Thursday, April 9, 2020

Helping Families Manage Increased Screen Time During a Global Pandemic

The spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic has created plenty of anxieties for parents trying to balance work and family responsibilities amid ever-changing uncertainties. In this unprecedented time of hunkering down and holing up, parents are relying more than ever on technology to help carry the educational and recreational load. All across the world school buildings have been shuttered and unnecessary travel is prohibited. As a result, the family home has become the school, the gym, the playground, and the office.
To carry on with instructional activities remotely, teachers are utilizing a variety of online platforms to connect with their students. We receive multiple emails each school day from our son’s teachers with activities, videos, and general check-ins. Google Classroom assignments and Zoom get-togethers are the new educational norm. While the debate about the benefits and risks of technology for education has ebbed and flowed over the last two decades, there is little doubt that screens are saving schools right now.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Association Between Social-Media Use and Depressive Symptoms

Research by Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, and Martin has indicated that there may be an association between social-media use and depressive symptoms among adolescents. However, because of the cross-sectional nature of this work, the relationship among these variables over time remains unclear. Thus, in this longitudinal study we examined the associations between social-media use and depressive symptoms over time using two samples: 594 adolescents (Mage = 12.21) who were surveyed annually for 2 years, and 1,132 undergraduate students (Mage = 19.06) who were surveyed annually for 6 years. Results indicate that among both samples, social-media use did not predict depressive symptoms over time for males or females. However, greater depressive symptoms predicted more frequent social-media use only among adolescent girls. Thus, while it is often assumed that social-media use may lead to depressive symptoms, our results indicate that this assumption may be unwarranted.

The Longitudinal Association Between Social-Media Use and Depressive Symptoms Among Adolescents and Young Adults: An Empirical Reply to Twenge et al. (2018) - Taylor Heffer, Marie Good, Owen Daly, Elliott MacDonell, Teena Willoughby, 2019

Friday, March 20, 2020

Resources for Families and Educators Facing Coronavirus Uncertainty

Dear Common Sense community,
Amid the COVID-19 anxiety, school shutdowns, work-from-home directives, and more, we at Common Sense have resources to help families and schools navigate this unpredictable time. As a parent and a teacher myself, I know it can feel overwhelming for families and teachers to adjust their plans on the fly.
Helping our communities choose media and tech that can keep kids engaged, entertained, and learning is core to our organizational mission. Whether you have kids at home or you need to develop plans to help kids learn outside the classroom, we think you'll find something useful below.
Media recommendations for entertainment
Hand-picked, age-appropriate media suggestions to keep the whole family engaged.
Resources for at-home learning
Tools to help parents and caregivers keep kids focused and learning at home.
Stress-management resources
You can always visit or for more resources and support.
Take care,
Jim Steyer
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