Is screen time really bad for students?
Various studies give us very different pictures of the truth. Some experts say that screen time can interfere with neurological development in very young children. Others have linked increasing screen time to an uptick in rates of anxiety and depression among teens. Still, other studies have found very little correlation between technology usage and psychological well-being in teens.
In the classroom, digital technology gets mixed reviews. While some educators may worry that using laptops, tablets, and smartphones is more distracting than it is productive, so-called screen time may in fact have powerful potential to boost educational outcomes.
The achievement gap refers to the fact that students in lower-income areas typically have lower test scores and higher dropout rates than those in higher-income areas.
But supplying lower-income schools with digital devices has been shown to have tremendous potential in bridging this gap. In fact, researchers from Stanford have found that when used strategically, digital technology in the classroom has made a positive impact on students who were otherwise considered at-risk for failing or dropping out.
Screen time that involves active interaction – such as with an educational game – may actually help engage students more, and as a result, improve outcomes. 70% of students aged 8 to 15 have an interest in virtual reality (VR), for example – giving educators a powerful opportunity to capture their attention with a lesson in history or science brought to life by VR (Google Cardboard provides a cost-efficient tool to make VR more accessible).
Digital devices also empower students to take responsibility for their own educational journeys. 49% of students with access to mobile devices in the classroom say that what they are learning is important to their futures – a full 10% higher than those without access to mobile devices in the classroom.
Finally, digital technology has helped equip educators to improve outcomes for students. By engaging in their own “screen time” on technology that helps measure and assess student performance, teachers have been able to improve student performance, increase administrative efficiency, and get richer insight into students who may be falling behind.
What do you think about screen time for students?
John Stuppy, EDUMETRIX president, helps ed-tech products & services companies grow fast, dominate their market & prepare to sell. John is a successful global ed-tech leader. He guides, mentors & drives companies to hit aggressive business and education goals using his hands-on management experience & technology savvy in rare combination with stellar academic credentials, strategic vision and sales expertise.