10 'screen myths' schools believe despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary
By Cris Rowan

For the past 35 years I've worked as a pediatric occupational therapist providing a variety of services in schools settings including individualized assessments, staff workshops and playground/gym consultations. During this time, I've witnessed dramatic changes in how teachers teach, how students learn, and how government and administrations manage the 'education process'. While historically books and paper ensured student achievement of printing, reading and numerical literacy by grade 3, and served as a foundation for further advancement in core subjects, schools have tossed them out in favor of screen-based technologies. While the bell curve flattens the performance gap widens, and grade level achievement is no longer the norm. Education governments and school administrations appear more interested in technology's efficiency and less interested in whether it is even effective, moving forward to increase class size and lay off teachers. Staff and students pressured to ramp up use of education technology has resulted in an explosion of unrestricted entertainment content in schools including video games, porn, social media and bullying. While students and teachers become more addicted to their devices, screen addiction abounds. Significant studies are now showing that screens in schools might be the biggest experimental disaster of epic proportion ever known. 1 in 3 students enter school developmentally delayed, 1 in 4 are obese or overweight, 1 in 6 have a diagnosed mental illness, and 1 in 10 students are on an Individualized Education Plan. Without any consideration given to declining student well being and academic success, schools continue to allow students unrestricted access to entertainment-based technologies within the confines of education technology. This article profiles the myths schools believe which allow them to ignore the decline in student health and learning and proposes initiatives we can launch now to get our education systems back on track.
 

Children and Youth with Neuro-diverse Special Needs Committee needs your input


The public has been given an opportunity to speak before the British Columbia Select Committee on Children and Youth with Neuro-diverse  (e.g.: ASD, FASD, Developmental Delay) special needs and how the assessment and eligibility processes can be improved.   This opens up an opportunity for parents to express their concerns about the  biological effects of electromagnetic fields and the association  of the  neurological and psychological health effects children are experiencing in our classrooms.

Teachers are concerned that the classrooms are in a crisis, with verbal, physical, sometimes-violent outbursts in our Elementary School settings.    Suicide, anxiety, depression, self-harm, autism, ADHD, and other developmental delays are on the rise and seem to coincide with the installation of wireless technology in our schools. 

Please submit a letter or video to the Parliamentary Committee by June 7, 2019 confirming the growing evidence of neurological effects and developmental delays from wireless technology that can no longer be ignored. 

Special Project on Children and Youth with Neuro-diverse Special Needs

Written, audio, or video submissions submitted here.

Published Science

By Herbert, M.R. and Sage, C. Pathophysiology , 2013, Jun;20(3):191-209, Pubmed abstract for Part 1.

By Herbert, M.R. and Sage, C. Pathophysiology, 2013 Jun;20(3):211-34. Epub Pubmed abstract for Part II.

By Wen Y, Alshikho MJ, Herbert MR (2016) PLoS ONE 11(4): e0153329. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0153329

By Pall, Martin L. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy (2015).
By Pall, Martin L. Journal of cellular and molecular medicine 17.8 (2013): 958-965.
By Klinghardt, Dietrich, MD.  2008.
By Ahuja et al., International Journal of Medical and Medical Sciences Vol. 5(4), pp. 171-177, April (2013)

Complied by Dr. Hugh Taylor of Yale Medicine

Coming Soon!

Balanced Technology Management Certification
BTM Champion Status Seal


Cris Rowan is creating an online training certification in Balanced Technology
Management (BTM) for parents, teachers and clinicians. Parents will be certified BTM Advisors, teachers certified BTM Facilitators, and clinicians certified BTM Instructors.

We'll keep you posted!

Foundation Series Workshop Schedule

July 20, 2019 - San Diego, California
Presentation on impact of technology on brain/body physiology to teens attending Camp Unplugged sponsored by Palomar Christian Conference Center. www.camp-unplugged.com.
Contact person: Christie Walsh camps@palomar.camp(858) 225-8535

Nov. 6-8, 2019 - Iquique, Chile
Guest speaker at the Congress of the Chilean Society of Psychiatry and Neurology of Childhood and Adolescence.
Contact person: Dr. Andrea Aguirre, aaguirre@clinicauandes.cl

Other Workshops & Webinars

Families Managing Media 2019
The Screen Solution Workshops will leave you feeling equipped with the tools needed to help you reset your child's screen habits. From video games to smartphones, we'll show you how to make practical changes in your day-to-day life with proven strategies and replacement activities to establish a balanced screen use at different ages.

