Creating Healthy Youth through Limiting Screen Time

Happy March is Reading Month!

For an excellent article on the implications of screen time on child and adolescent development, please read Dan Digmann’s article  on the work of Central Michigan University researcher, Dr. Sarah Domoff and the work of the Family Health Research Lab.

One of the most revelatory findings in this article is the finding that youth are engaged with digital media on average 7 hours per day. Yes, longer than they are in a classroom. Although it is not mentioned in the article, I am guessing they are not writing their own code, reading Milton’s collected poetry, or solving systems of equations on Khan Academy!

The lab is investigating the health effects on children, such as the correlation with obesity and other negative health outcomes. Additionally, the lab hopes to develop research based tips for “effective media parenting.”

a-stone-wall-obscured

For more information on Dr. Domoff and the Family Health Research Lab, please check out the Science, Math and Technology page of this website.

It includes a link to a television news feature on this work including the finding that over 50% of the time their was no parent/child interaction during the child’s use of digital screen time. Also,  parents with higher levels of education tended to interact more and encourage their children to view educational media.

In my opinion, this has significant implications for a child’s development, especially when we know from Hart and Risley’s research how essential parent-child interaction is for language development as they highlighted in their seminal research, The Thirty Million Word Gap. 

A big thank you to Dr. Domoff for helping with this blog’s core mission, and taking the time to answer questions that might help high school teachers promote students’ research literacy, which is also found on the Science, Math and Technology page.

Questions for Discussion

  1. How young do children engage in social media?
  2. How many subjects were in the study?
  3. How was the data collected and analyzed?
  4. What would a possible null hypothesis be for this research?
  5. What do you “guess” might be the correlation between screen time and obesity?
  6. What other negative health outcomes might there be?
  7. Is there a difference between type of screen time and cognitive development?
  8. To create more context, why are parents allowing their children to engage in so much screen time?
  9. What else does this inspire you to “dream, learn, do?”

 

 

 

The Poetry of Robert Fanning, Central Michigan University

“Let Go.”

Of so many things.

A litany of images cascades from Central Michigan University professor and poet, Robert Fanning, in his mesmerizing poem, What is Written on the Leaves.

In the world of algorithms and big data, in which we are reduced to nothing more than our assemblages of profiles, browsing history, and followers, we are reminded once again of the very difficult task of being  human. Poetry does this for us. And nothing humanizes us more richly than luminous poetry.

The poem, taken from his most recent collection of poems, Our Sudden Museum, published by Ireland’s Salmon Press (salmonpoetry.com), could be the voice of our wiser self, putting us on notice, that of all our accumulated sufferings and possessions, we are to “let go.”

Is it a command, a suggestion, or something else-maybe a refrain from the deepest blues song, that we are to lay down our weariness, our baggage, we are to “let go.”

But, what would we be without it?

arch-rock-ascendingMerely free.

Any reader who is looking for solace and inspiration today, should definitely check out Robert Fanning’s work.

I do believe teachers of creative writing and English teachers would find much to appreciate in this poem. Experience for yourself but I believe Robert Fanning’s accessible poem, What is Written on the Leaves, rich in imagery, rhythm and repetition would be suitable for older students.

An interesting thematic lesson might be to read Robert Fanning’s poem after reading Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. How do these two works complement each other?

Please check out Robert Fanning’s website and his reading of What is Written on the Leaves on Soundcloud.

Additionally, parents will find his poem, Watching My Daughter Through the One Way Mirror of a Preschool Observation Room especially poignant.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What is your first reaction to his poem, What is Written on the Leaves?
  2. What images connect with you?
  3. What are 3 poetic devices that Robert Fanning uses in the poem?
  4. How does the use of repetition of the phrase “let go” add to the poem’s meaning?
  5. Who is the speaker in the poem?
  6. Why is it essential to hear poetry spoken aloud, or to speak it aloud ourselves?
  7. What does this inspire you to “dream, learn, do?”

Screen Time and Youth

For an excellent article on the implications of screen time on child and adolescent development, please read Dan Digmann’s article  on the work of Central Michigan University researcher, Dr. Sarah Domoff and the work of the Family Health Research Lab.

One of the most revelatory findings in this article is the finding that youth are engaged with digital media on average 7 hours per day. Yes, longer than they are in a classroom. Although it is not mentioned in the article, I am guessing they are not writing their own code, reading Milton’s collected poetry, or solving systems of equations on Khan Academy!

The lab is investigating the health effects on children, such as the correlation with obesity and other negative health outcomes. Additionally, the lab hopes to develop research based tips for “effective media parenting.”

a-stone-wall-obscured

For more information on Dr. Domoff and the Family Health Research Lab, please check out the Science, Math and Technology page of this website.

It includes a link to a television news feature on this work including the finding that over 50% of the time their was no parent/child interaction during the child’s use of digital screen time. Also,  parents with higher levels of education tended to interact more and encourage their children to view educational media.

In my opinion, this has significant implications for a child’s development, especially when we know from Hart and Risley’s research how essential parent-child interaction is for language development as they highlighted in their seminal research, The Thirty Million Word Gap. 

A big thank you to Dr. Domoff for helping with this blog’s core mission, and taking the time to answer questions that might help high school teachers promote students’ research literacy, which is also found on the Science, Math and Technology page.

Questions for Discussion

  1. How young do children engage in social media?
  2. How many subjects were in the study?
  3. How was the data collected and analyzed?
  4. What would a possible null hypothesis be for this research?
  5. What do you “guess” might be the correlation between screen time and obesity?
  6. What other negative health outcomes might there be?
  7. Is there a difference between type of screen time and cognitive development?
  8. To create more context, why are parents allowing their children to engage in so much screen time?
  9. What else does this inspire you to “dream, learn, do?”