Screen time is a very hot topic today and one that will only become more of an issue. As the increase of screens and interactive technology climbs, educators are put in a hard spot. They often have pressure applied to them from the community while receiving the opposite message from their school district.This post will outline some of the issues that come with this and offer up a solution.

First, what types are there?
Type 1 - Entertainment
  • This type of screen time is the one that gets all the press. It is what everyone is up in arms about, and it is the one that we are concerned about. Quite honestly, this is the one that I am concerned about. This type of screen time is characterized by a few things.
    • No interaction
    • The intent is to please or calm the viewer
    • The screen is bright, loud, and overstimulating
  • Here are some real life examples of this type of screen time
    • A parent placing a phone in front of a child to stop them from crying
    • A child turning into a zombie from getting sucked into a game
    • A teenager glued to a device waiting for a notification to beep
  • This type of screen time is BAD. It literally changes the way your brain functions and creates chemical addictions. THIS TYPE OF SCREEN TIME SHOULD NOT BE IN SCHOOLS!!!

Type 2 - Learning
  • This type of screen time is characterized by:
    • Rich multimedia
    • Standard driven content
    • Diverse tasks
  • Out of the thousands of teachers that I have worked with, only 1% can do this successfully. I say that again, only 1%. This is an alarmingly small percentage, but it is not localized to just the teachers I have worked with. This is an issue with our educational system today. Teachers lack the skills to create/publish/and assess with technology. Here are some examples of what I am talking about.
    • 5 year old students create non-fiction ebooks and share with a buddy class in England (my kids)
    • Students create, and reflect on work through multimedia platforms that allow student voice and choice
    • Portals are open for students to ask for help from the best leaders in their school or in the nation. 
  • This is good screen time. Students can personalize, and archive their work for a lifetime allowing them to rewind or fast forward their learning at the speed of their finger. THIS TYPE OF SCREEN TIME NEEDS TO BE IN SCHOOLS.
So, How do we get the GOOD screen time in schools?
  • Meet the PD needs of your staff | Is PD Meeting Your Needs?
  • Learn outside of school / conferences
    • The glorious country of the united states spends 892,890,000 hours a year watching TV. That is 199,650,204 on Ads ALONE. Put down the remote, and pick up a book, or go onto Twitter
  • Ask for help!
    • Your specialists know more than you know. Ask the hard questions, challenge them with your moon shot ideas. Coming from me, I wish everyone asked more!!
  • Focus on Best Practices | Future Ready Classrooms | Future Ready Curriculum | Future Ready Assessment
  • NO MORE LINEAR APPS - These are babysitters, not for learning
    • EX. IXL, Tinkerbox, Raz Kids, Sentence Magic... Basically anything that "teaches" standards
  • Create
    • Allow students to create projects that show what they know in the way they choose. Students who do this will remember the content far longer than if they did a worksheet and took a bubble test.