Student screen time: Cause for concern?

By SchoolCIO Advisor Carl Hooker

As many schools push towards greater access to students, either via BYOT or 1:1 initiatives, many parents have expressed concerns about the amount of screen time students are getting. Research on brains when it comes to digital input is still fairly limited, believe it or not. However, one trend I see in favor of increased access in the hands of kids is the idea that students are becoming active learners rather than passive. For example, a classroom of just four or five years ago would commonly have a projector or interactive white board. While the board may have been interactive, it was common to see one student or teacher at the screen while the other 20+ students sit back and absorb the information or day-dream. Replace that passive intake of information with interactive, hands-on learning through 1:1 access, and you haven’t increased screen time, you just replaced it with a better option. For more information, on screen time with students, check out this study by Joan Ganz Cooney Center.