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Educators and Literacy Experts from Across the Globe Unite for Historic Online Symposium

Categories: Education & Teaching, Learning Disabilities

AIM SymposiumAIM Academy and Learning Ally presented the acclaimed Research to Practice Symposium, a truly global event, where education’s most innovative experts gathered to take part in a historic summit, designed to identify ways to improve schools and to boost literacy and achievement among all students, especially those with learning disabilities. The event, held at the AIM Academy campus in Philadelphia, was broadcast live by Learning Ally to more than 200 locations across the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia, and featured a renowned expert panel of speakers in the fields of education, neuroscience, cognitive science and developmental psychology. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback and enjoy a highly interactive experience - together with the experts - for the first time ever. Dr. Brett MillerTaking the podium first was Brett Miller Ph.D., director of reading, writing and related learning disabilities program at the National Institute for Child Health & Human Development, who discussed advances and continued challenges relating to identification and classification of dyslexia and responsiveness to instruction. He also addressed ongoing and future research needs, including understudied and historically “difficult” research topics. Dr. Laurie CuttingNext up, fresh from speaking at the White House, was Laurie Cutting Ph.D., director of education and brain research lab at Vanderbilt University, who provided an amazing overview of the neurobiological and behavioral correlates of the lower level (word recognition) and higher level (comprehension) aspects of reading, including the complex relationship between the two. After a working lunch, where attendees were able to discuss the research and ideas presented in the morning as well as hear from leading education technology providers, everyone was ready to get back to the presentations. The afternoon sessions did not disappoint. Dr. Ken PughKen Pugh Ph.D., director and president of research, senior scientist, Haskins Laboratory, at Yale University was up next. In one of the most interactive portions of the symposium, Dr. Pugh presented new findings from an ongoing longitudinal study that reveal important gene-brain-behavior relations in young children at risk for reading disability. In addition, Dr. Pugh discussed new methodological developments for gene-brain-behavior research and new directions in research on reading, including recent studies of learning and consolidation, and second language literacy acquisition. During this time, the symposium’s social media hashtag, #AIM4Literacy, was trending on Twitter; and Learning Ally’s interactive broadcast of the event was lighting up with responses and questions from educators all over the world. The already historic event was exceeding expectations from attendees, with many tuning in at unconventional hours in order to participate. Steve Graham Ed.D.Rounding out the session speakers was Steve Graham Ed.D., Mary Emily Warner professor, at Arizona State University, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, who shared a meta-analysis that examined whether students with LD differ from their typically developing peers in terms of writing skills, writing processes, motivation for writing, knowledge about writing, as well as specific aspects of the written product. “You cannot separate reading from writing,” said Dr. Graham, whose quote immediately made its way prominently onto social media. Following the speakers, attendees took part in a live question and answer session in an intimate setting, with the speakers and with each other, live and online. Those who attended were excited to take the research and ideas presented at the symposium back to their classrooms immediately. One of the benefits of registering for the AIM Academy and Learning Ally Research to Practice Symposium is that the event is available in its entirety until May 16. For those who were unable to attend and want to be a part of this historic gathering, listen to the speakers, or use the findings presented in their classrooms, registration is available now, giving on demand access to every part of this wonderful event. Please visit http://learningally.org/AIM4Literacy to register or to find out more information.

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