The volume of technology being used in K-12 classrooms has increased exponentially over the past few years, driven by ed-tech corporations who dangle promises of closing the opportunity gap through a personalized approach to learning.
All too often, schools have fallen for slick marketing of unvetted programs, failing to ask the right questions about side effects and impact on learning outcomes. We’ve allowed profit-motivated ed-tech companies to determine what teaching and learning will look like in our classrooms.
Fortunately, the good people at Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood have just released a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to learn more about what the increase in screen time in schools is actually doing to our children.
The Screens in Schools Action Kit provides simple and beautifully organized tools to help you research this important issue and advocate for the changes our students need.
The kit is divided into 4 sections.
The first is The Problem, which covers current trends in the use of technology in K-12 classrooms and the damage that is done when human interaction is displaced by screen interaction. I found this part of the kit to be especially compelling as it includes thorough research-based summaries on Effects of Ed Tech on Learning, Effects of Screen Time on Health, and Effects of Ed Tech on Psychological and Social-Emotional Wellbeing.
The second section of the Screens in Schools Action Kit is Tools for Parents. Among other things, it includes information on student privacy issues and extensive help for parents who are interested in organizing around the issue of excessive screen use in schools.
Tools for Educators highlights educator concerns over screen use and offers resources for educators who would like to push back against trends that diminish the teacher’s role in the classroom in favor of computerized approaches to teaching and learning.
Further Reading rounds out the kit with additional reading on the overuse of screens in K-12 classrooms.
Big thanks to Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood for their tireless advocacy on behalf of our children.