Parent Preview Night -  How do you keep your child from getting hooked on Fortnite, social media and smartphones? Presented by Families Managing Media. Click here to register.

Medical professionals, doctors, nurses, counselors, teachers, youth workers, and anyone who influences children are invited to attend. This seminar is also for parents who want to get ahead of the learning curve on issues related to kids and screens. 

Electromagnetic Fields Conference 2019 - Diagnosis and Treatment: Effects of Electromagnetic Fields Exposure. The Impact of Today's Wireless Technology

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Research and News Review
 
Childhood Development

By Perri Klass M.D March 25, 2019
"The tablet itself made it harder for parents and children to engage in the rich back-and-forth turn-taking that was happening in print books," a researcher said.

By Noon to Nine November 14, 2018
Dr Wolf says reading more on screens may threaten the young brain's ability to build its own foundation of knowledge and the desire to think and imagine for themselves.

By Victoria Dunckley August 19, 2015
6 Ways electronic screen time makes kids angry, depressed and unmotivated.

Education Technology
 
By Jordan Baker March 31, 2019
As classrooms across Australia embrace digital textbooks, one Sydney school has declared the e-book era over and returned to the old-fashioned hard copy version because it improves comprehension and reduces distraction.

Website - Sensible Screen Use in Schools
This website reviews the research behind device use in education. It explains why we need moderate, purposeful and evidence-based use of digital technology by schools and what can be done to influence change.

By Steven F. Wilson April 24, 2019
For two decades, technology seduced us, sleek devices and clever apps promising us a better, tech-enabled life. Tech would liberate, enlighten, and most of all, connect us. Now that dream has shattered. Tech-utopia is over.

By Airey April 1, 2019
Eighty-five percent of teachers and 75 percent of students reported that the MacBook Air laptops and iPads used in APS classrooms can make learning more interesting - but only 55 percent of parents surveyed agreed.

By Daniel T. Willingham March 2019 Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition

By Nellie Bowles April 21, 2019
In Wellington, Kan., where some parents and students have rebelled against a web-based education program from Summit Learning.

By Xue Yujie March 26, 2019
Chinese schools are using facial recognition on students. But should they?

The Sunday Edition Audio file - CBC Radio May 10, 2019
Teachers today are being asked to operate outside their scope of practice. They need to be psychologists, social workers, and mental health specialists too.  That's one of the many concerns expressed in a conversation with three school principals on  The Sunday Edition , as part of the program's series on the problem of violence in elementary schools.

Social Media, Internet & Mobile Technology

In a new set of guidelines, the World Health Organization said that infants under 1 year old should not be exposed to electronic screens and that children between the ages of 2 and 4 should not have more than one hour of "sedentary screen time" each day.

By Jenny Radesky April 22, 2019
Will the next generation of children, after watching us be fools for our devices, decide it's not worth it?

By Ramona Pringle April 25, 2019
This App tracks the data that each smart device in a house transmits - and who receives it.

If you want to rediscover joy in your cluttered digital life, half measures are unlikely to work.

By G Schmidt, M Valdez, A Doan et al. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usz043 April 2 , 2019
The study results indicated that our population showed problematic Internet use in the lower range of global estimates of Internet Addiction. Interestingly, the use of social media during sleeping hours was most significantly associated with increased Internet Addiction Score. 

By Tristan Harris May 18, 2016
When using technology, we often focus optimistically  on all the things it does for us. But Tristan Harris wants to show you where it might do the opposite.

By Stephanie Fogel April 8
The Federal Trade Commission is holding a public workshop on Aug. 7 to examine the consumer protection issues surrounding video game loot boxes

The UK government plans to curb the spread of online content promoting self-harm and suicide by regulating companies such as Facebook and YouTube.

As other social networks wage a very public war against misinformation, it's thriving on Instagram.

By Holly Bancroft March 30, 2019
More than 40,000 British teenagers are locking themselves away for months over anxiety about their futures and obsession with social media.

By Vatsal G. Thakkar March 23, 2019
Technology meant to save us from distraction is making us less attentive.

