The role of violent media in escalating student violence in schools
By Cris Rowan

Over the past year I've assessed ~ 100 elementary and high school students with most frequent reasons for referrals being poor self-regulation, aggression, and inability to pay attention (in that order). While I pride myself on being "fun" and generally well liked by students, I also have been increasingly kicked, pinched, punched, spit on, and sworn at on more than one occasion. It's not unusual for students to ignore, defy, or refuse requests to work with me, and completion of requested tasks frequently require excessive coaxing, cajoling and even pleading. These aggressive and defiant acts by students are new for me and have been increasing markedly over the past 2-3 years. Concurrent with escalating violence and defiance by students is increasing reports of use of violent media content at a younger and younger age. Many of my grade K, 1 and 2 referred students report use of Mature rated video games including Call of Duty, Black Ops and Fortnite. With teachers reporting increasing incidents of student violence reaching a level where protective gear is now required in many districts, schools might consider educating students and parents regarding reduction and/or elimination of violent media content. 

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.

Estimated release date Sept. 1, '19
The ScreenStrong™ Solution

Screen Strong™ is a game plan to delay harmful entertainment screens in your kids' lives. And it really works!

Living ScreenStrong™ means:

- Your kids' screen use is balanced.

- You keep the benefits of technology but delay the harm.

- You do this by hitting the pause button on addictive screens such as video games, social media, and smartphones until your kids are more mature and able to use them well.


Click to find out more and buy the book.

Foundation Series Workshop Schedule

July 31, 2019 - San Diego, California
W ebinar for families and teens attending 28 day Camp Unplugged.
Contact person: Christie Walsh, (858) 354-8105

October 9, 2019 - Dryden, Ontario
Workshop for early years service providers on impact of screens on children sponsored by Kenora District Best Start Network.
Contact person: Chris Maltais, (807) 223-2100

October 9, 2019 - Dryden, Ontario
Evening workshop for parents on impact of screens on children sponsored by Kenora District Best Start Network.
Contact person: Chris Maltais, (807) 223-2100

October 10, 2019 - Dryden, Ontario
Tech Talks for K-12 students.
Contact person: Chris Maltais, (807) 223-2100

October 26, 2019 - Courtney BC
Workshop for early intervention providers on balancing screens with healthy activities sponsored by Vancouver Island Center for Child Resource and Referral.
Contact person:  Catherine Carter Clark 746-4136

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,

Feb. 21, 2020 - Vancouver, BC
Two workshops for special education teachers on improved attention/learning with movement and nature, and negative impacts of technology on children and youth sponsored by Teachers of Inclusive Education - BC conference .
Contact person:  Robinson, , (250) 542-3331

Other Workshops & Webinars

An Interfaith Conversation on Screen Time.

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.

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 Julie Jergon June 18, 2019
At 13, kids are still more than a decade from having a fully developed prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in decision-making and impulse control. And yet parents and educators unleash them on the internet at that age.

CBC Podcast June 3, 2019
Hawthorne Hill Academy is a new school in Moncton, N.B. But it doesn't look like a normal school. There are no smart boards or computers. Instead, there is a firepit, trees and a stream.

By Sukhpreet Tamana April 17, 2019
Research from the CHILD Cohort Study suggests that among preschoolers, spending two hours or more of screen time per day may be linked to clinically significant behavioural problems.

Education Technology
By Nish Acharya  June 22, 2019
Hundreds of startups and thousands of educators are thinking about how to improve learning outcomes for children around the world.

By Colleen Hagerty June 5, 2019
Some of the creators of the apps and technology we spend so much time on are now on a mission to keep it away from their kids.  Colleen Hagerty meets two dads - and tech experts - with different views on screen time at schools.

Social Media, Internet & Mobile Technology

Published in Insurance Journal June 8, 2019
In his new book, " The Terminal Self: Everyday Life in Hypermodern Times," University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) sociology professor Simon Gottschalk examines the social and psychological toll of increasingly online lives on work, education, family life, interactions, our sense of self, and more.

By Chaelin K. Ra, Junhan Cho, Matthew D. Stone, et al July 17,  2018 JAMA. 2018;320(3):255-263. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.8931
In this longitudinal cohort survey study of adolescents aged 15 and 16 years at baseline and without symptoms of ADHD, there was a significant association between higher frequency of modern digital media use and subsequent symptoms of ADHD over a 24-month follow-up 

By Laura Counts June 19, 2019
A new study by researchers at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business has found that information acts on the brain's dopamine-producing reward system in the same way as money or food.

Video broadcast on Today June 19, 2019
Smartphone overuse is leading to a rise in popularity of minimalist cellphones, stripped-down devices with just the basics such as calls, texts, GPS and music.

By Isaac Stanley-Becker June 25, 2019
Mobile Technology  may be remolding our skeletons, possibly altering not just the behaviors we exhibit but the bodies we inhabit.

By Amina Zafar June 14, 2019
"What we say in the area of children's mental health and adolescent psychiatry is that the new 18 now is 28 because there is a delay in the emotional and social awareness and maturation of adult skills."

Video Games & Pornography

Published on Humans Are Free website June 2019
Roblox is aimed at children, and riffs on Minecraft by letting players create their own mini-games and virtual worlds.  But pervy players have exploited Roblox's freedom, using it to create twisted fantasy worlds where they live out sex games.

By John Paul May 22, 2019
If your child has a meltdown when you turn off their game or take away their screen, they could be developing a problem and the longer it goes on, the bigger chance of mental health issues.

By Craig Timberg June 13, 2019
Many tech companies have side-stepped COPPA, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, a 1998 law that aims to protect children from harmful online materials.

By Rachel Stonehouse May 30, 2019
Online multiplayer game Roblox, which has 90 million users worldwide, is marketed at children - but there are fears it also being used to groom them. 

Child & Youth Addictions

Katie Forster March 17, 2017
Levels of smoking, drinking and drug use among British schoolchildren aged 11 to 15 have more than halved over the last decade, according to NHS statistics.

By Dr. Halley Pontes University of Tasmania
The purpose of this anonymous 20 minute survey is to examine gaming behavior alongside psychological wellbeing.

David's new book, The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business, is to explain why that pattern of harmful behavior has become more conspicuous and varied over time.

By Luke Schneider, Daniel King and Paul Delfabbro August 2018
Findings suggest that IGD may co-occur with a tendency toward denial coping, highlighting the significant challenge for practitioners in obtaining reliable assessment by self-report and developing an effective therapeutic alliance in interventions for adolescents.

By Daniel King, Cam Adair, John Sauders and Paul Delfabbro Marcht 2018
Clinical predictors of adherence to brief gaming abstinence were examined.  Successful abstainers were less likely to report withdrawal symptoms.  Mood symptoms were not related to adherence to gaming abstinence.

By Mark D. Griffiths June 7, 2019
A brief look at some myths about gaming disorder.

By Dimitri Christakis May 16, 2019 doi:10.1001/jama.2019.4690
The emerging phenomenon of "digital addiction" represents a real and potential widespread problem that defies easy solutions or prevention strategies.

Wireless Radiation

non-partisan initiative led by a group of British Columbians who have joined together in a common concern over the harmful impacts today's wireless communications technology on both our biological health and on the health of our larger natural environment.
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


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

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

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. 

Care to Donate?
Zone'in Programs Inc. and Cris Rowan are seeking your support and assistance to ensure sustainable and productive futures for our children. Find out more about how you can help us!
Contact Us
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© Zone'in Programs Inc. 2019