You’ve seen the posts right? The ones that talk about the dangers of screen time and children’s brains. How caregivers are more interested in texting than connecting with their children. And how secondhand screen time is the new smoking epidemic.
But what can you believe when it comes to children and screens? What about district policies that promote the use of screens with young children?
In this episode, which was so good (and so long) I had to divide it into two parts, my guests and I raise the fact that there is not a common definition of “screen time”. This has huge implications for all of those posts and policies devoted to this very hot topic.
We also kicked the episode into high gear by sharing advantages. as well as the downsides, when it comes to our 24-7 access to screens.
Spoiler alert, there are more and more downsides as we see it.
NOTE: This is part 1 of a 2 part series on screen time and young children.
Click here to download a transcript of Episode 34. Then scroll down for more information on the resources mentioned in this episode.
In Part 2, we dive into more of the practical stuff, like what to do about conflicting messages- such as when we want to limit screen time, but we also want children to have technology literacy skills…Oh, and by the way, the district just bought iPads for all preschoolers! We cover that and much, much more. Click here for Episode 35.
- Tech Talk for Early Childhood Teachers and Families: Beth Tepper’s blog on technology that she began in 2015. It is intended to gather both pro and con resources on the use of technology and screens for teachers and families of young children.
- Using a Mobile Device to Deliver Visual Schedules to Young Children with Autism: Leslie Nelson’s dissertation that sought to determine whether high-tech visual schedules increase the self-regulation and transition behaviors of young children with ASD.
- Various definitions of “screen time”
- Merriam-Webster dictionary: Time spent watching television, playing a video game, or using an electronic device with a screen (such as a smartphone or tablet
- Dr. David Hill of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as described in an article in People magazine: Viewing anything with a screen outside of video chatting
- Western Australia Department of Health: The time spent using electronic media like watching TV or movies, playing on computers, laptops, smart phones or other handheld electronic devices, and video game consoles.These devices are often used while sitting or lying down and contribute heavily to the amount of time people of all ages spend being sedentary.
- World Health Organization (WHO): No actual definition, but the guidelines focus on the consequences of “prolonged restrained or sedentary screen time” without explicitly defining what is meant.
Jolene K. Chavez, M.Ed. Early Childhood Special Education
Title I General Education Pre-K Teacher, Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV
Jolene has worked for CCSD in Las Vegas’ lowest income communities for 12 years. The majority of her career has been spent as a Special Education Pre-K teacher in both self-contained and inclusive settings. Jolene took a brief, 2 year break from the classroom as a Special Education Instructional Facilitator, but returned to her happiest place; the classroom. This school year will be the start of Jolene’s second year as a General Education Pre-K Teacher in an inclusion program at Vegas Verdes Elementary School. Two things have remained steadfast throughout Jolene’s 12 years of teaching; her passion for witnessing and enhancing the development of preschool-aged children and her love of learning new, effective ways to provide families and students with the most enriching and rewarding preschool experience possible. Jolene is a single mother by choice to a unique and wonderful 7 year old that teaches her daily how to be a better mother, teacher, and human. Creative outlets of various types and genres keep Jolene’s bucket filled and her batteries charged!
Alicia Frost, M.Ed. Early Childhood Special Education
Early Childhood Teacher, Nampa School District, Nampa, ID
Alicia’s early childhood career has consisted of 16 years in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, NV. The majority of these years were spent teaching Title 1 Pre-K in low income neighborhoods throughout the city. She has served as a Title 1 Project Facilitator for 2 years, which allowed her the opportunity to coach teachers. As a Project Facilitator, Alicia conducted trainings on a variety of topics related to best practices in early childhood education. After being out of the classroom, she realized that she missed the interactions with students and families, thus deciding to return to a co-teaching inclusive Pre-K classroom. Alicia recently moved to the Boise area and is looking forward to continuing her professional journey at a nearby Early Childhood Center. She is passionate about topics related to early childhood. By staying current on early childhood research and conversations, Alicia is able to constantly look for ways to grow and enhance her teaching practices, as well as advocate for our youngest members of society. Alicia has four boys- 13, 8, 5, and 2 years old- and a white lab named Maggie. She enjoys walks down the river, sporting events, and riding quads and dirt bikes. Every day is a new adventure!
Ashley Lyons, Ph.D. candidate
Adjunct faculty for Kent State University and Educational Consultant
As a doctoral candidate, researcher, instructor, consultant, coach, parent of young children with special needs and an advocate, Ashley is dedicated to exploring and identifying solutions to the complex issues that face the fields of early intervention and early childhood special education (EI/ECSE). Having benefited from an education and work experience in the field of special education, and subsequently raising children that are twice exceptional, Ashley has a strong and unique perspective that she brings to her research, delivery of pre-service and in-service professional development, and advocacy. Ashley previously served as the Division for Early Childhood Children’s Action Network Coordinator, Chair of the DEC Policy and Advocacy Council, and as CAN Coordinator for the Ohio subdivision of DEC. She is currently an adjunct at Kent State University as well as a consultant for a variety of education-related projects, with a focus on assessment, professional development, IFSPs, IEPs, and educational leadership in early childhood. Ashley is passionate about advocating for young children with exceptionalities and their families with a focus on systems-level changes that will improve the funding, implementation, accessibility, and effectiveness of services for all young children.
Leslie Nelson, Ph.D.
Title I Early Childhood Project Facilitator, Clark County School District, Last Vegas, NV
Leslie completed her doctoral studies with a focus on self-regulation in autism and educational technology. She has worked with students with disabilities for more than 20 years, having taught students with autism in early childhood preschool through second grade; co-taught in an inclusion program; served as a project facilitator for preschool programs participating in the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Initiative serving urban elementary schools in her district; and served as an Education Programs Professional in the Office of Educational Opportunity for the Nevada Department of Education. Currently she is a Title I Early Childhood Project Facilitator for inclusion programs in the Clark County School District.
Early Childhood Program Support Teacher, Cooperative Education Service Agency (CESA 9) Wisconsin
Beth is in her eighth year at CESA 9 as an Early Childhood Program Support Teacher providing training and technical assistance to districts and their collaborating partners around early childhood special education. Prior to that, she spent 36 years with a public school district as an Early Childhood-Special Education teacher. She has participated in 18 years of full inclusion with the Head Start program there. Her last three years in the district were in administration for the Head Start/Early Childhood Program and director of the Community 4K program. Passions throughout her profession include purposeful play, inclusion, early childhood teacher leadership, and promoting best practices at the early childhood level while recognizing the youngest learners are part of the continuum of learning within a district. Beth started a blog on technology in 2015, gathering pro and con resources for teachers and families of young children.