Teens and technology

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Technology is all around us, whether it’s for entertainment or work.

Technology is also playing a bigger role in your child’s classroom.

In Brad Newitt’s classroom, there’s no lack of technology. Laptops, smart boards, and even cell phones are incorporated into his lessons.

“I’ll tell you the big thing I have them use their phones for is data collection, timing things, we video a lot of stuff when we do labs. So kids will video it and then they can go back and watch the video and go oh, here’s what that did when I ran that experiment, and go watch it,” Newitt said.

He teaches AP physics, and says incorporating technology allows students to visualize what they’re learning and stay engaged.

“I think for them to be able to see, here is some technology and here’s how I can apply it to something I’m studying or maybe something I may even do someday as a job, that’s really valuable for them,” Newitt said.

In addition to the technology he uses inside the classroom he also records his lessons for students to view at home.

Dr. Kayli Reece says while technology offers benefits, it’s also important to remember too much screen time can have some negative effects.

“There’s good research to show that it’s tied to obesity, depression, other mental health issues, possibly musculoskeletal pain, it can make people more sedentary. So we definitely do see possible issues. Sleep is a huge association,” Reece said.

She says setting good habits for technology use is important, adding that a little parental guidance can go a long way.

“One good way I heard it said is, as a parent you want to know where your child is, how long they’re going to be there, who they’re with. And it’s the same thing online, so you can teach them that good guidance of how to browse online safely, not to give out that private information to strangers,” Reece said.

And by teaching teens safe practices and guidance, technology can become less disruptive and instead, beneficial.

“As a teacher it’s kind of like, you set your boundaries on what’s okay and what’s not okay, and once those are established I think it goes pretty well,” Newitt said.

Reece added that the American Academy of Pediatrics offers a family screen time plan, allowing families to designate a personalized plan to set aside time for technology use in their household.

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