At Brookwood, technology serves as a tool to facilitate teaching and promote learning. It is also used to empower and motivate students to reach academic goals. We use many different types of computer technology to teach children how to think critically, develop empathy, work collaboratively, design, engineer, and solve problems, in addition to building the skills they will need for their participation in high school, college and life. Here are a few short videos that represent a sampling how Brookwood uses technology with students:
Innovation at Brookwood // Technology at Brookwood
3-D Design Problem Bank // 3-D Printed Hand (YouTube.com)
While today's technologies are remarkable educational tools when used appropriately under adult supervision, most parents recognize that children's unsupervised use of some technology carries risks. Also, not all forms of technology are appropriate for all ages of children. Parents are faced with the challenge of figuring out what are age-appropriate technologies for their children and how to supervise their children's use outside of school. The United States government offers no guidance and leaves technology developers and marketers, who are driven by economics, to decide what is best for children. Or, more commonly, children are left to decide for themselves what is appropriate for them to use, and this is often influenced by popular culture and peer pressure. There is a growing body of research revealing that children are spending too much time using technology and in ways that have a negative impact on their development and learning. (Read this October, 2016 article from the Boston Globe to begin to understand these concerns. Or this ABC News report of the impact of smartphones on the anxiety and stress level of teens as reported in this recent study from Dr. Nancy Cheever of California State University.)
The recommendations on these web pages are specifically designed to help parents make the right decisions for their families. They are provided by Brookwood, and based on research and experts in the field, to equip parents with developmentally-appropriate guidelines. However, adherence to the recommendations is, of course, to be determined by each individual family. If you wonder at all whether or not your child may be negatively impacted by technology, listen to the 4 minute CBS news broadcast from data collected in 2016. (Keep in mind that there is little research on children and technology because they have not had so much personal access to it until the last few years.)
Specific Issues and Concerns About:
Social Media: http://www.brookwood.edu/technology-social-media
Smartphones: http://www.brookwood.edu/technology-smartphones (Updated 1/30/18)
Video Games: http://www.brookwood.edu/technology-video-games
Tips For Parents About Specific Devices:
10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Give a Child a Smartphone or Tablet
Useful iPad settings
"Moment - Screen Time Tracker" is an iPhone app to help parents track their child's iPhone usage.
These recommendations are compiled and periodically updated by Doug Fodeman, Brookwood's Director of Technology. They come from a variety of sources, including the American Pediatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many other experts in the field of child safety and well-being, such as Harvard Professor and Psychologist, Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair. Doug himself is a nationally recognized expert and author in the field of Internet safety for children. Please contact him at Brookwood if you have any questions about the positions or recommendations expressed on these pages.