Replied to

Ian, these pieces might be of interest to you and the Screentime Research Group.

I guess it adds to the evidence why social media has not destroyed a generation.

Bookmarked Teens Are Addicted to Socializing, Not Screens (

when physical distancing is no longer required, we’ll get to see that social closeness often involves meaningful co-presence with other humans. Adults took this for granted, but teens had few other options outside of spaces heavily controlled by adults. They went online not because the technology is especially alluring, but because it has long been the most viable option for having meaningful connections with friends given the way that their lives have been structured. Maybe now adults will start recognizing what my research showed: youth are “addicted” to sociality, not technology for technology’s sake.

danah boyd reflects on the current flip to online learning suggesting that days spent in a Zoom meeting is not what teens crave.

TV may have killed the radio star, but Zoom and Google Hangouts are going to kill the delight and joy in spending all day in front of screens.

Discussing her research into teens and technology, she explains that what they have always craved is social interactions. I have noticed this with Ms 9 who counts down the minutes to her WebEx sessions.

Replied to Challenge Set! Structuring Their (Screen) Time. | Learning & Leading (

With the above being taken into account, as well as again, trying to steer my darlings away from watching… ONLY YouTube videos, I decided to structure their screen time, and more so iPad time, by throwing out some challenges and projects for them to complete. To be honest, I thought that this idea would crash and burn however they have responded to what’s been set well. Their enthusiasm and motivation to complete these challenges have been great and I am pretty proud of them for seeing them through.

In setting these challenges and knowing my kids, I knew that there needed to be a few parameters around what I was setting. My kids are highly competitive and see anything that is deemed to be a challenge or pits one against another as competition – something that I was wanting to avoid. The parameters I set may differ for other kids and families however, they worked for us and until the wheels fall off, I’ll continue with them. There are only 3 and this is how they were pitched.

  1. You are rewarded for attempting the challenges being set. This is not about competition and who is the best. It is about participation, being challenged, and giving it a go! 
  2. Time limits are set. Challenges are not ongoing and or to last years at a time! 
  3. You must give it your best. No half baked attempts or deciding to opt-in purely to get a reward. I need to feel that you’ve not given your best.
I really enjoyed this piece on digital parenting and wondered what it might look like with my two daughters. The eldest can list all the fears around screentime, but is happy to sit and watch videos while playing Lego or drawing.

What I like about the ‘challenges’ is that it is not about how much screentime, instead it is about how that time is used. This was something Mitch Resnick discussed in this extract from Life-Long Kindergarten. The only addition I wonder about is something like Duolingo. Is this a challenge or too educational?

In regards to Garageband, I was reminded of something Austin Kleon said:

Like most parents, I angst about giving the kids too much screen time, but Garageband has taught me: Not all screen time is created equal. The right piece of software matched with a child’s natural proclivities and talents and passion can yield complete gold.

Bookmarked How to choose good online content | eSafety Commissioner (eSafety Commissioner)

The concept of windows, mirrors and magnifying glasses has been used by early childhood development specialists including Chip Donohue, Kate Highfield and Warren Buckleitner. We have extended these ideas to how parents and carers can choose good online content for their children.

eSafety site talks about the use of windows, mirrors and magnifying as ways of considering the content which we engage with. This is another resource to support the discussion of screen time.