Press for the Art of Screen Time

A sampling of interviews, excerpts and reviews of The Art of Screen Time

Excerpts/adapted pieces:

New York Magazine

Once I started talking to experts, I quickly discovered it’s not just parents who are confused. The world of research on kids and media, especially on increasingly ubiquitous mobile and touchscreens, is relatively young, hotly contested, and full of gaps. Enduring a tantrum-prone toddlerhood, if you will.


I often have my phone in my hand while breastfeeding my one-year-old daughter. This isn’t a confession, because I don’t feel guilty about it. Even though there are lots of people implying that I should.

Fast Company

I’m delivering a six-foot-tall Elmo a roundhouse kick in the guts. His stomach slices into angular shards as my foot intersects with it. Next, I step over to his friend Grover . . . closer . . . closer . . . and finally place my head directly inside his looming, black, black, black void of a mouth.


All Things Considered- NPR

On Point-WBUR 

Note to Self

Screen time is a daily battle. Between kids and parents, between ourselves and our better judgment. But maybe it doesn’t have to be. There is a better way.

The Brian Lehrer Show




As technology increasingly dominates the lives of children, there remains a dearth of conclusive evidence about best practices for parents. Last month, Facebook released Messenger Kids, sparking outrage among child health advocates. Currently, two Apple shareholders are pushing for the company to reprogram the iPhone and iPad to allow for greater parental controls. In “The Art of Screen Time” Anya Kamenetz pieces together scientific research and personal experience to help families navigate their relationships to screens in a digital world. She joins us to discuss the book’s major takeaways.

City Dads Podcast

Ed Surge

Tech Nation Radio

Tilt Podcast

Seattle’s Town Hall -In the Moment

Seattle’s recently-passed universal pre-k measure included a stipulation of standardized testing, but according to Kamenetz, today’s schools are sacrificing learning by enacting such regulations. Her insightful look at the world of standardized testing is a wake up call for teachers–and parents–to move beyond numbers, and refocus on the child.

Radio New Zealand

Connected Learning Alliance

Atomic Moms podcast


NBC News

Anya Kamenetz, author of The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life, a mother of a six-year old and a toddler, monitors her own kids’ screen time quite closely. “In our house video watching is a Saturdays-only activity for the big girl,” she said. “Having clear rules works well for us at this age. During the week she gets three iPad sessions of 20 minutes to half an hour. We also have exceptions like travel, vacation and sick days, but even on screen days we make sure to balance with other activities,” she says.

Washington Post

The Guardian

There is an art to parenting with assistance from screens, weaving new media into family life – and it can have many benefits.

MIT Media Lab


Because we still know so little about how screen time affects kids, it’s hard to determine what appropriate technology usage should be within families

New Haven Independent

The Independent-UK

Publisher’s Weekly

Scouting Magazine

One way to keep kids from overdoing technology is to give them credits they can spend for screen time (and perhaps earn by doing chores). For example, Kamenetz’s 6-year-old daughter receives three 20-minute passes a week to use an iPad.

Education Next

San Antonio Express-News

Institute for the Future talk

El Pais

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen: What’s a simple habit that consistently makes you happier?

Anya: I don’t regularly meditate, but I stop and take deep belly breaths throughout the day, especially before I pick up the phone, go into a situation that makes me anxious, or go to bed at night.

Baan Dek

The reviews are in…

 USA Today: Public schools have been testing students for more than a century, but education journalist Anya Kamenetz says the level of testing we’re doing now is “unprecedented.” There’s been a lot of push-back over testing lately, but Kamenetz says many people “aren’t necessarily questioning the fundamental premise behind it.”

Boston Globe:  The value of Anya Kamenetz’s new book, “The Test,” lies in her ability to avoid the soapbox style of too many books on education reform today. Her journalistic talents coupled with her role as a mother of a student on the brink of testing humanizes this book, making it a perfect entry for parents who are too deep in the muck of testing to have the clarity of distance.


Inside Higher Ed:   GIven my misgivings about the conceptual underpinnings of her earlier work, I was a little reluctant to read The Test. But I’m happy to report that her reportage has become more thoughtful, without losing its energy or accessibility. It’s a strong, smart, readable, and intellectually honest book….

I approached The Test warily, but came away impressed.  Kamenetz manages to find grounds for optimism in a subject that could lend itself to fatalism, and she does it without dismissing the needs that the status quo serves. She has kept the energy and readability of her earlier work, while adding something like wisdom.


Publication Day; Excerpt in!

Happy Publication Day!
An excerpt from The Test ran in over the weekend. I’m really happy with the responses so far!

If you can’t manage what you don’t measure, as the business maxim goes, how do we measure the right things so we can manage the right things? How do we preserve space for individual exploration while also asking our children to hit a high score? Is there any way to channel the collective thirst for metrics and data into efforts that actually make our schools and our communities healthier and our children more successful?

The modern era of high-stakes standardized testing kicked into gear at the turn of the twenty-first century, with federal No Child Left Behind legislation mandating annual math and reading tests for public school children beginning in third grade. It has not been a golden age. Standardized testing has risen from troubling beginnings to become a $2 billion industry controlled by a handful of companies and backed by some of the world’s wealthiest men and women.

Updated Tour Dates!

Excited to hear more about The Test?

I’m coming on tour starting in January. Look for me at the following events! If you’d like to have me in your town, please let me know or email djones at kepplerspeakers dot com.

  • 3/2 New Haven Yale Master’s Tea
  • 3/3 Chicago / Evanston IL, Family Action Network
  • 3/4 New School, NYC
  • 3/10, SXSW Edu in Austin
  • 3/15 ACENET in DC
  • 3/22 Book Passage in Corte Madera, CA
  • 3/26 (?) Institute for the Future, Palo Alto, CA
  • 4/1  Eugene OR
  • 4/7 Cambridge
  • 4/13 Texas
  • 4/20 Chicago

Tentative Tour Dates Announced!

The Test is coming on tour in January. Look for me at the following events. If you’d like to have me in your town, please let me know!

·         New America Foundation, New York NY evening, date tk

·         New America Foundation, Washington DC lunch, 1/8

·         Politics & Prose, Washington DC, 1/8

·         Bookcourt, Brooklyn NY, 1/12

·         Town Hall, Seattle WA, 1/20 tentative

·         Powells, Portland OR, 1/21 tentative

When Teachers, Not Students, Do The Cheating

I appeared on All Things Considered last week talking about the Atlanta cheating trial, in an interview that drew on my research for The Test. Listen and read here.

The defendants are 12 former employees of Atlanta Public Schools. They are accused under the state’s racketeering laws of conspiring to falsify their students’ results on state standardized tests. Dozens more school employees have faced ethics sanctions in a case that has rocked the city of Atlanta for the past few years.

The trial is unusual. It’s likely that millions of dedicated teachers around the country spend their entire careers without engaging in the kind of behavior that happened in Atlanta, or that I heard about in that spa.

But high-stakes state standardized tests of this kind are not unusual. They are mandated in nearly every public school by No Child Left Behind, the 2001 federal education law. These tests are high-stakes because they trigger serious consequences for students (like grade promotion and graduation); for schools (like extra resources, reorganization, or closure); for districts (the loss of federal funds); and for school employees (bonuses, demotion, poor evaluations, or firing).

And so the Atlanta trial should bring two questions: How common is cheating on these tests? And short of cheating, what else might be happening in schools as a result of these tests?