During conferences yesterday I had a parent express concern about screen time. My initial reaction (internally, of course!) was defensive. The screentime in school is used as a tool, and if I assign something that requires additional screen time at home, it's only an extension of the learning day. But then.....
Picture it: A team of teachers sitting around a table at Potbelly's who really enjoy each others' company, smartphones in one hand, sandwiches in the other. No talking. Words with friends, email, texting, what have you, but not conversation.
Having made the decision to dive head first into the world of educational technology, I find myself far too preoccupied with my tech tools. Twitter updates fly in so much faster than I can read them. I keep adding new blogs to my Google Reader that are full of fascinating and pertinent information that I want to find out about. All these new online tools (tweetdeck, evernote, etc.) are opening my eyes to this exciting world of organized information, but they are also keeping me glued to a screen whenever I'm not being forced to interact with others!
This is bad news, my friends. Now, how to strike a balance in a world that is overwhelmed with information? A fellow teacher mentioned that she is sending her teenage son on an 8 day trek in the wilderness where absolutely no technology is allowed. I love that idea. I love camping, and I love nature, and I honestly love quiet. It's hard to draw the line between overkill and efficient. I'm hoping that once I've become accustomed to using all of these new tools that I will settle down a bit and use them when needed. With any luck they will fit seamlessly into my life, creating order out of chaos, instead of the other way around!