Questions for “Healthy screen time is one challenge of distance learning”

a girl on a computer attending a virtual lesson and a boy at the same table on his tablet

Screen time for classwork isn’t bad, experts say. Sometimes it can provide flexibility in your schedule. But, they add, your time online should never get in the way of exercise and sleep time.

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To accompany feature “Healthy screen time is one challenge of distance learning


Before Reading:

1. Tally up how much time you spend, on average, looking at the screen of a smart phone — and computer, tablet or television. How much of it is for classwork and how much for recreation or something else?

2. How has your school day changed since the coronavirus pandemic hit? List how it has changed not only the amount of time you spend in “class,” but also where you do your classwork, when the class day starts and ends, how much you exercise each day and how much sleep you get.

During Reading:

1.  The Canadian 24 Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth recommends how much screen time per day (aside from classwork), and how many minutes of exercise? In the April 2020 study cited in the story, how many kids met these guidelines along with its guidelines on sleep?

2.  Give at least three health problems that have been linked with too much screen time in kids, based on the story.

3.  Taren Sanders says in the story, “I’m not too concerned about the additional screen time kids are having [during the pandemic].” What bothers him instead?

4.  What is metabolism? And describe metabolic syndrome.

5.  What is myopia and why does the story suggest limiting screen time and going outside can each help avoid it?

6.  How did Taren Sanders’ team describe the differences between educational, social, passive and interactive screen time? In a 2019 study by these researchers, which appeared to pose the most problems and for which students?

7.  According to the study, what share of U.S. students lacks access to a computer at home? What proportion don’t have high-speed internet access?

8.  Once the coronavirus pandemic closed Khalid Patton’s school, what share of his students showed up for his classes online?

9.  Why did many of those kids have trouble with online lessons, and how did Patton’s school try to address the issue?

10. To what potential advantages in distant learning did Aisha Bonner point?

After Reading:

1.  What have been the three biggest challenges with classroom changes in a time of COVID-19? What were the three most useful take-messages from this piece for you? Do you (or can you) put them into practice? If not, why not?

2.  Going back to the first question that you answered on this page — about your own screen-time habits. Which now appear most unhealthy, based on the article? From your answer to the second question, which of your post-pandemic school-day changes appear most beneficial? Which are most unhealthy? What three changes might you make to better adapt your habits to the distance-learning world? Will you likely make them? Why or why not?