BrainHQ: The Secret to Healthier, Happier Teens

Jul 17, 2019 | Articles

Let’s face it — capturing (and keeping) the attention of teenagers can be difficult. Most teens these days have smartphones, and they have plenty of options when it comes to entertainment. They’re used to instant gratification, and they won’t settle for anything less than the most exciting, engaging content.

The good news is that your library is a thriving, evolving community hub that can connect patrons of all ages to a range of entertaining and educational resources. One such resource is BrainHQ™, Posit Science’s online brain training system available to public libraries exclusively through Demco Software. Read on to learn five reasons why your teen patrons need to hear about this brain-boosting program, and pick up some tips on how to market the research-backed tool to this audience along the way.

1. BrainHQ Is Accessible via Teens’ Favorite Devices

Teens spend an average of nine hours a day online, most of which is spent skimming through social media feeds. Fortunately, it’s easy to swap some of that idle scrolling for brain-building activities that promote thinking faster, focusing better, and remembering more. BrainHQ can be accessed at your library’s branches, and it can also be accessed via patrons’ personal devices — computers, tablets, and smartphones — while they’re on the go, so teens can put their screen time to good use. BrainHQ is designed in such a way that users can spend as little as two minutes per day in the online program and over time will start to see real benefits.

Since BrainHQ is accessible outside of your physical spaces, it’s a great resource to promote off-site. For instance, consider the following:

  • Ask your local theater if you can share promotional materials about BrainHQ with teens who are waiting for their movies to start on weekend evenings.
  • Ask your community’s skating rink to distribute BrainHQ postcards along with their own promotional materials at the end of their next lock-in.
  • Hand teens flyers about BrainHQ, along with candy or tchotchkes, as you walk along the route of your community’s next parade.
  • Request that high school librarians recommend BrainHQ to their students leading up to standardized test season.
  • Make an announcement about BrainHQ before the main attraction starts at your community’s next “Movies in the Park” event.
  • Have flyers available at the local pool or other teen hot spots, or ask those organizations to add BrainHQ information to their Wi-Fi information postings.
  • Ask your local amusement park if you can post BrainHQ promotional materials in the lines for their roller coasters and other teen-attracting rides.
  • Hand out promotional materials about BrainHQ and its benefits for teens to parents in line at the local grocery store or ask clerks to add them as bag stuffers.
  • Present a short demonstration of BrainHQ to parents at a high school PTA meeting.

2. BrainHQ Helps Teens Become Better Drivers

Click here to view an infographic summarizing how teens and all patrons can benefit from BrainHQ

Here’s a concerning fact: According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. When you consider that distraction plays into 58% of the car accidents that this age group is involved in, honing attention-paying skills becomes a must in order to keep kids safe. Specifically, BrainHQ’s Double Decision exercises can help drivers of all ages improve useful field of view and driving safety. Seventeen published papers document these exercises spurring such impressive outcomes as the following:

  • Making 38% fewer dangerous driving maneuvers
  • Stopping 22 feet sooner when driving 55 miles per hour
  • Feeling more confident driving at night, in bad weather, or in other difficult conditions
  • Cutting at-fault crash risk by 48%

While April is the official Distracted Driving Awareness Month, don’t wait to launch a campaign to promote safer driving. While you’ll want some of your promotional materials to speak to teens since they’re directly in control of how they act behind the wheel, reach out to parents as well since they are also dedicated to this cause.

Host demonstrations (possibly even at local businesses, police stations, or fire stations) that show parents how to use BrainHQ, but go beyond that to offer insight into how the program’s Attention exercises work, specifically for drivers. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole squad of advocates for the tool who can promote the value of brain training while also making the roads in your community safer.

3. BrainHQ Helps Athletes Perform Better

The best athletes are in impressive physical shape, but they are also cognitively fit as well. Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, for instance, sees being in a better physical condition at age 36 than he was at age 26 as contributing to his athletic prowess, and he also credits BrainHQ for helping him maintain the best cognitive condition of his life. No matter which sport they play, BrainHQ can help student athletes improve their focus and responsiveness, and it can positively affect their balance and gait as well. The program’s proven exercises can give athletes a competitive edge as they see more, and see it faster, when they’re in the game, which leads to reacting more quickly and making better decisions that help their team win.

To promote the benefits of BrainHQ to teen athletes, ask high school coaches to share which cognitive skills lead to success in their sports. Once you show the coaches how easy it is to hone these skills with BrainHQ, request 15 minutes in front of their teams before they start practice. Give specific examples related to their sport about how their performance could be improved from just a few minutes per day on these exercises. Better yet, ask the coaches to support you in running a competition to see which student athlete can log the most time on the program. Boost participation by offering a small prize to the winner, like a gift card to a smoothie shop or local sports gear store.

4. BrainHQ Helps Teens Succeed in the Classroom

A study by Microsoft found that the average human can pay attention for eight seconds, which is a drastic decrease from the reported average attention span of 12 seconds just about two decades ago. Using BrainHQ can help teens combat decreases in attention span since it challenges the brain to focus. When teens use this skill in the classroom, they can retain more information from teachers and remember more from their course readings, which ultimately leads to better performance on exams and standardized tests.

To help students realize this benefit of BrainHQ, you’ll want to call on your schools and community partners again. Host a special training session for principals, educators, school librarians, tutors, and other educators that shows them how to use BrainHQ and how it will help those under their tutelage perform better on tests like the ACT and SAT. They’ll gain referrals when their students begin to show significant progress on tests, and you’ll help community members recognize the range of resources that the library offers to support their work. It’s a win-win!

5. BrainHQ Helps Teens Gain Professional Skills

In July 2017, only 4 in 10 teens were in the labor force, compared with 7 in 10 in July 1978. This is a concerning trend because many teens use workplace experience to gain the skills they’ll use in many contexts later in life. While BrainHQ isn’t an alternative to a summer job, its exercises have been proven to help teens gain people skills, brain speed, and memory, all skills that will help them thrive in social and professional settings throughout their lives.

Advertise this benefit of BrainHQ to teens by partnering with high school teachers and counselors. Focus your messaging on how the tool will help students begin to hone the skills they’ll need to succeed in college and beyond, and be sure to emphasize how quickly they’ll start to reap the benefits after spending just a few minutes on the exercises each day. The more BrainHQ exercises a person completes, the sharper their cognitive abilities will be!

Are you ready to provide your teens and patrons of all ages with access to a fun tool that’s scientifically proven to make their lives better in a multitude of ways? Learn more about BrainHQ here.

Kayla Fargo

As Demco Software's Marketing Director, Kayla champions our efforts to educate public libraries on the need for a robust community engagement strategy. She works alongside our other teams to ensure that Demco Software's solutions effectively complement and amplify libraries' community engagement efforts.