Technology Topics

Coming to you most Tuesdays from Julie Dwyer - Volume 4

Raising Kids in a Flat Screen World

One of the sessions I attended at NETA focused on technology use in our society and how it can affect the learning process and social development. Graci Gillming based her presentation on Gary Chapman's book Growing Up Social. Below you will find some major points from Graci's session and Chapman's book.


  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents avoid screen time for children under the age of two.
  • In terms of how much screen time you allow a child, two hours a day is a good general rule. Digital natives spend an average of eight hours a day on screens.
  • Children are profoundly influenced by what they watch. If we leave our children unattended with their screens, we must be prepared to accept the consequences
  • Just like adults, children need to rest and recharge. This happens best in outdoor play, settling down with a good book, or hugging and talking to a parent or friend. Relaxation doesn't occur while holding a screen.
  • Research shows that children who spend a great deal of time watching violent movies and video games are far more likely to be involved in violence themselves.
  • For most of us it is unrealistic to have a screen-free home, but we can work toward a screen-smart and screen-safe home:

-Keep all electronic media out of children's rooms, especially younger children

-The family computer or tablet should be used in an open location where everyone can see it. (Many families collect all electronic devices at night and place them in a storage bin in the parents' bedroom.)

-If you are going to give a child a cell phone, pick a basic phone with no photo sending abilities or Internet access

  • Create digital-free zones by not allowing phones or screens during mealtimes; preserve car rides for conversation, not for ear buds, movies or video games; and use your child's free time for non-screen activities like playtime, reading time, homework time, conversation time, and physical activity
  • As adults, what we model digitally is more important than what we say about screen time. Parents are needed more than ever to provide instruction, correction, and positive modeling to a child regarding screen time, even if this digital world seems like unfamiliar territory.
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BrightBytes Technology Survey

Thanks to all the Pope John faculty and students for taking time to complete the BrightBytes technology survey. My hope is that the results will help guide improvements in technology professional development, instruction, and student use.


The results are quite interesting. Some were expected and others I found surprising. You should have received an e-mail inviting you to look over the data that was collected.


Your input regarding technology use and integration is always welcome!

STI -2015

WHAT: NNNC 2015 Summer Technology Institute

WHEN: Wednesday, May 27 & Thursday, May 28

WHERE: Lifelong Learning Center in Norfolk

COST: $30 when you pre-register; $40 when you register the day of the conference