In Episode 35, we dive into more of the practical stuff…and what to do with conflicting messages around screen time and young children. For example, what do we do when we want to limit screen time and we also want children to have technology literacy skills?
Missed episode 34? It’s the first part of this two-part conversation. Click here to access now.
There’s an ancient parable about a farmer who lost his horse, and as as Heather Lanier say in her Ted Talk, “The parable has been my warning that by gripping tightly to the story of good or bad, I close down my ability to truly see a situation. I learn more when I proceed and loosen my grip and proceed openly with curiosity and wonder.”
And for me, the same goes for screen time and young children. While I have strong opinions (grounded in wisdom and research for the most part), I know I can be quick to judge when I see a smartphone propped up in a child’s stroller or a parent “mindlessly” scrolling on their phone while their children try to get their attention. And let’s be honest, when it comes to my own addiction to my phone- I can’t possibly leave the house (ok room) without it.
Let’s take it one step forward…what can we learn from the parable about what happens when we quickly judge things as “good” or “bad”? For example, what about when we see a headline that screen time CAUSES developmental delays?
Well, we generally would all say, “Oh, that’s bad!”.
If another post shares how a mother deployed in the service of our country was able to sing a lullaby to her baby using SKYPE, we would then likely say, “Oh, that’s good!”
And if you asked most teachers their thoughts on the impact of screen use on children’s interaction and play skills, they would say, “Oh, that’s bad.”
Yet at the same time, we can find many opportunities throughout the day to broaden what children are exposed to. For example, taking a virtual field trip to look at an endangered animal on YouTube. Then they would say, “Oh that’s good.”
It’s complicated right…
Let’s start with getting more clarity on our WHAT before we pick the HOW (i.e., use or non use of screens).
Click here to download the transcript for Episode 35.
- ‘ScreenTime: Diane Sawyer Reporting,’ 2-hour ABC News special, challenges families to rethink technology consumption: In this sneak peak of the special “ScreenTime: Diane Sawyer Reporting”, researchers recreate a study about ignoring your kids for your phones, and parents were surprised by their kids’ reactions.
- Partnership for 21st Century Learning Skills: Now more than ever, 21st century curriculum and lesson design are essential to create educational experiences that lead to deeper learning that prepares students to navigate a complex, rapidly changing world. Deeper learning occurs through the purposeful integration of rigorous academic content with experiences that intentionally cultivate skills, mindsets, and literacies essential for students to become lifelong learners and contributors in our rapidly changing world.
- Early Learning and Educational Technology Brief: The purpose of this policy brief from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services is to provide guiding principles for early educators (including those in home settings), early learning programs, schools, and families on the use of technology by young children to support them in making informed choices for all children; inform the public, families, and early educators on the evidence base used to support these guiding principles; and to issue a call to action to researchers, technology developers, and state and local leaders to ensure technology is advanced in ways that promote young children’s healthy development and learning.
- Getting Smarter about E-books with Children: This NAEYC online article by Lisa Guernsey and Michael H. Levine discusses the way that children’s books captivate young children, and how teachers love to see kids engrossed in their pages. But what if that book is an e-book? Does that change the equation?
- The Power of Play Infographic: Developed by Kristie Pretti-Frontczak and Ashley Lyons, this infographic provides evidence-based facts regarding the impact of play on early development, and the role play serves in academic and life-long success.
- Why Technology Alone Won’t Fix Schools: This article by Kentaro Toyama describes how a phenomenon known as the “law of amplification” may apply. He argues that technology’s primary effect is to amplify human forces, so that in education, technologies amplify existing teaching practices (whether good or bad).
- Media and Children Communication Toolkit: This website provides a collection of tools to help pediatricians and health professionals understand and implement the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations on children and media, as well as how to discuss the topic with parents and families.
- To Grow up Healthy, Children Need to Sit Less and Play More: These guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that children under five must spend less time sitting watching screens, or restrained in prams and seats, get better quality sleep, and have more time for active play if they are to grow up healthy,
- American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children’s Media Use: The AAP announcement of new recommendations for children’s use of media takes the stand that there are both positive and negative effects on healthy development. The nation’s largest group of pediatricians provides a new set of recommendations and resources.
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 daily teaches her 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-teach 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 teaching students with autism in early childhood preschool through second grade, co-teaching in an inclusion program, was 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 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: https://tech4ec.blogspot.com/.