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Literacy by Grade 3 - Common sense screen management in schools.
by Cris Rowan
In an average month, I receive 10-15 emails from teachers who express grave concerns regarding unrestricted use of technology in schools (see below email from a teacher in Maryland). These emails not only report problematic issues with personal device use such as cell phones, but also overuse of entertainment media including cartoons and movies, as well as dubious use of non-evidenced education technology (edtech). The bulk of these emails indicate pressure is being exerted on teachers and principals by district superintendents, school boards and education government to use more technology and employ less of the traditional "tried and true" evidenced based teaching methods. Technology initiatives are not 'suggested' to teachers but are 'enforced', either directly by telling the teacher what technology to use, or indirectly through refusal to fund books and other non-tech teaching tools. Not having access to books has resulted in teachers and principals asking students to bring their own personal devices to school e.g. cell phones, tablets and computers. Use of these devices as learning tools require internet access causing significant management issues when students continually access long durations of inappropriate content including violent video games, pornography, sexting, and bullying. Technology corporations such as Microsoft and Google Education are advising school boards and governments regarding technology usage (see International Society for Technology in Education), posing significant conflict of interest and misuse of faulty industry driven research. While edtech inherently offers 'promise' for student learning, current mismanagement and total lack of supporting research indicates 'peril' for both teachers and students. This article offers schools guidelines to ensure students get what they need to grow and succeed, prior to use of potentially harmful technologies.

ABC 20/20's Digital Addiction: Watch Here!
by Melanie Hempe

ABC News 20/20 aired the story Families Managing  Media contributed to over the past year called, Digital Addiction.   One of our advisory doctors and authors, Victoria Dunckley, MD, participated with the production and her  segment  was aired on Good Morning America summarizing the progress of one family as they successfully detoxed their two young children from their screens.  Please view and share this excellent material with your kids, schools, and community. Education is truly the key that unlocks the struggle behind balancing all this technology in our children's lives.

Responses to Safe Schools Policy - Best Practice Standards for Screens and Radiation

The Safe Schools Policy - Best Practice Standards for Screens and Radiation was emailed to Canada's  Prime Minister  and  Canadian provincial Ministers of Health and Education , as well as  Health Canada  and The Council of Education Ministers, Canada on March 26, 2017 for comment and consideration.

The Game Is Playing Your Kid: How to Unplug and Reconnect in the Digital Age
By Dr Joe Dilley

As technology advances and digital devices infiltrate our homes, it is important to monitor how our kids are using these items. But how can you decrease your kids' overreliance on technology without stifling their freedom or making them "outsiders" amongst their peers? It can seem that there is no satisfactory solution to this dilemma, but do not despair--the assistance you need is here!

In The Game is Playing Your Kid: How to Unplug and Reconnect in the Digital Age, Dr. Joe Dilley shares his profoundly effective three-step process that will facilitate your kids' transition away from overuse of technology and toward more responsible and mindful use, so they unplug from devices and reconnect with your family in organic, lasting ways.

Order the book at Amazon  here .

Foundation Series Workshop Schedule
Nov. 6, 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Full day workshop for professionals on impact of technology on child development sponsored by Alloway Therapy Services.
Contact person: Monique Gougeon MSW, 204-788-4100,

Nov. 6, 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba
Evening workshop for parents on impact of technology on child development sponsored by Alloway Therapy Services.
Contact person: Monique Gougeon MSW, 204-788-4100,

Research and News Review

Childhood Development

By Senator Nancy Greene Raine 
Bill S-228 will be studied at the Senate Committee on Social, Science and Technology (SOCI) starting on  June 1st .  You can follow these proceedings on the Senate Committees website:

By Michele McCormack April 6, 2017  
Letting your kids have free reign over screen time means that they could be losing out on time they need to study, play, talk or sleep.

By Cari Nierenberg April 13, 2017
Toddlers are fiddling more with tablets and smartphones during the day, and it's robbing them of sleep at night, a new study from England suggests.

