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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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4/8/21  10:52 am
Commenter: Rae Pica, Rae Pica Keynotes & Consulting

Health & Safety Digital Device Guidelines

All of the health concerns cited are critical. But I'd like to offer yet another point of view -- one related to learning.

The research has determined that the more senses we use in the learning process, the more information we retain. This is particularly true of young children, who are active, experiential learners.

Screens employ only two senses at most: sight and sound. Consider the difference between a word comprehension activity on a screen, where a word and its definition are given, and one in which the children physically demonstrate the word. When they physically experience a word, the meaning becomes more relevant to them, and they're unlikely to forget it.

Consider the difference between a screen-based math lesson on such quantitative concepts as small/smaller, large/larger, etc., and one in which students use their bodies or manipulatives to demonstrate the concepts. Or an on-screen science lesson about habitats, versus one in which the children go outside to discover habitats or create their own in the classroom.

It's easy to be seduced by such shiny, fancy new things as digital devices. But they're not necessary to learning and are in many cases a detriment to it. Why subject our children to all the health risks of digital devices when learning without devices is superior?

CommentID: 97697