Resources: Is Too Much Screen Time Causing Bad Classroom Behavior?
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Resources: Excessive Screen Time May Be To Blame For Bad Classroom Behavior

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“Experts stressed the need for schools to teach students healthy technology behaviors as explicitly as they teach in-person classroom behaviors and social norms.”

by Sarah D. Sparks

Without even counting digital instruction, the amount of time teenagers and tweens spend staring at computer screens rivals how much time they would spend working at a full- or a part-time job. Educators and children’s health experts alike argue students need more support to prevent the overuse of technology from leading to unhealthy behaviors in the classroom.

According to an annual report from the nonprofit Common Sense Media, screen use for children and adolescents ages 8 to 18 jumped 17 percent between 2019 and 2021—a steeper increase than in the four years prior to the pandemic. Screen use rose by nearly 50 minutes per day for those ages 8 to 12 (tweens) to five hours and 33 minutes per day, and by more than an hour and 15 minutes for teenagers, to eight hours and 39 minutes per day. And those increases do not include students’ screen time in class or for schoolwork.

Teachers say they see the effects of heightened digital exposure in the classroom. In a nationally representative survey by the EdWeek Research Center in February, 88 percent of educators reported that in their experience, students’ learning challenges rose along with their increased screen time. Moreover, 80 percent of educators said student behavior worsened with more screen time. Over a third said student behavior has gotten “much worse” due to rising screen time…

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