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Should there be limits on students’ screen time?
Although most agree that digital media have a place in education,
the majority of respondents believe limits help students achieve balance.
Look on the Bright Side
Games are powerful tools that teach
integration and synthesis of information, social interaction skills, problem
solving, and even valuable content.
And we should not force a false dichotomy between reading from paper
and from a screen. Many online activities are text and information rich.
Mountain View, California
Out of Shape
As a PE teacher for 19 years, I have
witnessed the negative effects on digital natives. More children are overweight and have difficulty sustaining
physical activity during class time or
recess. They also have more challenges
when playing together. In the digital
age, they have significantly less interaction with other people and do not
have the skills to work things out.
Health and Physical Education Teacher
Setting limits on digital media is a losing
battle. The Kaiser Foundation reports
children ages 8–18 spend an average of
7 hours 38 minutes a day on digital media ( 10. 5 hours taking multitasking into
account). We are already reaching the
limits of time they have to engage with
digital media. Rather than restricting
them, our efforts are better spent making their screen time more productive
and encouraging other activities.
President, Learning Works for Kids
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Give Them More Screen Time
Limits on screen time should be tailored to the child’s learning needs and
type of screen time. Some students
seem to develop a thirst for learning
through online activities, and some
build their own personal learning
networks. They may need more time,
informed by guidance in digital footprinting, online safety, and netiquette.
K– 4 Teacher
Learning by Facebook
My granddaughter has had a tough
time with spelling and reading. So we
started a Facebook account for her.
She did all the entries herself, set her
own permissions, and follows all of the
guidelines set forth by her parents. It is
wonderful to see how her spelling and
reading have improved. She proofreads
everything she types and reads 75%
more fluently, plus she feels connected.
Comment on ISTE.org homepage poll
There’s Nothing Quite Like Reality
When children are engaged with
screens, they are being passively entertained rather than actively entertaining
themselves. Creativity and engagement
come from the ability to interact with
the world around you. These skills can’t
be developed in front of a computer,
television, or cell phone screen. There
is simply no substitute for interacting
with real people and experiencing the
world without the filter of screens.
Instructional Technology Specialist
Getzville, New York
Lost in Translation
A big portion of the online world is
translated by someone else’s experiences. Our students need their own original
physical experiences to enhance their
creativity and teach them to think for
themselves. If they don’t have these experiences, it stunts their ability to learn.
After reading Kate Conley’s editoral
about personal learning networks,
especially the Educators PLN site, I
decided to start looking into this a little
deeper. I knew I needed to get started
on a PLN but was resistant. After reading through the many pages and forums on the Educators PLN, I decided
it was time to get off my butt and do
something about learning more about
Web 2.0. I read a post by a member
that stated the same thing I feel about
all the new technology: When do you
fit it in to your life? I found that many
were using the Educators PLN, and
that encouraged me to sign up.
I thank Kate Conley and ISTE for
keeping me informed about PLNs and
finally showing me a place that I can
find what I need without having to
hunt all over the Internet.
Joseph M. Gruce III