To logon or not logon…that is the question

This year has been a whirlwind of new technologies, applications, and resources here at GD.  Teachers and students are utilizing technology on a daily basis in the classroom to support  existing curriculum.  Teachers are noticing the increase in student engagement and collaboration, and the kids (as always) love new technology. 

A common question from parents though is "How much technology should my child be using at home?"  

In a recent entry in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) mentions the average 8 year old spends 8 hours a day using different forms of media, while teenagers often pass 11 hours a day.  Consider for a second, just a generation prior to the current Millennial generation, many of the devices and technologies we use each day were not been invented yet.

The invention of the electric light in the early 1900s, and the increase in use of electronic devices more recently have resulted in disruptions of our natural sleep patterns.  Scientists at the University of Colorado Bolder found that these changes have resulted in our internal biological clocks and the external natural light cycles becoming out of sync.  This change results in problems going to and awakening from sleep which lead to grogginess.  Their suggestion...Go camping!  After only one week of camping, the biological clocks of study participants re-synced with the natural world and experienced better sleep at night and alertness during the day.  While you can't skip school and go camping for a week, going for a walk early in the day or after school helps.

While new devices and technologies are fun and allow us to communicate across the globe and be creative, be sure there is a balance.  Even though I'll be the first person to try out a new technology amongst all my friends, I disconnect from time to time.  Camping, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, sailing, mountaineering, running, and cycling are among my favorite ways to disconnect from technology and enjoy friends, nature, and get exercise.  At night, I make sure to dim the lights around me at least 30 minutes before going to bed.  Limiting the amount of screen time prior to bed also helps a better nights sleep.

Talk with your co-workers, family members, and friends about how much screen time they consume each day.  For one day try and limit the amount of time you use a device to see how different your day might be.  Starting this conversation with children at an early age, as well as establishing nightly routines, and getting regular outdoor exercise will all help lead to good physical and digital health.

For more resources about talking to your children about good digital health and wellness, be sure to attend the EdTech Team's next Community Tech Night on March 13th from 7-8:30PM at the High School Library.

Originally published on the GDRSD EdTech Blog on March 5, 2014.

Add new comment