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How Kids Can Unplug in a World of Screens

Screen time is becoming more of a hot topic with the increase in technology and the time students spend with their eyes stuck to computer screens. Parents and teachers increasingly wonder if children's screen time should be monitored. 

Jenny Shank of PBS.org believes that while there is an overall push in the use of technology in school and at home, there should be a limit to how much time children spend on screen, especially when they are home.

The American Society of Pediatrics’ most recent guidelines for media use among children note that lots of kids are spending seven hours or more a day looking at a screen,” according to Shank’s article.

“They advise the creation of screen-free zones at home, media curfews at meals and before bedtime, and no screen time for kids under 2 years old (an admonition I dutifully followed — it was a happy day when I finally turned on ‘Sesame Street’ for my kids). Kids over age 2 should have no more than one to two hours of screen time a day.”

Media curfews are starting become a norm in some parents life because of the push in technology. The fact that guidelines are now being set for the management of time that children spend with technology shows that there is a serious shift in the way students learns.

“Meanwhile, public schools are facing pressure to prepare kids for nationwide tests of the Common Core standards, which begin in the 2014-2015 school year,” Shank acknowledges.

“Most tests for fourth graders and up will be computer-based and require facility with a computer mouse, and the literacy tests will include essays that the kids must type directly into the computer.”

Shank admits that there is added pressure on educators and agrees that much of the control should fall on parents at home. She outlines her personal schedule for her children and neither television nor the computer is present. All that is left after homework, sports, play time and dinner is one solid hour that she says she spends reading, talking to her kids and having them read to her.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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