By James Logan Healthy Eagle reporters | Using phones, tablets and other technology can be good or bad for you. It just depends on how you use it and how much time you spend on it, according to health experts.
Technology can help develop eye coordination, problem solving skills, and mind abilities according to kidshealth.org. When using active screen time, it can help children build relationships with others over the internet. Technology is also used to help students learn in school, according to kidshealth.org.
Too much technology can be harmful. For instance, when kids spend too much time playing video games with violence, they may become aggressive, according to kidshealth.org. If kids spend too much time in front of a screen instead of exercising, it can also lead to weight gain. And too much screen time can affect relationships and school grades, health experts say.
Healthy Eagle reporters recently spoke with Ms. Fine, a Logan digital literacy teacher. She spoke about how technology is useful and how to use it in a healthy way. The questions and answers below have been shortened and lightly edited.
Question: How do you use technology for your job?
Ms. Fine: I use technology to teach my students all about subject areas, how to be safe on the internet, what you should and shouldn’t share on the internet, and different programs like robots and coding.
Question: How do you use technology for fun?
Ms. Fine: Students play games like Blooket, Kahoot, and Codeable. We play different math games and educational games.
Question: How do you make sure to use technology in a healthy way?
Ms. Fine: I try to teach you all that we shouldn’t be on our phones all day long because it can make your eyes tired and you need a break from looking at the screen. When you get home, you shouldn’t just stay on the screen but go and get exercise. If you find yourself on a screen for a long time, put the screen down and go move. Then later you can come back to the screen if you want.
Question: What are some ways you practice healthy screen time habits?
Ms. Fine: Set a time limit for yourself so you aren’t on the screen all day. Only look at the screen for 30 minutes, then put it down and move around for 15 to 20 minutes. Then you can go back to the screen if you want.
Question: Please describe a time that technology helped you or one of your students.
Ms. Fine: Technology can help us find out information about things that we didn’t know.
Question: Have you ever used technology too much? If so, how did you handle it?
Ms. Fine: Sometimes I will play games on my phone for too long. When I realize I’m on it too much, I will turn my phone off.
Question: Please recommend a favorite app or website for students. Why is it your favorite?
Ms. Fine: For younger students, I like ABCya. This website has a lot of great keyboarding games, math and reading skills for younger kids. For older kids, I like PBS Kids, primary games, Cool Math, and Blooket.
Question: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Ms. Fine: Lumio is another great website that we use to create slides, add pictures, and make presentations to teach about things. Technology is something that is always changing and I am always learning new things about technology.
Illustration by Carlee, James Logan Healthy Eagle.