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Screen Free Week

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Dear Thinking Stick Readers,

Well, it’s that time again. From April 21st- April 27th Jeff will be participating in the annual “Screen Free Week.” If you remember from last year’s post, this is Jeff’s ‘voluntary’ participation in taking control of the screens in his life by turning them off for seven days. For seven days, Jeff will only use screens (computers, televisions, iPods, etc) at work for necessary work tasks.

Last year, Jeff’s participation in Screen Free Week taught him something…the importance of time. Recognizing and reevaluating the time we spend with ‘screens’ is the focus of this week. Use this time to evaluate your own screen time and the priorities you have in your life. Take the seven day challenge with Jeff; be sure you are in control of your screen time and not the screen time controlling you! Take time to enjoy your family, your friends, and the world around you. Try some new hobbies, explore places that you’ve always been interested in, pick up that ‘real’ book you’ve been meaning to read. Take the time to just be.

Don’t worry, Jeff will be back in seven days. He will have had seven days to think, contemplate, and formulate loads of new ideas he will be anxious to share with you!

Good luck,

A Blogger’s Spouse


Screens & Very Yong Children

1. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to avoid television and other electronic media for children two years of age and under.–AAP statement, August 2, 1999

2. Overweight U.S. babies are more numerous since 1980, a study in the journal Obesity found, growing to 6% from 3% of those under 6 months old. Wall Street Journal 2006

3. Seventy percent of day-care centers use TV during a typical day.–Tashman, Billy, “Sorry Ernie, TV isn’t Teaching,” New York Times, Nov. 12, 1994

4. In a study of preschoolers (ages 1-4), a child’s risk of being overweight increased by six percent for every hour of television watched per day. If that child had a TV in his or her bedroom, the odds of being overweight jumped an additional thirty-one percent for every hour watched. Preschool children with TVs in their bedroom watched an additional 4.8 hours of TV or videos every week.–Dennison, et.al. 2002

5. Research now indicates that for every hour of television children watch each day, their risk of developing attention-related problems later increases by ten percent. For example, if a child watches three hours of television each day, the child would be thirty percent more likely to develop attention deficit disorder.–D. Christakis, Pediatrics, April 2004

6. One in four children under the age of two years has a TV in his or her bedroom.–Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children’s Digital Media Centers, 2003

7. The more TV preschoolers watch, the less well they do academically in the first grade; also, The more TV preschoolers watch, the less well-socialized they are in the first grade.–Burton, Sydney, James Calonico and Dennis McSeveney, “Effects of Preschool Television Watching on First-Grade Children,” Journal of Communication, Summer 1979

8. Children in households where the TV is on “always” or “most of the time” are less likely to read than are children in other homes. Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children’s Digital Media Centers, 2003

Children six and under spend an average of two hours a day using screen media, about the same amount of time they spend playing outside, and well over the amount they spend reading or being read to (39 minutes).–Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation and the Children’s Digital Media Centers, 2003

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. I hope you, your family and friends have a great week. Apparently, I picked the wrong month to start a ed. tech. blog. 🙂 My IT fiance’ and I will give this “crazy idea” a shot soon. but shhhhh… I haven’t told him yet!


  2. This is really interesting post for many reasons it is showing how much we depend on electronics for everyday tasks. They do make life easier but also confusing with mastering technology. It’s good to get this 7 day break from technology just to realize what the world was like before it. It’s showing how tremendously much our world has changed over the past 20 years. It pretty crazy all the risks that come from using technology as you posted. I think this is amazing how much technology is being used by kids now a day. Instead of going and “playing” the new things is going on the internet and explore something new. This is really changing our world people really are living for technology, for example almost everyone I know has either a TV or a computer. Our school has laptop classes which are making learning so different. It really is good the way we are going with technology like my school really makes it easy to succeed with the technology and all the new opportunities you get with technology.

  3. This is very interesting to me. It seems lately there have been things going on where we don’t use electricity like when everyone shut everything off for an hour. This is very cool that you participate in this screen week. Personally I don’t think that I could do it, and it is kinda sad that the world is becoming that dependent on technology. Especially kids these days with our cellphones and my space. The screen week thing is a great idea because it probably helps a lot. Even though it doesn’t show that much electricity that is not being used really helps the earth. I know a lot of people who are way too dependent on there technology and I’m not that much but I don’t think I could go without TV that long. Hopefully in the future I will be able to be a part of these things because I think it is very important. I am also going to try to participate in Earth Day too because the pollution is overwhelming lately. I am glad that I read this post because it has inspired me too do these things also. Hopefully more people will realize how important it is to keep our world healthy because if we don’t soon then who knows what will happen.


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  5. Mr. Utech

    This post really stuck out to me. I think that technology is a great thing and that if we use it well it can do great things. Also we can’t completely depend on it for all our needs. This 7 days when we don’t use any TV’s, computers, cell phones, or even Ipod’s is a great way for people to see what it would be like if we didn’t have any technology. Also it would save a lot of electricity and that is a huge topic now a day’s because of global warming. I have participated in a day like this when everyone around the world turned of their lights for 1 hour. It was equivalent to taking 48,000 cars off the road for 1 year. This is a major thing and if we as a nation or world we to do it more than just once a year we could slow down global warming and green house gases. Also not having lights is even more to add to the week of no technology. I think that people should try this event out and see how it affects them, for the better, or the worse.

  6. Screens are currently the worst obstacle for chidren to develop their potential. So a week without a screen is a good start to replace screens by playing outside or with friends. How can we win this uphill struggle?

  7. Pingback: Gadgets, the Brain and Families | Lessons Learned

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