Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Final Message: Children and Media

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Final Message: Children and Media

Article excerpt

This is going to be my last article in the Practical Tech column. I am very sad to let this column go, but I'm off to serve NASP in a different capacity and am looking forward to my new role! I want to use my last paragraphs in Practical Tech to write about something we all encounter: the effects of media on children. I mean all kinds of media, such as video games, social media, MSNBC, Phineas and Ferb, and Internet pom. My personal philosophy in dealing with children and media is derived from Winnicott's concept of a good enough parent. He explained that you don't want to be too protective or too neglectful. As with many things, a happy medium-just the right amount of neglect-is the key. I recommend that we guard students well enough from what's on the net, and help them build the skills they need to navigate it safely and independently.

A HAPPY BALANCE

Is technology here to stay? Ummm, yes. Heck, fire was the first technology created by humans, and we haven't stopped the innovation yet. While we may, as parents and school psychologists, try to hide children-especially the youngest-from big bad technology, I think we should embrace it and utilize the benefits that technology affords us. So, what's that middle ground? The general guideline is 2 hours per day, but do educational apps count? What about dance games (Just Dance)? Or, reading books on Kindle? Screen time has a broader definition now, I believe. Children are writing essays on iPads, exercising to Wii Fit, and Dehn (2014) recommends video games as an intervention to improve processing assessment. But there are still physical concerns, such as repetitive injuries and eyestrain (but new screen protectors can mitigate this strain). Research has yet to catch up to current technologies (I have my own annoyance: By the time an article is accepted and published, the technology is old and outdated). I look forward to fast turn-arounds of cohorts of highquality research that provide evidencebased guidance. In the meantime here are some of the tools we have:

* Text, Talk, Act (http://creatingcom munitysolutions.org/texttalkact)

* American Academy of Pediatrics (https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/ pages/media-and-children.aspx)

* APA Kids & Media (http://apa.org/ topics/kids-media/index.aspx)

* Common Sense Media (media ratings; https://www.commonsense media.org)

* Kids in Mind (media ratings; http:// www. …

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