Children who use smartphones, tablets, and video games for more than seven hours a day are more likely to experience premature thinning of the cortex, the outermost layer of the brain that processes thought and action, a 2018 study found. https://t.co/OJe6ZTBVkx
Early data from the study, analyzed by another group of researchers from the CHEO Research Institute’s Healthy Active Living and Obesity also showed that kids who spend less than two hours a day on screens, participated in 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity physical activity, and received nine to 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep had higher cognitive abilities.Cognition was measured by language abilities, episodic memory, executive function, attention, working memory, and processing speed.
The relationship between teens, screens and mental health is complex and multidirectional
Abby’s mom has sent her articles about research linking teen depression and suicide to screen use. A 2017 article in The Atlantic magazine — “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” — drew a link between negative trends in teens’ mental health and the rise of smartphones and social media.
The negative relationship between teens’ mental health and technology use is real — but tiny, the researchers found. “A teenager’s technology use can only predict less than 1% of variation in well-being. It’s so small that it’s surpassed by whether a teenager wears glasses to school.”
How to strike a balance? To start, try mentoring, not monitoring
Heitner’s work emphasizes a concept that’s also put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics in its guidelines for parents: media mentoring.
Look for the good in your kids’ media interests
For Benji, Minecraft is a social space where he plays with other kids and pulls pranks. He says he wishes his parents understood more about his screen use — “why it’s entertaining and why we want to do it. And also, for YouTube, why I watch other people playing games. When you watch sports, you’re watching another person playing a game! Why is it so different when you’re watching a person play a video game?”
There is a free version and a paid “pro” version of Screencast-o-Matic. The free version will let you record for up to 15 minutes, record as many videos as you like, save to your Google Drive or local drive, and use your webcam while recording a screencast. The pro version removes the time limit, removes the Screencast-o-Matic watermark, enables cursor highlighting (that yellow circle you see on my screencast videos), enables drawing tools, and enables access to the offline editor.
Diigo’s Awesome Screenshot tool. Awesome Screenshot is a simple one step installation
TechSmith’s Snagit. Awesome Screenshot will only capture things that are displayed in your web browser. Snagit download the Snagit Chrome app and the Snagit browser extension. . Both tools allow you to draw and type on top of your screenshot images. Macbook and Windows laptops:
Mac keyboard combination of “Command+shift+4” “Command+shift+3” will capture everything on your screen.
Windows computer Snipping tool
Jing to take screenshots on my Mac and on my Windows laptop.
Skitch If you have an Evernote account, you can save Skitch images in your Evernote account.
iPad and iPhone:
Taking a screenshot on an iPad or iPhone is a simple matter of holding down your “home” button (the big round one) and power button at the same time. The image will save directly to your device’s camera roll. When I need to draw, highlight, or type on an image in my camera roll I turn to Skitch again.
Android phones and tablets:
As long as your device is operating on Android 4.0 or later you can take a screenshot by holding down your home button and power/sleep button at the same time. The screenshot should save to your camera roll unless you’ve designated another place for it to save. Once on your camera roll you can use the image in other apps for drawing, cropping, annotating, and sharing. Some Android devices, depending on manufacturer, include a built-in screenshot image editor. Pixlr and Skitch. Skitch on Android offers all of the same features that are outlined above. Pixlr is a more robust tool that allows you to apply image filters in addition to drawing and typing on your images.
Please consider other IMS blog entries on the topics: