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Screen Time in the Age of Social Distancing


While “social distancing” has been the newest, most popular term to be added to our day-to-day vocabulary, the impacts of the freshly adopted practice continue to deepen. With schools closed, and many individuals transitioning to remote work, people in Canada are doing their best to find their new normal.

During this homebound time, one thing is for sure: our relationships with both routine and technology, namely our logged screen time hours, are sure to shift – a phenomenon we’ve observed already! 

Recently, Maclean’s connected with Kijiji to determine trends emerging from people using the buy-and-sell platform during self-isolation. They found that the consumer electronic items that have seen the biggest increase in sales since March 18th, compared to the average of the three-week period from February 16 to March 7th were:

  • Computers: 5%
  • TVs and video: 12%
  • Computer accessories: 38%
  • Video games and consoles: 79%

But like all relationships, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance. That’s why we’re encouraging our community to engage in productive screen time during this period! And what could be more aligned with this than e-learning?  

Online education has become a big topic of discussion recently. A study by Anstice, a research and marketing communications consultancy in Calgary, found that 52% of respondents said that online education could be viable long-term. 

While teachers’ experiences have certainly varied, many have found themselves struggling to fully abstain from doing their job while the school boards determine how to continue education without a classroom. 

While this has unfolded, educators have been sharing their experiences. Melanie Malcomson, a 4th grade teacher in Mississauga shared how she reads stories to her class from her kitchen and posts them on Google Classroom (a fantastic tool!), with the Globe and Mail

It’s heartwarming to see teachers stepping up to the plate to provide alternative opportunities for education in ways that are permissible at this time – all through the power of tech! 

For the parents of our enthusiastic Kids, Girls, and Teens Learning Code learners, there are lots of ways you can engage your kids to ensure they’re using their time effectively to become creators, not just consumers, of technology by prioritizing fun, productive screen time.

Dave Anderson, a clinical psychologist, recommended to Vox that parents should halve their to-do lists, work during predetermined optimal hours, focus on 5 goals a day (1-2 work-related, 1-2 childcare-related, and 1 family or partner-based activity). 

At the end of the day, it’s important to exercise self-compassion during this time. 

With an unprecedented public health situation unfolding around us, there will be an adjustment period. By aiming to instill structure into your daily routine, you can benefit from healthy screen time practices and maybe even have fun learning a new skill or two! 

While our in-person workshops are suspended, we’re currently hosting a ton of LIVE online workshops to continue providing educational experiences in tech across the nation! You can also learn with and/or teach coding to your kids with our amazing resources, including our How-To Guide, lesson plans and video tutorials on how to teach some of our lesson plans!

Technology education is made accessible to our learners across the country thanks to the generous contributions by our amazing partners like the Government of Canada!

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