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Teaching Meaningful, Mindful and Moderate Technology Use


As a technology teacher, or any teacher in today’s technology-driven classroom, you may feel like you do nothing but sit your students down in front of screens.  So how are you supposed to honor screen time recommendations while also engaging them, and preparing them for adulthood in a technology-saturated world?
 As a technology teacher, or any teacher in today’s technology-driven classroom, you may feel like you do nothing but sit your students down in front of screens.  So how are you supposed to honor screen time recommendations while also engaging them, and preparing them for adulthood in a technology-saturated world?  How do you share your love of all things technology related while also fostering meaningful, mindful and moderate technology use?  Well, like most things you want your students to learn, it turns out that you have to teach it.


The first thing you need to do is have a clear idea of what guidelines and strategies you think are the most effective.


The United States Department of Educations’ four guiding principles for use of technology starting with early learners are as follows:


  • Technology—when used appropriately—can be a tool for learning.

    • Families and educators should ask themselves following questions:

      • Content—How does this help children learn, engage, express, imagine, or explore?

      • Context—What kinds of social interactions (such as conversations with parents or peers) are happening before, during, and after the use of the technology? Does it complement, and not interrupt, children’s learning experiences?

      • The individual child—What does this child need right now to enhance his or her growth and development? Is this technology an appropriate match with this child’s needs, abilities, interests, and development stage?

  • Technology should be used to increase access to learning opportunities for all children.

  • Technology may be used to strengthen relationships among parents, families, educators, and children.

  • Technology is more effective for learning when adults and peers interact or co-view with young children.



Common Sense Media suggests that you can maximize your kid's screen time if you consider the "four C's."


  • Connection. It's important that kids connect on a personal level with what they're watching, playing, or reading. 

  • Critical thinking. Look for media that encourages kids to wrestle with ethical dilemmas or strategize about bypassing obstacles.

  • Creativity. An important feature of many great learning products is the ability for kids to create new content.

  • Context. Help your kids understand how their media fits into the larger world. Being side by side with kids while they play or watch, asking questions about what they're taking away, and doing related offline activities can extend learning.


As a technology teacher, or any teacher in today’s technology-driven classroom, you may feel like you do nothing but sit your students down in front of screens.  So how are you supposed to honor screen time recommendations while also engaging them, and preparing them for adulthood in a technology-saturated world?
Note that picture sharing and video chatting with friends and loved ones is a stated exception to the screen time guidelines laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organizations. In fact, it's actually beneficial to help kids get acclimated to different communication platforms, as well as give them the enrichment of a visit with people they may not get to interact with in person as often as they’d like. 


Consider making a newsletter or infographic summarizing the principles you’re going to teach, and encouraging parents to support their children by establishing coinciding rules and expectations at home.


Ultimately, of course, the goal is for our kids to self-moderate.  But even if it may be a while until children learn to monitor and manage their own screen time, teaching them to think about balancing these things and making conscious choices early will give them a foundation to build good habits on.



As a technology teacher, or any teacher in today’s technology-driven classroom, you may feel like you do nothing but sit your students down in front of screens.  So how are you supposed to honor screen time recommendations while also engaging them, and preparing them for adulthood in a technology-saturated world?

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Brittany Washburn
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