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I know we all care about kids.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010)

I just wonder how can schools require students to be on computers longer than what the Canadian Pediatrics Society recommends? What do the CPS know that the teachers don't? What do the teachers know that Pediatricians don't?

The article by Cris Rowan is a bit scary and a bit sparse to be sure, however, those who have followed the growth of technology in the schools as well as the health concerns related to this growth have been aware of these issues for some time. Current viable research is supporting recent past research, suggesting that all is not well between human beings and screen technologies; between the biological and the digital. Research shows that un-compromised computer usage is detrimental to human development. Many of these negative effects occur regardless of how the computer is being used, whether the student is indeed engaged in serious study for five hours or gaming for five hours is not always relevant. What is relevant is that five hours of biological growth has been relatively dormant, that very specific areas of the brain are being used while other remain dormant and that the developing human body is relatively physically dormant while hormonally active, all at a time when it should be in motion, in sunlight.

Currently there is a class action law suit against Google that claims it has violated the rights of students in America with the way it tracks and reports on their behaviors.
This lawsuit has been brought forth by concerned educators who feel the corporation has taken enough from the student. It is very possible, if not highly likely, that law suits will be brought against schools, school boards and educational jurisdictions for NOT protecting children from the negative health effects of using computers. At the moment this would seem far fetched as schools could plead that they didn't know about any health issues, but as research progresses this convenient ignorance will not be allowed as defense. For many schools there is a desire not to know as knowing only adds a moral implication to an act that would seem out of the control of the individual school. The quick acceptance of technology would seem to have no alternative as pressure from government, educational policies, industry and parents, --our whole culture-- has embraced technology to be synonymous with progress. Educators wanting to change the rather archaic environment of the school have placed their hopes on technology leading a revolution that might allow meaningful change to the practice. Indeed technology is a game changer,-- though the population doesn't seem prepared for real change: schools without walls or home schooling for two examples (easily done with a computer) demand that the parent take care of the child. In a society that expects two parents working the issues aren't about education or even about technology in education, the issues are about babysitting.

Still schools should have known years ago that there were health issues with computer technology. Dr. Devra Davis wrote a great book about the potential for health issues with cell phones and laptop wifi.
Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Is Doing to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family.

Another book of well research warnings is from Dr. Mack Hicks, "The Digital Pandemic: Reestablishing Face-to-Face Contact in the Electronic Age"

It took 40 years to get Cigarettes under control, Asbestos is still with us, and Thalidomide has long gone, (though may be making a comeback) what will happen to radio frequency screen technologies if research continues to suggest that large portions of society are at risk? Schools exist to help children and all society, as our understanding of the real cost of technology in our schools becomes more apparent schools will react by defining a safe usage practice, in the mean time, it seems that this generation of student will remain (potentially) vulnerable.

I wonder which bit of research will alter the use of computers in schools?