

  • Are children spending too much time at school in front of a screen?

  • Are they learning better, or not as well, with technology in the classroom?

  • Are they thinking as independently as they could be?

  • Does technology enhance, diminish, or otherwise affect creativity?


“Many constituents have asked me to look into the effects of technology on the way their children think and learn,” Lavielle said in a press release announcing the forum. “In exploring the subject during the last session, I realized that much has been said about the social and psychological effects of technology, but knowledge about its cognitive effects is less widespread. Bringing together a multidisciplinary panel of experts is a logical first approach to learning more about this area.

Panelists will include:


  • Dr. Christopher Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate School of Education

  •  Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, H. Rodney Sharp Chair, University of Delaware School of Education, Founder of the University’s Child’s Play, Learning and Development Lab

  •  Kristell Lavallee, Center on Media and Child Health, Boston Children’s Hospital

  • Dr. Craig Tunks, Director of Digital Learning and Innovation, Weston Public Schools

  • Students of W.F. Kaynor Technical High School in Waterbury, and Principal David Telesca

  • Ventine Richardson, Principal, Betances STEM Magnet School in Hartford

  • Johnny Barnes, Retired VP, IBM

  • Rep. Gail Lavielle, Ranking Member, Education Committee, CT General Assembly