By Dr Screen-Free Mom March 28, 2017
"When did tech companies cross a line? I would argue when they started attempting to improve our relationships with our kids by inserting themselves into that sacred space."

Hands On OT March 28, 2017
"Because while the parent thinks they're doing something positive - or at least neutral - for their child by setting them in front of screen media, they're actually interfering with the child's natural, healthy development. The younger the child is, the greater the interference and future consequences."

By Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood May 2017
In July, Mattel will release Aristotle, a Wi-fi enabled "digital nanny." They say the device will help parents nurture and teach their child from infancy to adolescence. Parents be warned it collects and stores data about a child's activity and interactions with it.  Will you help stop Mattel from using this device to trade children's privacy for profit?

A request to Microsoft, to provide disadvantaged families with the message affluent families increasingly hear from educators at their high-performing schools: set screen and phone limits at home.

Social Media, Internet & Mobile Technology

Chukwuma Muanya 
April 27, 2017 The Guardian
"The scientists led by the Director, Elizabeth Kelley, said these findings justify their appeal to the United Nations (UN) and, all member States in the world, to encourage the World Health Organization (WHO) to exert strong leadership in fostering the development of more protective EMF guidelines, encouraging precautionary measures, and educating the public about health risks, particularly risk to children and fetal development. They said by not taking action, the WHO is failing to fulfill its role as the preeminent international public health agency."

By Judith Burns April 23, 2017
"An overuse of mobile phones by parents disrupts family life, according to a survey of secondary pupils."

By AP Osborne
May 16, 2017
With the rise of technology, social media and the transcendence of communication that we are currently seeing, youth suicide is once again infiltrating and devastating our schools, communities and families.

By Christopher Markou May 3, 2017
Elon Musk's Neuralink is probably a dangerous idea, but to the first person who fell into a firepit, so was fire.

Denis Campbell - May 19, 2017 The Guardian
Poll of 14- to 24-year-olds shows Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter increased feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

By Kelly Wallace May 4, 2017
40% of kids under age 2 have used mobile device
Video Games & Pornography

By Asperger Experts May 2017
Introducing "The Video Game Addictions Course", a step-by-step process to  learn how to help people with Aspergers break their obsession with video games and start engaging in the outside world, willingly.

By Melanie Hempe May 9, 2017  
Give your child the gift of outdoor memories they will never forget!.

By Patrick Allan April 12, 2017
Escapism has it's benefits, sure, but too much of it takes time and energy away from more productive ventures, like taking care of essentials and job searching.

YouTube video by Ariq Naufal February 19, 2015 
According to a recent study, too much internet use may cause parts of teenager's brain to waste away.

By Melanie Hempe April 24, 2017
Why video games don't prepare a young boy for real baseball or real life.

Child & Youth Addictions
By Sam Harris April 15, 2017
60 Minutes segment on smartphone addiction.

By Cam Adair May 18, 2017  
Currently four episodes live and a new one coming every Thursday starting from May 25th.

Education Technology
By Josh Del Sol April 8, 2017 
"It is easy to become paralyzed by the feeling of powerlessness. However, when I found out that a cell tower was proposed to be placed on top of a church roof, right next door to my children's school and within line of sight of my house, I could not stand idle. I understood the dangers of yet another layer of radio frequency radiation being placed near my children and family."
Wireless Radiation
Scott O'Connell April 25, 2017

The school district could soon warn families to take precautions against exposure to wireless Internet radiation, after a school standing committee this week approved a set of recommendations developed by the administration.
Cheri Kiesecker April 9, 2017
Anderson Cooper asks, Is Silicon Valley programming apps or are they programming people? According to a former Google product manager, Silicon Valley is engineering your phone to get you hooked, feel the need to check in constantly.
By Emily Baker April 8, 2017  
"A child who uses the computer at school and then comes home and sits in front of a
computer or hunched over a laptop is not getting out, playing and being physically
active, which is incredibly important for their physical and mental health."

By Katie Singer May 21, 2017
Introductory-level resources for concerned citizens who want to get informed.
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.
Live'in - media literacy guide for home, school and community.

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!
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