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Staying Human in a Digital World


Jocelyn is a Sydney-based registered psychologist with a special interest in the psychology of technology and staying human in a digital age.

Jocelyn has a warm, humorous and engaging presentation style, and the ability to put scientific research into practical perspectives. She regularly called upon to comment in the media on a range of issues and present to various groups about the impacts of technology and improving digital well-being.

Previous experience:
Jocelyn has 16 years’ experience in public education both as a teacher of high school social sciences and as a School Counsellor/psychologist. Her 2009 psychology thesis explored the impacts of increasing access to Internet enabled laptops on a cohort of grade 10 boys and the emerging area of Problematic Internet Use (PIU), colloquially known as ‘Internet Addiction’.

Jocelyn is the creator of Digital Nutrition™ - a framework to guide parents and technology users understand the virtual nutritional values of the online media content we consume via apps and games on tablets and screen technology. Digital Nutrition was awarded the NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarship for Health Education in 2014, and Jocelyn travelled to the USA in mid-2015 to further explore the issues relating to healthy technology habits and digital citizenship.

Alongside being part of the Cyberpsychology Research Group at Sydney University, Jocelyn is completing her Masters of Applied Science (Cyberpsychology) exploring the role of self-control and mindfulness in the prevention of Problematic Smartphone Use. This exploratory research surveyed over 500 Year 7 students in metropolitan Sydney and will be completed in 2019.

Jocelyn is trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and uses a range of creative, practical and dynamic techniques to inspire positive change with clients in her private practice, where she works with all ages and life stages.

Her TEDx talk in 2015 was on Digital Nutrition and the quest to uncover digital ‘superfoods’ and Jocelyn has presented at various educational and psychology conferences. She will give keynote addresses at EduTech, Happiness and It’s Causes, Future Schools and Mental Health In Schools events in 2019.

Talking Points

UNTANGLING YOUR TWEENS & TEENS FROM TECHNOLOGY: Practical (and positive) strategies for parents

In this dynamic 90-minute seminar psychologist, Jocelyn Brewer, will help parents and carers understand aspects of technology, app and video game design that prove to be so seductive (and perhaps even ‘addictive’) to young people.
Her fear-free, practical approach will help parents build skills to communicate with their tweens and teens, implement boundaries and consequences for behaviours (both online and off) and assist young people to identify and manage their emotions, time and choices.

She will explore the ways young people use technology, some of the features of tech design that makes it so alluring and hard to put down, and the impacts on young people’s wellbeing. Jocelyn will introduce the concept of Digital Nutrition as a positive framework for shaping healthy tech habits and a diverse digital diet, as well as how to apply the 3M’s (mindful, meaningful and moderate) to online activities.

HEALTHY TECH HABITS FOR HARMONIOUS HOMES: taking back control (and the controller)

For many parents it feels like Fortnite and Snapchat are members of the family, in a short period of time these apps and games have become the battleground for many conflicts in modern households.

This workshop is for parents who want to take a deep dive into setting or resetting limits and guidelines in their homes around the role that technology and devices have in their lives.

Over 3 hours Jocelyn will help fed-up, overwhelmed and tech-phobic parents build skills to clarify their family values, define priorities, build communication strategies and implement change in an authentic, meaningful way that includes input and collaboration with young people.

BEYOND IQ: Hacking your cognitive biases for academic life success

We hear a lot about life beyond exams and how marks don’t define you, but HSC/VCA/IB stress continues to increase.

By understanding more about how brain development and basic neurobiology works, alongside how our cognitions are cultivated, we can combat some common flaws in how we think and replace these with skills and strategies which assist to manage stress, maintain perspective & motivation.

This is a 45-minute seminar for senior students that uses rich visuals, pop cultural references and evidence backed psychological research to provide insight into a better way to manage stress and achieve academically (and beyond).

DIGITAL DISTRACTIONS: How tech is designed to hijack your attention (and what to do about it)

Technology offers exciting opportunities for learning, but also powerful distractions in the form of social media, apps and games. By shining a light on how technology is designed to keep us mindlessly checking and scrolling we can gain new insights into reshaping our technology habits so that we remain in control and focused on the things that matter.

This is a 45-minute seminar for middle school students that uses rich visuals, pop cultural references and evidence backed cyberpsychology research to help young people understand more about how tech companies design products that might be free to use, but that we pay for with a precious resource: our attention.

It can also be presented in a varied format for corporate presentations to address workplace presenteeism and the impacts on productivity of a workforce that is digitally distracted and dependent.

TEACHING IN THE AGE OF THE 3 DIGITAL D’s: distraction, dependence and dementia

In less than a decade smartphones have colonized every corner of our lives, including the classroom. Teaching ‘screenagers’ requires new insights, understanding and appreciation of youth culture and digital practices in order to compete with the seduction of screens and engage young people in relevant authentic learning.

In this 90-minute seminar for secondary school teachers, psychologist and accredited teacher, Jocelyn Brewer, will share insights into some of the features of tech design that makes it so alluring and hard to put down, and the impacts on young people’s wellbeing. The opportunities that authentically teaching ‘digital citizenship’ can provide in overcoming some of the troubled waters that teens fall into when they have not had the opportunity to develop social-emotional skills that can help sail more smoothly through the digital slipstream.
  • Digital
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Mental Health
  • Society, Culture and The Arts
The presentations surpassed my expectations and I liked how Jocelyn linked and understanding of the brain, an individualised, more complex overview of how young people use technology and ideas for how young people can make good decisions about their technology use and parents can also support and model these. Private Ladies College

Jocelyn was well informed of external contributing factors that impact upon teenagers in our modern society such as smartphones and apps and I was pleased to hear about this. I liked the Emotions Coaching tools used to plan ahead for the challenges teenagers come across as well. The workshop was engaging and useful. I was glad to attend.

Engaging Adolescents Workshop
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