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Unplugging from technology

Betty Ray Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41137153/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

This story suggests that unplugging at home can do kids a wealth of good. This woman's three children got better grades, made a shift from gaming to music, and more logical thinking. I can't think of the last time my family went one month without media and/or tech, let along six!

Have you or any of your students taken a break from tech? What happened?

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educational researcher, curriculum developer, and all around education gal

tech break...

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41137153/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/This story suggests that unplugging at home can do kids a wealth of good. This woman's three children got better grades, made a shift from gaming to music, and more logical thinking. I can't think of the last time my family went one month without media and/or tech, let along six!

Have you or any of your students taken a break from tech? What happened?

I'm a step-mom to a 7 year old and 9 year old. We share custody evenly but, due to a lot of factors, the kids are with me and their dad every day before and after school....

This summer, something wonderful for our household happened... The Wii broke... AND... the Nintendo DSI also broke. It was, I confess, one of the best things that happened to our family. The kids adjusted by reading more books, playing board games, and got the entire neighborhood (ages 4 to 65) involved in playing 4-Square (remember that playground game?). Our then-six-year-old learned how to ride her bike without training wheels. We had fewer battles over the tv/family room and more battles over who would be which color while playing "Blokus".

Now, this isn't to say that the kids didn't take my iPhone so they could play Angry Bird or Trace. They did. And, it became fun for all of us to see who could get to which level. We also SHARED time on the computer by looking up music videos on YouTube. We even created our own home videos.

Alas... Santa put two new Nintendo DSI's under the tree on Christmas morning and the grandparents got suckered into replacing the Wii that very same day. Rather than our home being filled with the sound of dice rolling on a board and spirited negotiations over Park Place and Boardwalk, the roar of the digital FIFA 2011 Wii crowd and the tune of Super Mario took over. Rather than running into the house after school to play a round of NERF basketball or requesting to make cookies from scratch, the kids offer a quick kiss (if I'm lucky) and pick up their remotes.

I can't say if a household without technology has made our kids any smarter. Heck, they are mine and I think they are brilliant not matter what. I can say that it made them... um... kinder. The kids do share the electronic games and play many together. We have Band Hero and all four of us can be found belting out BonJovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" or Michael Jackson's "Beat It". And, from time to time over the last month--- the threat to "take away the Wii if you aren't nice to your brother/sister" carries a heck of a lot more meaning.

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