“Kids approach a problem and think of different ways to solve it.” Wise words from a former iD camper/current instructor—and a great quote featured in a recent Washington Post article! The major publication visited our camps in Washington DC, not only to catch up with students and staff, but to talk a bit about the benefits of “screen time.” Read the entire article here.
Maybe the longstanding argument isn’t a matter of “too much” or “not enough screen time,” but rather, the “right kind of screen time” as the article suggests. There is a big difference between hours in front of “reality” TV versus quality time in front of a computer learning to code. Video games have also been traditionally thrown into the “not-so-good screen time” category, but then again, even simply playing a video game can get the mind moving; and potentially lead to a college degree and a successful career.
From the article:
Matt, another teacher at the camp, talked about the benefits of video games. The college student had trouble sitting still as a kid, but he loved playing video games. He liked that he could do a lot of things at once — or multi-task — in a video game. "There’s never a dull moment,” he said.
McAuliffe is an artist who works with computer graphics. He combines creativity with computer skills to make pictures, art and videos. He has his own studio and is working on a project that he hopes to sell soon.
We all have our thoughts on the optimal amount of screen time, and what the right type of screen time may be. Some say setting hard limits when it comes to TVs, computers, or smartphones is best, but then you might be creating the impression that screens are “bad”—when in fact they could be very good. Others say that it’s best to use screen time as a reward for good behavior, but then an event-like experience is created around “the screen,” elevating its importance and creating a much bigger need for it than ever before.
All of this said, I’m not a parent! I don’t intend for any of this to be advice. One thing I do know for certain, though, is that screens – and the kids in front of them – can produce some pretty magical things. Even better, some students take that screen time and the resulting benefits and roll it all into something as special as a job with Google. Or an internship with Facebook. For these students and others like them, it all usually started with a screen.
Photos courtesy of Washingtonpost.com.