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National news programs recently reported that the amount of time American children spend watching TV, playing video games, using small electronic devices, or surfing on the computer has increased to almost 8 hours a day!
I certainly support and use technology to enhance teaching. (For example, during our “Whale” unit in science my students got to hear the actual sounds of Humpback Whales via our classroom computer!) As a teaching tool it can’t be beat. Some of the other benefits are:
However, as a classroom teacher, I see the detrimental effects that overuse of electronic devices can have on young students. Some electronic activities can have a negative effect on social, emotional and physical development:
Parents need to find the balance between appropriate use of electronics and overuse. Choose games that enhance learning, are age appropriate, and can be played with others. Limit time spent on personal devices to teach “consumer responsibility” while your child is young.School Family note: We have a great Screen Time Tracker available in our Print and Use Tools section.