Slouching posture, carpal-tunnel, neck strain, eye problems. The negative effects that technology use is having on humans’ bodies are surprising. Kids who spend much of their days in and out of school, their faces glued to digital screens, may be establishing bad habits early. And according to a recent study by a group of Australian education and psychology experts, kids are spending more time with technology than researchers previously thought, far surpassing the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that screen time should be limited to two hours per day.
The validity of the doctors’ guidelines is subject to question; even the study’s authors suggest adjusting the criteria to better align them with a world increasingly, and inevitably, inundated with technology. But pediatricians are closely monitoring the health risks associated with spending too time looking at screens, and they’re not yet convinced they should ease up the guidelines. Read More
Are you on the fence on whether or not you should introduce a programming curriculum next school year? The easy answer is that you ABSOLUTELY should! But, for those who are not as easily convinced, we have put together a list of the top 10 reasons why we believe coding should be taught to every child. Read More
While it feels like we just wrote 7 Apps for Teaching Children Coding Skills, it's been a year, and as we know, that’s a couple of lifetimes in the technology world! Over the past year, we've discovered even more fabulous sites for teaching coding.
With programs like the Hour of Code and other sites, it looks like many children have been exposed to computer programming, but we feel that we still have a long way to go. Graduates with programming skills are in high demand, and it's clear those numbers will only increase. In addition, the skills acquired through programming, like logical thinking, problem solving, persistence, collaboration, and communication, can be applied to any grade level, any subject area, and in every part of life. Programming isn't just limited to computer science majors in college. Like we said a year ago, kids can code -- we have the sites and resources to make it happen. And it's never been more important to provide students with opportunities to be exposed to programming, especially girls and minorities. In the interest of space, we've limited our list to resources for coding with elementary students (ages 5-11), and best of all, free resources! Read More
Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. It’s not easy to determine where the idea was originally created, but there are at least two events that have impacted genius hour. Read More
White House education policies aimed at helping borrowers with $1.3 trillion in student debt are gaining traction-- with enrollment in income-based-repayment programs doubling in the last two years. While the programs may be working to ease the burden for borrowers, it’s coming at a potentially hefty price tag for taxpayers.
Hidden in a footnote of the president’s 2016 budget blueprint, the White House estimated that it expects to earn $22 billion less than projected in student loan payments this year. That multibillion-dollar tidbit was first unearthed by Politico, which noted that the sum was “larger than the annual budget for NASA, or the Interior Department and EPA combined.” Read More
I have been a therapist in private practice for almost twenty eight years. As they say, things sure have changed. The parental complaint of “I can’t get my child to clean his room” has been replaced with “I can’t get my child off the computer, smart phone, video game, YouTube, texting and/or social media.”
It seems that we are in collective denial about the addictive quality of modern day electronics and the reality that many children have more screen time than any other activity. This includes face to face interaction with peers and adults.
When parents attempt to get their children to reduce or eliminate electronic use, kids have reactions that are similar to drug withdrawal: mood swings, restlessness, angry outburst, unusual oppositional behavior, lack of interest in any activity that doesn’t require a device with a illuminating screen. Read More
"Children, Teens, Media and Body Image" is a new research report from Common Sense Media that presents the role of media in the development of children's and teens' body image. The report assembles existing research to offer a big-picture perspective on media's influence on how kids and teens think, feel, and act about their bodies and appearance. It offers insights into just how early kids' body image starts to form and how children are affected by their parents' attitudes about their own shapes and sizes.
At 8PM on the last day of 1869, a little boy named Henri entered the world in a gray textile-mill town in the north of France, in a rundown two-room cottage with a leaky roof. He didn’t have much materially, but he was blessed with perhaps the greatest gift a child could have — an unconditionally loving, relentlessly supportive mother.
Like many creative icons whose destinies were shaped by the unflinching encouragement of loved ones, little Henri became the great Henri Matisse thanks to his mother’s staunch support, which began with an unusual ignition spark: At the age of twenty, Henri was hospitalized for appendicitis and his mother brought him a set of art supplies with which to occupy his recovery. “From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands,” Matisse recounted, “I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.” Read More
All of us (parents, teachers, policy writers, etc.), if we haven’t already, need to grasp that Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Instagram, Pinterest etc.— enable us to share material quickly and memorably. Further, that digital technology can magnify direct, real-time communication between teachers and students or between peers.
I have taught a range of subjects using, for instance, GoToMeeting (an audio-video package enabling simultaneous and multiple connections) to students spread across Australia—from the tropics of Darwin to rural farms in outback Queensland, and remote mining communities in Western Australia. I have not mastered the medium, but I am getting there. It is not a silver bullet that will vanquish the monster Ignorance, but it is a very sharp arrow that will certainly damage it. Read More