Screenagers – Growing up in the Digital Age
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 @ 7.00 p.m.
Tickets $5.00 ahead of time, $10.00 at the door.
Click here for tickets

 

Media is pervasive and it’s affecting the everyday lives of our families.  This is why The Waldorf School of Philadelphia is thrilled to present SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age, a documentary about one of the biggest parenting issue of our time.

Children learn best through thoughtful, enriching interaction with nature, each other and the adults in their lives. Unfortunately, time once spent with family at mealtime or with peers in unstructured play is now being edged out by time spent on screen.

While we are all experiencing lifestyle changes from our fast-paced, tech-obsessed world, children, and their growing brains, are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of too much screen time. Excessive media use in children and adolescents changes their brain structure and contributes to poor sleep, behavior issues, lower grades, increased anxiety and depression.

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If you are watching your children with increasing concern as they scroll through childhood and adolescence, then please come watch this inspiring work by parent, physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston. Ruston took on this meaningful project after watching her own children descend deeper into the virtual world. She set out to determine the impact of online time for children, families, and educators and sought to offer solutions for balance when navigating the digital world.

The Waldorf School of Philadelphia decided to host this screening because we take a proactive approach to the issue of technology.  While some feel Waldorf Education is anti-technology, that is far from true.  We simply value face-to-face interactions, instruction in art, music and movement, and work with natural materials over electronic interface. Science increasingly supports this viewpoint. Although technology was once hyped as a panacea for fixing classroom ills, it is disappointing in practice. A recent study analyzing 10 years of data on technology use in schools found that students with the most tech access in class, had “significantly lower test score results” than those with some or none.

This is why Waldorf Educators take a more nuanced approach to technology in learning. It is not an anti-technology approach so much as a pro-interaction and present world approach. Children need to spend their time cultivating small and large motor skills in outdoor play, social skills in face-to-face interaction, passion through art and curiosity through imagination.

Waldorf teachers recommend that from birth to seven, children should experience little to no technology in the home and none in the classroom. Elementary and Middle school children also do not work with computers in class, although sometimes they are introduced in the home.  In this way, we are exposing young brains to the right thing at the right time by engaging their head, hearts and hands in the real world when it most matters.

Once children enter the high school years, they will be prepared to see and use technology as it was meant to be used — as a tool to enhance our meaningful interactions within the everyday world.