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Posted by on in Education Policy

kids and computers

I've been concerned that teachers are not paying enough attention to the health risks they are imposing on our children now that schools require students to use digital devices every day, and at ever younger ages. Ironically, teachers themselves seem to be avoiding this critical education.

What happens to children who use digital devices every day? Researchers and doctors agree that the risks for permanent retinal damage, physical pain, myopia, headaches, anxiety, depression, obesity, diabetes, addiction, and suicide all increase. Add in homework on a device, and you can add sleeplessness, and the well known host of ills that accompany it: more weight gain, more depression, inability to focus, irritability, hyperactivity and poor school performance.

Since publishing "First, Do No Harm," my first article on EdWords, I have not had much feedback from teachers. The health issues posed by digital devices were recently discussed on BAM! Radio Network, in a Rae Pica interview. I hope you'll listen to it. You can determine how free of known hazards your own classroom is, and what steps you can take to help protect your students.

It's important to note that these health issues expand into our children's overall well being, and how our kids are going to grow up. Here is an article from Psychology Today you might find illuminating. I wrote it for Dr. Victoria Dunckley's blog. Dr. Dunckley is leading the national conversation about the impact of digital devices on children's mental health and brain development.

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Posted by on in General

 audience3.jpg

He wrote the bright orange book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, yet the mistake he shared on My Bad was not considering his audience. Right now, you’re probably thinking, what the heck? I mean, the guy wrote a New York Times Bestseller called Contagious. Am I really buying that he didn’t know what his readers wanted? “He knows more about what makes information ‘go viral’ than anyone in the world,” said Harvard professor, Daniel Gilbert.

So, what happened? He admitted, his first book Contagious did quite well. His second, Invisible Influence, not as well. Even though he believed his second book was better written. But there was a major difference between the two books. Contagious had a clear audience and Invisible Influence didn’t.

Jonah spoke about the curse of knowledge and how it is easy to fall victim to this. He often lectures about the curse of knowledge and yet when it came to writing his second book, he was guilty. During the interview, Jonah quickly explained the curse of knowledge.

 

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Posted by on in General

It seems these days, families live so far apart. I’m sure that’s the way it is for most of us. Keeping connected takes a lot more effort than it used to.  I don’t think it is just me and my loved ones.

Screen sharing is not the same as being together in real time, although it somewhat fills the gaps.

I feel like a slacker. Lately I’ve been losing things, including house keys and my wallet, twice. Moving much too fast. Not exactly self-care. I finished helping at the preschool until September and the preschool was the first graduation. We had seven of the littles graduating and what a fun, imaginative production for all the children.

It seems like I’ve been on a treadmill lately, such a busy time of year. I looked forward to going up to Beaverton to take a much needed family-filled break.

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Posted by on in UNward!

 Offended

 

 “If we can’t begin to have an honest discussion… without people taking it personally, that ‘s part of the problem…” 

 “There were some things that he talked about that were uncomfortable to me, but these are the uncomfortable conversations we need to start having now to start figuring out where we’re going…” 

“If you don’t want to have these conversations because you might be offended…”

I’m Offended

It's the title of the episode from which I pulled the statements above.

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Posted by on in General

a1sx2_Original1_umbrellas_20170608-081232_1.jpg

If you are reading this then you most likely have some form of leadership role. You may be a teacher, a principal a parent, etc. And, since you have this role, you know what it feels like to carry a load. Furthermore, I am guessing that many of you don’t just carry your own load. I imagine that many of you help to carry the loads of others.

As leaders that is what we do. We make every effort to help to lighten the loads of those around us. And we do it often and we do it well. Simon Sinek eloquently articulated this point in his book Leaders Eat Last, that great leaders do in fact eat last.

But, as my dad worded it, sometimes in life “we need to put down the umbrella” and let others carry it. Just for a while. Just long enough for us to collect ourselves. It is ok, and it is what is right, because those we lead need us at our best. My father wrote this as he was dying of cancer. He was the type of person that would never pass the umbrella, no matter the cost to himself. It is a shame that it took cancer for him to learn this important life-lesson.

Passing the umbrella will not be easy because we are accustomed to serving others before we serve ourselves. It will not be easy because much of the reason why we are good at what we do is because we hold the umbrella so firmly and so often.

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