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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
Guidance Document Change: The 2020 General Assembly passed House Bill 817 requiring the Department of Education (VDOE), in collaboration with the Department of Health and medical professional societies, to develop and distribute health and safety best practice guidelines for the use of digital devices in public schools no later than the 2021-2022 school year. These guidelines address digital device use for different age ranges and developmental levels, the amount of time spent on digital devices in the classroom and at home, appropriate break frequency from the use of digital devices, and physical positioning as it applies to ergonomics and posture.
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4/9/21  11:18 am
Commenter: Carrie Lombardi

Health and Safety Digital Device Guidelines

As stated in a previous comment, these new guidelines should not be a “one size fits all”.  The guidelines are not differentiating amongst grade levels nor state the appropriate age to issue devices.  Over this past year, we have seen the toll Ipads have had on all grade level students, but I am very concerned about our elementary-aged students.  I have three young children and I am worried about their learning experiences.  Ipads are not a natural way to learn.  At this age, they are glued to colorful graphics and game-like lessons and could sit for hours in front of a screen.  Some parents I know have told me how addicted their children have become to the Ipad due to the overuse of them during the pandemic.  Young children are not learning how to grip a pencil, rather write with their finger on the screen. They are not learning how to flip the pages of a book, rather swipe.  This is not natural.  They need to be learning hands on- more manipulatives, journaling, workbooks and especially outdoor learning.  Not to mention the health risks to their developing eyes as well as learning to live a more sedentary lifestyle!   These new guidelines need to include guidelines for different age ranges.  Hours on an iPad is not appropriate for young children.  They need to learn to play, socialize and explore.  We need to protect them and allow them these opportunities.  They are only little once….

CommentID: 97699