Covid-19: Monitor Screen Time
Tips for Home Studying from Italy: 15. Digital Exposure Risks
Daily pills to help students (and families) organize their study in Covid-19 times, when almost one billion children have seen their schools close. Signed by Marcello Bramati and Lorenzo Sanna, deans and teachers at Faes High schools in Milan. As reported by Time magazine, they are teaching online during the lockdown, in an ongoing experiment in remote learning. Every morning at 8.30 a.m., their advice, tips and good practices for students of all ages.
In coronavirus days, school inevitably goes through computers and smartphones, like everything else. Every school child follows directions, listens to lessons and takes notes through a screen.
On the first point, we should consider the type of screen: since this is our children's work, we'd better avoid the smartphone. It would be much better the computer. Remote learning should not occur on the couch, but at the desk, in work mode, that's why a pc is far better.
In case the home computer is shared with parents and siblings, the phone is of course fine. But that should be an emergency stopgap measure. To be connected should not mean to always have access to social media or online games. This is a risk that you should take into account, because it could undermine the time spent on distance learning by your kids.
Secondly, pay attention to the hours spent on the computer. Every school can try to keep the usual schedule, even for teachers' hours. Therefore, live lessons in the morning, plus video and audio activities. After lunch, individual study should continue on books and notebooks, because it will be the same workload - no more, maybe less - than the daily pre-coronavirus routine.
Of course, each exercise will then have to be uploaded and sent to the teacher, but no school will invite your kids to spend more than a couple of hours on the screens after morning classes. A huge amount of time under normal conditions, a necessary time at this historical juncture.
What else can we do? This is the moment to encourage responsibility and sharing: if you are worried about screen time, take stock with your children. Try to understand with them which homeworks need hours in front of the screen and which ones may, instead, refer to books.
Right now, your children need an expert and loving eye. Because the teachers, who usually are responsible for teaching them a method of study, in these times don't have the chance to directly intervene. Confined, as they are, to a screen.