Has screentime “won”?

A podcast about living and learning in the age of screentime. Welcome to Episode 18 of Season Two: Has screentime “won”?

This episode is a special episode of the Technopanic Podcast in which we discuss the challenges of parenting, and teaching in a global pandemic.

BIG QUESTION

Should parents feel guilty about extra screentime right now?

WHAT WE’RE READING

Coronavirus ended the screen-time debate. Screens won.

Working and Learning from Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Resources for Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic

TAKEAWAYS

While limits are still important, it’s understandable that under these stressful circumstances, kids’ screen media use will likely increase. Here are some ways to help keep media use positive and helpful:

  • Contact teachers about educational online and offline activities your children should do. Preschool teachers may not have an online curriculum to share, but good options include PBS Kids, which is sending out a daily newsletter with show and activity ideas.
  • Use social media for good. Check in with your neighbors, friends and loved ones. If schools are closed, find out if there are ways to help students who need meals or internet access for at-home learning.
  • Use media for social connection. Social distancing can be isolating. If your kids are missing their school friends or other family, try video chats or social media to stay in touch.
  • Choose quality content and use trusted sources to find it. Common Sense Media, for example, suggests 25 dance​​ games and other active apps, websites, and video games​ for families hunkering down right now.
  • Use media together. This is a great opportunity to monitor what your older children are seeing online and follow what your children are learning. Even watching a family movie together can help everyone relax while you appreciate the storytelling and meaning that movies can bring.
  • Take your child (virtually) to work. Working from home? Use this time as a chance to show your kids a part of your world. Encouraging imaginative “work” play may be a way to apply “take your child to work day” without ever leaving home!
  • Limits are still important. As always, technology use should not push out time needed for needed sleep, physical activity, reading, or family connection. Make a plan about how much time kids can play video games online with friends, and where their devices will charge at night.

STAY CONNECTED

The Technopanic Podcast is a podcast about living and learning in an age of screentime.

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About the author

Ian O'Byrne

Dr. W. Ian O’Byrne is a educator, researcher, & speaker. His work centers on teaching, learning, and technology. He investigates the literacy practices of individuals as they read, write, and communicate in online & hybrid spaces.

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