Screens and digital media are everywhere, from international journal tech like TVs, phones, and gaming consoles to the laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, and other tech we use in school. Kids of all ages are consuming and producing more digital media than ever before. But is “screen time” actually the best way to describe, or measure, kids’ media use?
Of course, not all screen time is created equal. How much screen time we get doesn’t account for other factors like when, where, or most importantly what we’re watching. Context matters, especially when it comes to classroom learning. Instead of focusing only on screen time, this article will cover how teachers and students can use devices and consume media in more deliberate and mindful ways — what Common Sense calls “media balance.”
Simply put, media balance means using screens in a way that feels healthy, useful, and proportional. Digital media and technology are increasingly a part of our lives, but it’s important that we’re conscious of the media choices we’re making. It’s also important to remember that things will vary quite a bit from person to person and class to class. There’s no one formula that’s right for every classroom.