BYOD and screen time

Hot Topic:  BYOD and screen time

Education Week recently conducted a survey of school principals on their views of student screen time. The survey included questions on the amount of screen time – both at home and at school – as well as the types of activities that they believe require screen time. In addition, they were asked about how much pressure they felt from different groups to increase or decrease the amount of screen time.

A few take-aways from the results:

  • 95% (!) of the principals believe students have too much screen time at home – but only 17% believe students have too much screen time at school. In fact, 19% believe students don’t have enough screen time at school.
  • Principals reported almost as much pressure to increase screen time as they receive to limit screen time.
  • Conducting research and performing standardized tests are two of the areas where principals report real advantages for computer usage.

I must admit to some surprise at these numbers. Personally, I have some real concerns on the amount of screen time our children have both at home and at school. Several studies have shown decreased socialization skills associated with children who have high amounts of screen time.   The more research I see, the more it informs my thoughts and helps my position to evolve.

I believe the next Board needs to closely review and revise our BYOD policy – but in doing so I think we need to step back and really ask how much time our students should spend with computer technology and on which tasks. Or more specifically, what is our educational goal – and how will we monitor and measure to assess whether we are using technology effectively?

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