Screen Time—is it all the same?
Each year now for many years, one or more thoughtful, curious parents has come to talk to me about screen time and children. Is screen time OK? Is it harmful? What are suggestions for use and guidelines for rules?
Screen time is most easily defined as the time spent in front of ANY device with a screen—TV’s, DVDs, computers, video game systems, iPods, iPads, etc. Use of all of these devices is growing significantly in terms of both the number of devices one uses and by the amount of time that we are in front of a screen. This trend is true for both adults and children, and it raises important questions for us as we think about our students.
While our concerns about too much passive screen time (TV) are valid, there are many more active screen pursuits which can lead to excellent learning outcomes and, as most of us also experience, can help to make our global community a smaller, more accessible place.
As for suggestions:
- Monitor you child’s screen use for both the amount of time and for the actual content—what is being watched
- Talk to your child about the rules and expectations in your family regarding screen time
- Participate and encourage your child to use technology appropriately and to use it as a means to be active and engaged with others, such as creating content, art and project work, and communicating with family and friends
- Discourage your child from playing violent video games
- Make sure that your child is connected to others in a variety of activities—including lots of exercise and face-to-face time in the real, not “virtual,” world
In last week’s Wednesday Weekly, Ms. Wachowiak encouraged you to visit www.commonsensemedia.org as a resource to explore digital citizenship. It is also an excellent, practical parent resource for reading reviews of movies, apps and games, and in my family we have the link and app on our handheld devices as we look to see whether media that we may want to view or purchase will be appropriate for our children.
Julia Child, the chef and cookbook author was often heard to say, “Everything in Moderation!” which is the same response that I might suggest for all of us as we navigate the ever-changing world of technology and screen time.
To read more stories about Shekou International School visit their website: www.sis.org.cn/why-choose-sis