These are my notes from Dr. Neeti Kohli‘s presentation, “Is the Pied Piper (Electronic devices with screens) taking our kids away?” on October 1, 2013, at the Oklahoma Technology Association / EncycloMedia conference in Oklahoma City. Dr. Kohli is a medical doctor (anathesiologist) but is presenting today primarily as a parent (who happens to also be a medial doctor). She is the author of the 2013 book, “Kids on Screen.” MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. (I AM AUDIO RECORDING THIS SESSION AND AFTER APPROVAL FROM DR. KOHLI WILL POST THIS AS A PODCAST.)

Kids on Screen: Neeti Kohli on Amazon

Parenting is not easy
- you must guide your children to decide what is right and wrong

The simple answer to our question today: Like the Pied Piper, “the screen” is attracting a large number of our children…taking them away from the realities of life and person-to-person relationships

Why are children getting hooked?
How pervasive is this problem

Basic human needs: to be loved, liked and appreciated
- instant gratification
- avoid life stresses
- be authoritative
- be entertained

Summarization and key points form pediatrician’s policy statements on media violence (American Academy of Pediatrics, Policy Statement – Media Violence
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org
- exposure to media violence can be linked to numerous physical and mental health problems for children and teenagers
- children and teens spend >6 hours per day in contact with entertainment media
- KEY: they can’t differentiate between fantasy and reality, or between good and bad portrayed in entertainment media.. they tend to imitate what they see

“because children have high levels of exposure, media have greater access and time to shape young people’s attitudes…”

“Except for sleeping, engagement with media takes up the most time per day for a majority of children and teenagers”

We annoy let the screen take our children away
- what can we do?

Nelson Mandela: Education is the most powerful weapon
- starts with effective communication

Advice from friends or peers have a lot of impact on children and teens

point from my book” we can’t leave the screen: we are hooked!”

children can be confused when they receive conflicting information from peers and parents regarding violent video games
- changing environment for your child can have a VERY powerful effect

How can I have an impact on my children when I give them advice? Key is changing their environment
- this motivated me to move out and do this work, not be so introverted
- I realized I need to become friends to my children’s friends
- started volunteering in Sunday School

I encourage you to engage your child
- engage in decision making processes
- make them feel they are in a position of authority
- this gives them sense of accomplishment (AND POWER)

This has a physiological basis
- hearing, reading, writing, speaking: all leads to improving connections in the brain

This is for engaging older children, so how does this translate to younger children?

Dialogic Reading
- interactive technique for younger children
- child is the narrator and adult is the listener
- parent or teacher asks a question to a child and guides them to speak out the answer

This increases impact of parent advice, because children have been active in decisionmakign processes

Prevention is better than a cure
- we teach children to stay away from strangers
- we need to do the same for bad effects of screens

What is digital citizenship?
- teaches our children about Internet safety
- federal requirement
- very important
- preventative

I want to add to digital citizenship: a “prequel” to it
- person to person relationship
- play outside
- homework comes before the screen
- don’t overeat in front of the screen
- avoid paying violent video games
- avoid scary scenes

Like we encourage vaccinations for every child, we need to vaccinate/educate every child for this potentially harmful disease

Information about the bad effects of media and the screen is mainly being accessed now by adults/parents
- it is not being accessed very much by kids

MY COMMENT: I THINK IT IS A GREAT IDEA TO CREATE ENGAGING PICTURE BOOKS WHICH PROVIDE A CONTEXT AND OPPORTUNITY FOR PARENTS TO DISCUSS THESE ISSUES WITH CHILDREN. THIS MAKES ME THINK OF MAYBE DOING A COLLABORATIVE PICTURE BOOK TOGETHER WITH MY DAUGHTER, RACHEL, WHO IS AN AMAZING ARTIST. THAT KIND OF A COLLABORATION COULD NOT ONLY BE FUN, BUT ALSO CREATE A USEFUL TOOL FOR THIS SUBJECT WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT. THIS REMINDS ME OF RICHARD LOUV’S BOOK, “LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS” TOO.

Parents should
- help children contra time
- involve in alternative activities
- remove… (more – these recommendations are in the book)

How do we move forward?
- feedback from Dr. Douglas A. Gentile
- past information projects have not been sustainable
- try to get a community foundation to support training at a school

Children who are not affected should e the first target

One method is via mentoring programs
- teens could be rewarded for efforts in this, maybe with scholarships

I’M WONDERING HOW YOU DETERMINE WHICH CHILDREN ARE ‘NOT AFFECTED’

Through this book we are seeking to ‘vaccinate every child against the harmful effects of electronic devices with screens’
- also ‘initiate conversations’ – parents and teachers, create a permanent impression in a child’s mind
- also ‘potentiate the efforts of everyone who is also working extremely hard to achieve the same results.’

Articles I have summarized were written for pediatricians, but I am filtering those for dissemination and sharing with parents and eventually to children

Let us get together and educate our children
- one will not succeed if one does not have the strength to try
- in order to make a difference, people must not cower at the problem; they must attempt to fix it
- “be the change you want to see in the world” – Ghandi

The screen is not bad, we cannot take it away
- we must use it and be proficient with it
- we need to identify these harmful effects

It is very important to involve everyone in this message: Needs to go to parents, to teachers, to administrators
- the younger generation is being taken over and dominated by screens to a large degree, we need to do something about this


Check out Wesley's new ebook, "Mapping Media to the Common Core: Volume I." (2013) It's $15!

If you're trying to listen to a podcast episode and it's not working, check this status page. (Wes is migrating his podcasts to Amazon S3 for hosting.) Remember to follow Wesley Fryer on Twitter (@wfryer), Facebook and Google+. Also "like" Wesley's Facebook pages for "Speed of Creativity Learning" and his eBook, "Playing with Media." Don't miss Wesley's latest technology integration project, "Mapping Media to the Common Core / Curriculum."

On this day..

Share →
  • Briann Smith

    Hi, my name is Briann Smith. I am a student at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your notes on Dr. Neeti Kohli‘s presentation, “Is the Pied Piper (Electronic devices with screens) taking our kids away?” As a future a teacher and current college student, I am constantly hearing about the use of technology and media in the classroom and the convenience of iPads. I think the use technology is great and convenient! I also believe that teachers need to be proficient and be able to effectively teach students how to use technology properly. I also wonder about the long term effects on the children. You brought up digital citizenship, which I think a lot of adults need to remember when it comes to children and media. You made some valid points and I learned a lot from your post!

  • http://www.tweedsolutions.com/ Tweed Solutions

    Our 16 year old lives on his smartphone

  • Pingback: Screen Addicted Children « miniaturized education

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Made with Love in Oklahoma City