When digital media is used thoughtfully and appropriately, it can enhance daily life. But ongoing research, child developmental experts, and daily observations show that these ubiquitous devices can easily be used inappropriately and/or without thought.
Families have been caught off guard by their own addiction to these devices. Time on these devices can distract young children from the proven ways that they learn: through face-to-face interaction, play, outdoor time, exercise, conversation and unplugged downtime and sleep. Screen time has also been linked to behavior issues, anxiety, depression, even the growth of bone spurs in older children and adolescents.
Too much time in front of screens puts children at a greater risk of obesity, and they tend to sleep fewer minutes per night, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Interviews and data from an ongoing National Institute of Health study has revealed that children who spend more than two hours on screens per day earn lower scores on thinking and language tests.
School District U-46 aims to support our students academic as well as social and emotional growth. U-46 is committed to creating a supportive learning environment, free from the distractions of mobile devices. We expect students to switch their mobile devices to airplane mode or off during classroom time. To support teachers and students, U-46 installed mobile device holders in all secondary school classrooms but students are also allowed to keep their phones in their possession but out of reach, i.e. backpacks or in a jacket pocket.
The District will continue to offer lessons on digital citizenship in school and through community outreach.