Is screen time helpful or harmful for children? And how much screen time is too much?

In a world of ubiquitous technology, these are the questions parents are grappling with. Researchers are continually trying to ascertain whether phones, tablets, computers, and even “old-school screens” like televisions have a measurable impact on brain development, attention span, and happiness.

A recent article by the New York Times indicates that the jury is still out when it comes to brain development and student performance. There is some evidence to indicate that the kind of screen time makes a difference. Active screen time, such as video chatting with family members or playing educational games, may have some benefits, even for very young children. Passive screen time, such as scrolling through social media or watching video content, is more likely to be detrimental.

The research is ongoing and evolving. However, we don’t need research to tell us that the more time your student spends in front of a screen, the less time they spend on other activities. After all, there are only so many hours in a day.

This is the topic that Adam Alter, a marketing and psychology professor at NYU, addresses in his TED talk. In just ten minutes, Adam reviews some key statistics around screen time and its effects on our society, and offers concrete ideas for increasing time spent in the real world.

We highly recommend you check out his talk.

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