As the girls move into holiday mode it is timely that I bring up the topic of screen time and the effect that it is having on our youth. Most of our students have only lived in a time of smartphones, internet and Google. Any information is found at the push of a button and entertainment of any form is just as easily available. They have not been on an international flight where they cannot pick and choose to watch the latest movies, sitcoms, series or play a selection of games. Remember reading, crosswords and books of puzzles?
I encourage parents to urge your daughters to use this time to read a book, play outside, go for a walk, make something, bake something and spend time with friends face-to-face with no device in sight. A tough ask I know, so I have shared parts of an article and a very interesting video clip to inspire you and give you the words to use when you get the inevitable backlash when suggesting timeout from technology.
Author and TED speaker Simon Sinek talks with Tom Bilyeu on Inside Quest about how addiction to technology is affecting relationships, jobs and personal satisfaction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL8AsaEJDdo
Ritesh Chugh is the discipline lead for information systems and analysis at Central Queensland University’s School of Engineering and Technology. He is an active researcher and has published extensively in his research area. He has been interviewed multiple times on radio talk back shows and received media attention for his work in many outlets such as The Age, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Conversation and SBS. Below is part of a recent article that he wrote for Education Technology Solutions.
Tethered to Screens: A Dilemma
March 16, 2019
The challenge of too much screen time by youngsters represents an intriguing problem, which is hard to definitively solve. This article delves into some of the nuances of screen time, its benefits, problems and ways to manage it. Some guidelines that teachers and parents can take to tackle the issue of excessive screen time are outlined.
Screen time via electronic media can take various forms such as viewing television, using computer screens and mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) and playing with hand-held computer games. Research indicates that excessive screen time can lead to poor social skills, inactivity, sleep problems, negative effect on school performance and cyberbullying. A European study last year found a strong connection between screen time and child obesity.
How much screen time is advisable?
The Australian Government’s Department of Health website suggests that the watching of television by children (birth to 2 years) may be connected with delays in language development. The Department of Health recommends that children under 2 years should not be allowed any screen time. Furthermore, screen time for children between the ages of 2-5 should be restricted to less than one hour a day and screen time for entertainment-based activities for children in the 5-17 age group should be limited to no more than two hours per day. But these guidelines specify screen time for entertainment-based activities only. In reality, this could mean that students spend 4-5 hours of screen time at school, followed by 1-2 hours of homework screen time at home and finally, the recommended 2 hours of screen time for entertainment-based activities. A total of 7-9 hours a day! In this case, perhaps the guidelines should be amended, especially when schools do not give a choice to opt-out of the BYOD model.
What can parents and teachers do to tackle this issue?
Ten tips to alleviate the problem are outlined and some of these tips are equally applicable to adults too:
In summary, this is a battle of the digital age and the screen revolution is unending with proponents tugging at both ends of the screen! Ultimately what really matters is that children are not deprived of social life, not addicted to screens, do not become device addicts, and are better prepared for life in an expanding digital world.
Chugh, R. (2019). Tethered to Screens: A Dilemma. [online] Education Technology Solutions. Click here to view [Accessed 26 Mar. 2019].
YouTube. (2019). Addiction to Technology is Ruining Lives - Simon Sinek on Inside Quest. [online] Click here to view [Accessed 2 April 2019].
Sue formally leaves us in her capacity as a permanent teacher at the end of the term, though she has been away on long service leave during Term 1. Sue has been an integral part of our community for twenty years; first in her role as Junior Years teacher, then as Middle Senior Years teacher, and for the past eleven years as Head of Hale House. Sue has had a huge impact on the lives of the many staff, parents and, particularly, girls with whom she has interacted during her time here. She will remain a part of the Glennie family as she will be doing covers for teachers when they are away. We wish Sue and Henry all the best with whatever adventures lie ahead.
Shelley leaves us after twelve years as a Maths and Science teacher in the Middle and Senior years. Shelley’s meticulous approach to her lessons and her passion in ensuring that the students in her care be the best that they can be, have been greatly appreciated by the girls she has taught. We wish Shelley well in her future endeavours.
Emily Scott - Maternity Leave
We wish Emily well as she takes time off for the birth of her baby. We hope that she has some time to relax prior to the big event. We will inform the Glennie community when bub makes his/her appearance but in the meantime, we wish both Emily and Nick all the best for the next few weeks.
A Prayer to End the Term
God of all, as we prepare to leave this place and journey home,
we pray that you may watch over us and fill our lives with your Spirit.
As we rest, may we not rest in developing our relationship with you.
As we enjoy our many blessings, may we develop a keen awareness of our role in this world as peacemakers and blessing bearers.
Open our minds, our hearts and our souls to you as we spend time in relaxation and personal space.
May we return refreshed with a renewed vision for our lives here.
Mrs Kim Cohen