Disconnected: A convening exploring the impact of cellphones, social media and technology on children, schools and learning.


Please save the date and plan to join NYSUT and our partners in education for an important single-day conference this fall. The event will delve into critical issues surrounding the use of cellphones, social media and technology and their effects on various aspects of education, mental health and well-being.

Conference Details:

  • Friday, Sept. 20, 2024, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by: NYSUT and coalition partners in education, public policy, and healthcare
  • Location: Albany Hilton, NY
  • Who should plan to attend? Educators and mental health providers, union leaders, school district leaders, parents, elected officials, and advocates who work closely with teens and children. Lunch will be provided.


In an era where digital devices are everywhere, understanding the implications of technology on students' lives has never been more crucial. Their pervasive reliance on cellphones has raised concerns about the effect of social media and technology on mental health, with research linking excessive screen time to increased rates of anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances among adolescents. A 2023 report by the U.S. Surgeon General raised serious concerns about the risks social media can also pose to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents. Social media use by young people is nearly universal, with up to 95% of young people ages 13-17 reporting using a social media platform and more than a third saying they use social media “almost constantly.” As kids spend more and more time in front of their devices, they are spending less and less time engaged in activities that nurture their physical, emotional, and psychological well being such as reading, art, music and physical activity.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • The impact of mobile devices on children – examining the consequences of excessive screen time and smartphone usage on mental health and emotional well-being.
  • Strategies for parents, educators and students for promoting positive well-being among students and providing tools and strategies for parents in managing children’s technology use and supporting healthy habits.
  • Digital citizenship – fostering healthy, responsible and ethical use of technology among young learners.
  • Balancing technology and traditional learning methods – navigating the integration of digital tools while preserving the value of face-to-face instruction.
  • Examining model cellphone policies and practices for schools and districts.

Use the form below to save the date for the conference. More details and registration will be coming soon. Questions may be directed to Leslie Chaplin in the Office of the NYSUT President at leslie.chaplin@nysut.org or by calling 1-800-342-9810.