- A new documentary, “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age,” explores the impact of how much time today’s students spend looking at their phones or other digital devices, alongside input from doctors, researchers and educators.
- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports one student in the documentary got distracted during a class discussion about technology use in classrooms because he was playing a video game on his phone, and clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair says children aren’t developing the social-emotional intelligence to have face-to-face interactions.
- Beyond getting distracted, there are disciplinary consequences as schools spend more time on Mondays addressing disputes that came up over the weekend as students take their classroom arguments to cyberspace instead of cooling off during the time apart.
Growing up in a digital world makes today’s children both privileged and disadvantaged. This early digital fluency will help them in the workplace, but they may be losing practice time with human interaction that will be equally important as they navigate future careers. Many schools are reinforcing their social-emotional learning curriculum for a variety of reasons, and this is one area it can improve.
Project-based learning also offers opportunities for students to be up, talking to each other and collaborating on problem-solving. While the power of personalized learning provides incentives to have students working by themselves as they get instruction tailored to their particular learning pace, schools must keep in mind how important practice collaborating with peers can be.