Students are behaving badly in class. Excessive screen time might be to blame


Minimal screen time after dark on top of excessive screen time during the day can significantly damage sleep for children and adolescents. — Kids sleep photo created by pvproductions - www.freepik.com

Without even counting digital instruction, the amount of time teenagers and tweens spend staring at computer screens rivals how much time they would spend working at a full- or a part-time job. Educators and children's health experts alike argue students need more support to prevent the overuse of technology from leading to unhealthy behaviours in the classroom.

According to an annual report from the non-profit Common Sense Media, screen use for children and adolescents ages eight to 18 jumped 17% between 2019 and 2021—a steeper increase than in the four years prior to the pandemic. Screen use rose by nearly 50 minutes per day for those ages eight to 12 (tweens) to five hours and 33 minutes per day, and by more than an hour and 15 minutes for teenagers, to eight hours and 39 minutes per day. And those increases do not include students' screen time in class or for schoolwork.

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