Looking For More About Kids And Screen Time? Here Are Resources From The Experts

By Rebecca Kaufman

We received so many questions during our show about kids and screen time. The big one, not surprisingly, is “How much is too much?” Guest Dr. Michael Rich helped put it into context:

The reality is they are using it and we have to start directing our concern from how much they’re using it to what they are doing with these media and then what context they’re doing it because so many schools, so many of our communities are now building themselves around a technology that is able to facilitate those activities, that the concept of screen time is really obsolete.

To that end, we asked our panel of experts to come up with their top resources to help guide parents, caretakers and educators. Here’s what they told us:

From Dr. Michael Rich, founder and director of The Center on Media and Child Health:

  • This tip sheet from The Center on Media and Child Health offers pointers for parents on raising healthy, productive digital natives organized by health outcomes, child developmental stages, and media of concern.
  • Fred Rogers Center Initiative On Digital Media And Learning: A facet of the Fred Rogers Center that deals with how media and technologies can be used effectively to enhance children’s cognitive and social abilities.

From Rachel Barr, associate professor in the department of psychology, Georgetown University:

(Barr has worked with the organization Zero to Three to develop guidelines for parents on the impact of screen use on young children.)

From James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media:

  • A Guide To Managing Media For Teens and Tweens: More than ever before, tweens and teens are watching, reading, listening, creating, and communicating throughout their entire day. It’s become harder to distinguish between screen time and just … time.
  • Common Sense Digital Glossary: Not sure how to decode your teens’ shorthand in the digital world? Feel like you need to brush up on the latest digital apps? Still think that MySpace is the right space? This digital glossary will help parents and educators better understand what their kids already know about the digital world.
  • Pause & Think Online: This video and song is for kids ages 5 to 9. Using verses and characters based on familiar body parts, the song and video help kids make the connection that safe, responsible, and respectful behavior online is a lot like behaving safely, responsibly, and respectfully in the offline world.

From Lisa Guernsey, director of the Learning Technologies Project in the Education Policy Program at New America:

  • Tap, Click, Read: The homepage for Guernsey’s and co-author Michael H. Levine’s new book, with links to articles and studies on early literacy and technology, plus video examples from communities around the country.
  • How True Are Our Assumptions About Screen Time? Published by NAEYC Families, a publication of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, this article tackles five big questions from parents.

What questions do you still have? Leave us a comment.