By: Mr. Trig and Ms. Reese ~ December 2014
What are they doing all day??
Children today are exposed to a variety of media and stimuli throughout their daily lives. During the school day they are taking in information for six to seven hours, and once they arrive home, they are taking in almost another eight hours of information through various media outlets. As parents and educators it is important for us to understand how our children are using media and how it affects their lives. In this edition of our Principal Newsletter we will discuss the usage of media during classroom instruction as well as outside of the classroom.
When children hit the age of seven or eight, their media habits change. Their attention span lengthens and their fine-motor skills have been fine tuned. This leads to longer periods of time spent with media, and the ability to expand that media usage through the use of their fine-motor skills. In the classroom, children are able to incorporate their communication skills through literary projects, and their problem-solving/logical reasoning skills through the exploration of new technology. The new found ability at this level prepares these school age children for the future, but it is important to regulate the activities they are participating in. The internet is a great tool, but it can also be a great hindrance and a dangerous place. Teaching children proper internet safety and reinforcing self regulation skills can lead to meaningful experiences online in school and at home.
Despite the addition of multiple other resources, television remains the leading media outlet in children's lives. Educational programs can be accessed, but the majority of content consumed is noneducational and could possibly harm children's learning capabilities. There are some children who view educational programs like PBS, which is often utilized in the classroom, but there is a startling amount of children who do not. Television can be used as an escape for both the parent and the child, but it is important to monitor what children are watching. Too much of any type of television activity can be harmful to young, developing minds, so it is important to limit the amount of time spent in front of the television and encourage physical activity as well.
The increase in gaming in school age children is alarming as well. Children want their media on the go and have taken to the use of hand-held devices like cell phones and portable game players. This can be an outlet for children, but it can also be distracting and destructive. It is important to regulate the use of any gaming and incorporate as many educational outcomes as well.
Thomas Suarez: A 12-year-old app developer
Encouraging While Monitoring!
As educators and parents, we need to monitor what our children are using media for, but also encourage the productive use of creative outlets! Not all media is bad for children, and some resources are able to foster creativity better than before! It is important to understand that everything needs to be done in moderation. Children should be allowed to relax or have fun with media, but there should also be a productive and creative element to their usage. Incorporating constructive activities as much as possible in the classroom, and teaching children proper media use at home are key elements to the success of every child.
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