Ever passed your child a digital screen just to pacify them? Well, fret not, because many parents have done the same! While digital devices have been taking the lead in learning and play opportunities, there is a fine line between the two. Learn how IB Primary Schools view screen time and how best to promote digital wellness today.
What is screen time?
Screen time is any time spent on a digital device such as laptops, television, iPads, and other virtual game devices. It is a stationary activity, which means you’re physically inactive while using your device. With the advancement in technology and the impact of the pandemic, even our young ones are becoming more glued to their screens – be it for educational or playtime purposes!
While limiting the quantity of screen time is important, many parents don’t realise that managing the content that children are consuming on those devices is equally crucial. Thanks to technology, you can download several mobile applications to track the screen time and limit the selection of applications that your child uses. Be sure to keep your eyes on your child’s digital ‘diet’, because these devices can be a source of distraction, just as much as they are handy learning platforms.
What are the signs of too much unhealthy screen time?
With the rise of remote education, it’s understandable that managing screen time can pose quite a challenge. But, there are a couple of tell-tale signs that indicate they may need a break from the screens. For instance, unhealthy screen time causes reduced attention span, where your child finds it difficult to sit still and focus on the activity at hand.
Another sign to look out for is when children become uninterested in non-technological activities. You could be out with your child for a fun time at the playground or some outdoor activities for family time. Unfortunately, children with unhealthy screen habits would not enjoy such activities and repeatedly ask for their iPad instead. Additionally, unhealthy screen time greatly affects sleep quality – it might interfere with children’s ability to sleep well at night.
How are IB schools stepping up their digital wellness measures?
In this digital era, it’s inevitable for your child to grow up without a gadget or two. Since schools have recognised both the benefits and drawbacks of digital devices, many IB PYP programmes are looking at digital wellness measures! Here’s a brief look at how IB schools are promoting digital wellness today.
Digital literacy refers to a person’s skills to find, evaluate, and communicate information on digital platforms. Many IB schools adopt a specific digital curriculum that consists of trained Digital Literacy coaches to guide students in the use of technology.
Aside from fully understanding screen time, students also learn how to navigate the digital world! From gathering, evaluating and finally utilising information that can be found online, the curriculum prepares your child for the increasingly digitalised world and how to behave safely on these platforms.
Responsible device ownership
There’s no denying that the advantages of digital devices in the world of education outweigh its disadvantages. IB schools require students as young as primary level to own and bring their laptops to school. This measure is not just to allow students to reap the benefits of online learning, but also hone them to be responsible device owners from a young age. Moreover, the use of technology is not an addition but is well integrated into classroom learning!
One way or another, we can’t run away from the use of ‘screens’ in this increasingly digitalised world. At international schools in Singapore, digital wellness is included in the curriculum: students are well-equipped with knowledge and tips to navigate virtual platforms. Interested in finding out more about the digital curriculum? Enquire for an open house today!