A Message from Mr. Sackett
Do you ever feel like the spread and advancement of technology continues to move at a faster pace each and every year? This year, I have learned from students about YouTubers, PewDiePie and Project Zorgo, along with different aspects of the popular online video game Fortnite. I have also talked to several parents and families that are concerned by the amount of screen time that our elementary students are exposed to.
With Winter Break just around the corner, and more technology devices likely to enter the lives of our students and their families over the holidays, I thought I would share some tips about limiting screen time, and encouraging more time being active that I have gathered.
Some of the key ideas these resources ask families of elementary students to consider when thinking about screen time include:
- Track your family's screen time - TV, DVD, Video Games, Cell phone or other hand held devices, computer or internet that is not school work.
- Consider limits on time spent using media devices by setting a goal of no more than 2 hours each day.
- Consider matching time being active to screen time 1:1 by: playing outside, going for a walk, playing sports, or engaging in an active hobby. (Balance is key!)
- Make sure that media use does not take the place of sleep by designating bedrooms as media free areas.
- Turn off the TV, put away devices during family meals, and engage students in talking with you and their siblings. (These conversations are essential to each child’s pro-social interaction!)
- Choose age-appropriate, quality content for when students are accessing their media devices. (Common Sense Media reviews movies, TV shows, video games, and more.)
- Be a media role model and put your device away during family time at home. (Children follow their parents’ actions!)
- Be knowledgeable about the content your student is accessing by co-viewing, playing along, and talking with them about the videos, games, social media or apps they are accessing.
Related to this last point, when I heard students talking about Fortnite or YouTube around school, I felt like I should learn more about these things that students are so interested in. I have included links to Common Sense Media articles below that are intended to give parents more information about these two specific types of technology.
Parents Ultimate Guide to Fortnite
Parents Ultimate Guide to YouTube
We know that students being able to engage in positive social interaction is essential for their success in school, work, and life, and that helping to provide balance is key! Have a wonderful upcoming winter break enjoying family, friends and all that the Holiday Season brings!