By Delaney Rushton March 26, 2019
Sixty percent of parents of 3rd graders say that at least one of their child's classmates has a cell phone. We also learned that more than half of elementary-age kids that do have their own phone bring it to school.

National Online Safety
Smart devices promise to make our lives easier. And in many cases - they do. But these new technologies present risks too. This guide will help you identify some of the ways you can stay alert and protect yourself.

New York Times
The Times is embarking on this monthslong project to explore the technology and where it's taking us, and to convene debate about how it can best help realize human potential.

Video Games & Pornography

Cam Adair April 15, 2019
Cam Adair asked 300 people to quit gaming for 90 days and evaluated the impact on their quality of life.  Of those who completed 90 days, they saw a 2x improvement to their overall well-being.
 
By Delaney Ruston April 8, 2019
Loot boxes are packages filled with prizes, weapons, gear or an aspect of the game that advances gameplay. Kids are then encouraged to buy the loot box.

By Jane Wakefield April 4, 2019
Prince Harry has called for a ban on Fortnite, saying the survival game beloved by teenagers around the world, was "created to addict". But is he right? 

By Beth Teitell March 31, 2019
"They are not sleeping. They are not going to school. They are dropping out of social activities. A lot of kids have stopped playing sports so they can do this."

By Game Quitters
This game has been banned in India and Nepal. Here is an article that can help people get up to speed on what the game is, how its micro-transactions and loot boxes work, and addiction concerns. 

Child & Youth Addictions

By H Pontes, B Sc hivinski et al. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction April 2019
The results of this study, indicated that a Gaming Disorder Test(GDT) is best conceptualized within a single-factor structure.

By H Sanghvi, U Rai December 2015 DOI: 10.25215/0701.004
The students who scored high in internet addiction also scored high in lack of independence factor. The other dimensions, emotional regression, emotional unstability, personality disintegration and social maladjustment did not have a significant relationship with internet addiction.

Study was aimed to examine the association between personality traits and internet addiction among college students.

By M Nogueira, H Faria et al. March 29, 2019 doi: 10.20344/amp.10985.
Half of the participants were male and the median age was 11 years old. Use of addictive video games was present in 3.9% of children and 33% fulfilled the risk group criteria. Most children played alone.

By Emily Young March 21, 2019
According to a group of psychiatry and psychology researchers at one of the largest universities in Brazil, poorer decision-making can be added to the list associated with Smartphone Addiction.

Four-Week Detox Program for Teens.  Fun Filled Summer Camp Atmosphere. Build Confidence By Learning Life Skills.  Clinical and Youth Friendly Staff.

Wireless Radiation

By Americans For Responsible Technology
Only a tiny percentage of the public actually knows what 5G is, and the potential impact it could have on children's health. You can help change that.  Please help us push-back against 5G on May 15th.

This two-hour expert forum explains the biological effects on our children from wireless radiation in our schools. Link includes YouTube video, PowerPoint presentation and many supporting documents.

Zone'in Programs

Sedentary, neglected, isolated, and overstimulated, the new millennium child can no longer pay attention and learn. Zone'in Programs are designed by an occupational therapist to enhance child development and learning, ensuring successful futures.

Tech Talks for Therapists   - 5 hour training for educators and therapists; includes Tech Tool Kit.
Tech Talks for Families 10 half hour sessions for families on tech management; includes Tech Tool Kit.
Zone'in - enhancing attention, learning and self-regulation.
Move'in - teaches children to print, the foundation for literacy.
Unplug'in  - builds skill and confidence in activities other than technology.

Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children
Virtual Child
By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist.
 
Virtual Child  documents the impact technology has had on the developing child, and proposes tools and techniques to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use.  

Need more info? Visit  www.virtualchild.ca

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About the Author
Cris Rowan is a pediatric occupational therapist committed to enhancing child health and academic performance. Well known activist, speaker, sensory specialist and author, Cris is the "Go To" expert on child learning, development and technology overuse. Cris has provided over 200 workshops for health and education professionals, and is currently developing the Creating Sustainable Futures Program for a First Nations Community.
  
Training & Consultation
 
Training

Instructor training for Foundation Series Workshops places pediatric occupational therapists on the cutting edge as experts in the field of technology's impact on child development.

Zone'in Training


Consultation
Innovative team-based approach to manage balance between activities children need to grow and succeed with technology use.

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations. 

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