Screen time

In a world full of screens both large and small, it is easy enough to be consumed by the technological world as adults, and even more so as children.

“Screen time is becoming a major issue for all families these days,” IGS Primary Digital Innovator and Year 6 Educator David Smith said.

David said many parents want to know how much time kids should really spend on screens.

David, an experienced educator, has noticed a significant shift in children’s use of technology, particularly in recent years.

“There are a significant number of children using devices outside of school over longer periods of time more than there was 5 years ago,” he said. “Devices have become much more mobile and allow students to connect via social media more readily than ever before.”

David, Primary Digital Innovator at IGS, leads and guides staff to implement technology authentically in their learning programs, and educates Digital Citizenship.

David referred to The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, which identifies the four main categories of screen time as:

  • Passive consumption: watching TV, reading, and listening to music
  • Interactive consumption: playing games and browsing the Internet
  • Communication: video-chatting and using social media
  • Content creation: using devices to make digital art or music

“Many families will vary in their screen time usage,” David said. “It’s finding the right balance of ‘on time’ and ‘off time’ that is important.”

The Common Sense Census promotes the following tips for parents in order to balance out a healthy screen time regime within the home:

  • Pay attention to how your child acts during and after watching TV, playing video games, or hanging out online. If they’re using high-quality, age-appropriate media, their behaviour is positive, and their screen-time activities are balanced with plenty of healthy screen-free ones, there’s no need to worry.
  • If you’re concerned about heavy media use, consider creating a schedule that works for your family. This can include weekly screen-time limits, limits on the kinds of screens kids can use, and guidelines on the types of activities they can do or programs they can watch. Make sure to get your kids’ input so the plan teaches media literacy and self-regulation, and use this as an opportunity to discover what they like watching, to introduce new shows and apps for them to try, or to schedule a family movie night.

IGS continues to promote cyber safety within our school and community.

For further guidance on healthy screen time recommendations, visit: