- Maryland education officials would be required to develop recommended health and safety standards for students’ use of digital devices in schools under a bill recently passed by the state legislature and awaiting the approval of Gov. Larry Hogan, according to The New York Times.
- While most warnings about students' overuse of devices have focused on how much screen time they have outside of school, this measure would address the extent to which they are using them in the classroom.
- The article quotes David L. Hill, a pediatrician and the chairman and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ council on communications and media, who says the group has not issued recommendations on in-school use of devices because there hasn’t been sufficient research, only anecdotes.
As schools continue to shift more instruction to online platforms and adopt 1:1 initiatives, the proposal could prompt other states to set similar limits on how much device use is considered healthy — especially since most students continue to use devices to complete homework, play games or communicate on social media after school hours.
In the early grades, education experts are no longer advising against the use of technology and for the most part have embraced the potential that apps have for allowing students to create, express their learning in new ways, and develop 21st century communication skills. But some researchers suggest that students working and interacting together with technology in the classroom is better than a 1:1 model.
According to a 2016 report from Common Sense Media, 50% of teens believe they are addicted to their mobile devices and close to 60% of parents agree. The report noted that it’s unclear whether device addiction is an actual disorder or causes changes in the brain, such as compulsive gambling. A more recent survey, Common Sense Media’s “census” showed that among children age 8 and under, media use has largely shifted from television to mobile devices.