When back to school means back to screens

For more and more kids, this year’s back-to-school backpack will include a school-mandated device - and more and more of their classroom time will be spent on a screen. How concerned should we be?

It’s an all-too-familiar sight at primary schools. When the teacher invites the class to enjoy some free time before recess, instead of turning to books, puzzles or games - or even chatting with their neighbours - kids pull out their devices.

Technology is a part of life - and in our children’s generation, it will play an even more central role. So it’s no wonder that an overwhelming majority of parents accept that screens have a place in the classroom, too. 

But concerns are growing that screens are being over-used - and their impact on learning under-examined.

Want easy to implement tips for managing school devices brought home from school?
Click here to join us for this FREE online masterclass.

Loss of skills?

Evidence that kids are losing basic communication skills, including handwriting and active listening, has alarmed parents and educators alike. And when devices are inadequately monitored or filtered, the online world can become a dangerous distraction from learning.

And then there’s the worry that screens simply encourage kids to focus on image versus substance. Mum Ann Marie Douglass tells the story of her daughter’s elaborate online project on Cleopatra.

The child had decorated her creation with fancy fonts and colours - but there was little evidence she had actually learned anything about the topic.

“It was very fancy, but when I asked her questions about Egypt, she just couldn’t answer them,” Douglass told the Washington Post. “I wanted to see her writing and acquiring more knowledge.”

cleopatraParents also worry about their children’s eyesight, when hours of extra screen-time are added at school. The link between close work on screens and myopia or short-sightedness has attracted increasing research in recent years.

Inappropriate material

Then there’s the very real risk that kids will view pornographic or violent material when using school-issued or school-mandated devices that are not properly protected with effective cyber-safety software.

Turned out the little boy and his friend had taken screen shots of the “naked ladies that they liked” and saved them to their devices. 

One mum told the Post of being called to her 6-year-old’s school after other kids had reported seeing images of topless women on his iPad. Turned out her little boy and his friend had taken screen shots of the “naked ladies that they liked” and saved them to their devices. 

For all these reasons, some parents in the US are demanding that schools reduce their dependence on digital devices, and provide “low-screen” learning alternatives. 

Some states in the US are even considering requiring state schools to obtain professional medical advice about appropriate use of learning devices. 

shutterstock_464172122

Limits and bans

In Australia & New Zealand, concerns around cyberbullying and excessive social media use - among other issues - have led several states to ban personal devices entirely for primary school students, and severely limit access for Year 7 to 12s. 

Karon Brookes, principal at Ocean Reef High School in Western Australia, which has just enacted a statewide ban, told ABC News that the ban not only reduced classroom disruption, it encouraged positive interaction outside of class.

“We also noticed this growing noise in the yard,” she said. “Students were actually talking, laughing and engaging with each other.”

New school year, new tech problems? How to safely manage your child's school device. [Select a webinar time]

Find out how Family Zone can protect your child's devices at school, at home and everywhere in between - to create a learning environment where children thrive.

 

 

Tell me more!

Topics: Parental Controls, Screen time, Mobile Apps, Social Media, cyberbullying, back to school, online pornography, classroom management, digital learning

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | teens on social media
    Can we talk? 100 questions your teen might actually answer
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | roblox | sleep
    Family Zone: Now blocking Roblox with a single click
    Cyber Bullying | Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | online predators | tiktok | paedophile | child predator | Likee
    LIKEE: What parents need to know about this risky TikTok wannabe
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | Fortnite | discord
    Discord: What parents need to know
    Parental Controls | online gaming | Social Media | primary school | krunker
    Krunker has landed - and it's got our kids in the crosshairs

    Recent posts

     
    When is it okay to turn a kid into a brand?

    Social media careers are a top aspiration for Gen Z kids. And some - urged on by a new generation of ‘stage’ parents - are pursuing their ...

     
    Our kids are more connected - yet lonelier - than ever before

    Young people's loneliness has increased dramatically since 2012, according to new research. So has smartphone use. And that’s no ...

     
    Doomscrolling: What it is, why we do it, how to stop

    Compulsively reading negative news online wastes time and makes us feel awful. So why do we keep doing it - and how can we stop?

     
    How TikTok's funhouse mirror is distorting our kids' view of the world

    TikTok's algorithm pushes vulnerable kids toward risky content and risky behaviours, from eating disorders to self-harm.