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Saturday, March 23, 2019

This Iowa professor wants to change what kids are taught about their digital life | Iowa City Press Citizen

The use of tech in classroom has increased, but efforts to teach kids how to interact with with the online world has not kept pace, says a psychology professor. 

Doug Gentile, psychology professor at Iowa State University, studies digital literacy and how students interact with different media.
Photo: Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University

The 90s catch phrase for educators looking to introduce more technology to students was "computers in every classroom."  

Today that mantra has been replaced by "one-to-one" initiatives to put a laptop in every student's hands.  

The use of tech in classroom has vastly increased to match the world outside of campus, explains one psychology professor at Iowa State University. But, says Douglas Gentile, the effort to teach kids how to interact with with the online world has not kept pace.

"There's something like a 99 percent literacy rate in the U.S. — that's remarkable," said Gentile. "But nowadays kids don't get their information from reading. ... They get it from streaming media. So we need to teach them to be literate about that as well."

Gentile is part of a team working on the periphery of the United Nations to set a universal standard for digital literacy education. He recently co-authored a report for the international think-tank DQ Institute, which spells out the organization's approach...

He said children spend upwards of 50 hours a week looking at screens. More work needs to be done to empower them in this activity. 

"If kids are spending 54 hours a week on average in front of a screen, that is going to have a major effect on their brain development," he said. "So how can we harness that power so its a good effect?"

Source: Iowa City Press Citizen