Tech Talk TodayPosted: February 28, 2012
This evening, a guest speaker, Lynne Griffin, gave a talk on how technology affects child development. For the most part, and really I mean most, I agreed with the presenter and found her delivery engaging and thought-provoking both as a technology teacher and as a parent. She started the presentation with a series of Fact or Fiction questions that got people thinking. Much of it directed people to question assumptions around the pervasive nature of technology and thus its natural and necessary insertion into the lives of children. She then discussed some of the effects of screen time on children highlighting the attentional issues, executive functioning impacts, and academic performance disparities. Her last portion focused on what we can do.
I really loved her idea around “Give to Get.” For instance, she modeled how to introduce a cell phone to a child. Presenting it as an opportunity to work together with the child for success rather than handing it over and saying, “If you mess up, I will take it away.” What will the child give to get the privilege of having a phone? A shared phone with the parent for a while, the parent checking the phone once in a while?
Another major suggestion was the idea of “Provide don’t deprive.” In this section she talked about providing abundant opportunities to do things that are tech free, involve social interaction, and are hands-on that will engage children. These activities will reduce screen time without having to take it away.