A sampling of interviews, excerpts and reviews of The Art of Screen Time
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.
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.
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.
Best thing I've done w/ my 12yo is getting a 2nd controller for our PS4 so we can play video games together in living room. Lego games in particular have co-op mode so we both have characters on screen at same time. We work together to solve puzzles.
— Jay Boucher (@HobokenPudding) January 31, 2018
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.
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.
Atomic Moms podcast
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.
There is an art to parenting with assistance from screens, weaving new media into family life – and it can have many benefits.
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
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.
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.
3/26 Institute for the Future, Palo Alto, CA
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.
Happy Publication Day!
An excerpt from The Test ran in Salon.com 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.
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
Over at my NPR Ed blog, we published a piece recently with a great interactive showing how standardized tests are taking over in schools.
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