Our Kids and Technology
Image borrowed from Microsoft Clipart
Are you aware American teenagers (aged 13-18) spend nine hours a day using media, while “tweens” (aged 8-12) spend 6 hours a day using media, in addition to technology used for school work, according to a five year update by the non-profit group Common Sense Media? In a recent report by MSNBC, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media James Steyer shared with NBC News that “[k]ids spend more time with media and technology than they do with their parents, time in school, or any other thing. They are literally living in a 24/7 media and technology world” (NBC News 2015). This research also found that, despite teens’ beliefs that they are able to attend to several tasks simultaneously, i.e. do homework, listen to music, connect on social media etc., researchers at Stanford and Harvard have found their attempt in be ineffective explaining that “[i]t [media] gets in the way of [one’s] ability to concentrate and to synthesize information well” (NBC News 2015). This research study also noted that this overload of technology may well be hurting kids’ ability to communicate, as well as their ability to show intimacy and empathy and that schools can help students learn to “focus on the learning process” rather than encouraging their constant back and forth via devices. With this recommendation in mind, the Durham Media Center and Counseling departments are beginning a series of lessons to guide students through the murky waters of the digital world. Media Specialist, Mrs. Baker and 8th Grade Counselor, Mrs. Favors-Parks will be visiting 8th grade students during the week of January 19th-22nd in their Reading, Origins or Spanish classes to begin a discussion regarding precautions they should employ to protect themselves online. The International Society for Technology in Education’s (ISTE) NETS Standards and resources from NetSmartz Workshop will be utilized during the lessons. In February, 6th grade counselor, Mrs. Crandall and 7th grade counselor, Mr. Wilson will will follow suit with their respective grades. Plans to teach additional lessons across grade levels based upon survey results and data analysis will follow in the spring . For an abundance of resources regarding media and technology , be sure to check out Common Sense Media and NetSmartz Workshop and for even more resources, be sure to check out the links provided under the “Digital Citizenship” tab above.