Tech Use and Teen Well-Being

Conflicting headlines on screen time have increased in recent years and can fuel anxiety among parents and educators. How much screen time is too much? Is technology use related to negative effects on health and well-being?

A recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford may help answer some of these questions. Click here to read an article about the study.

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Save the Date!

Supporting and mentoring kids in the digital age is a community effort. St. Vrain Valley Schools is pleased to partner with Dr. Devorah Heitner in hosting a family engagement night this spring for parents of current and incoming middle school students.

photo of Devorah HeitnerAn expert on young people’s relationship with digital media and technology, Dr. Devorah Heitner is the  author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World  and founder of Raising Digital Natives. Her mission is to cultivate a culture of empathy and social/emotional literacy. Dr. Heitner’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal,  TIME magazine and Education Week. She has a Ph.D. in Media/Technology & Society from Northwestern University and has taught at DePaul and Northwestern. She is delighted to be raising her own digital native.

Join us Tuesday March 12th at 6:00 pm at Trail Ridge Middle School as we engage in meaningful conversations, learn from one another, and better understand both the challenges and opportunities facing our students, parents, and educators around technology use.

If you are interested in attending, please let us know by filling out the form at The first 50 families who respond will receive a copy of Dr. Heitner’s book, Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World.

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Healthy Bedtime Routines

Compared to 2009, teens in 2015 were 16%–17% more likely to report sleeping less than 7 hours a night on most nights. Sleep experts agree that teens need around nine hours of sleep a night, but by 2015, 43 percent of teens reported sleeping less than seven hours a night on most nights – meaning almost half of U.S. teens are significantly sleep-deprived.

One contributing factor may be the use of technology before bed and during the night (a practice called vamping). Should bedrooms be a no-phone zone for teens (and maybe the rest of us, too)? This article offers some conversation starters and practical suggestions for teens and their families.

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Conversations for a Lifetime

Have you ever considered preserving memories, stories, and reflections of beloved family members? A recorded oral history can become a treasured family artifact for generations to come.

As families gather together over the holidays,  you can use any recording app (including the built-in Voice Memos app on secondary student iPads) to record interviews and conversations with family members.

Story Corp has some great suggestions and questions to get you started , and you can even add your stories to the Story Corps archive, if you’d like!

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Road Trip?

Taking a road trip over winter break? Don’t forget that you and your family have access to more than 24,000 titles in SVVSD’s extensive digital library – and many of these titles are available as audio books, too!

Secondary students can use the Sora by OverDrive app on their district iPads to download ebooks and audio books. Click here for directions on downloading and using Sora. (For additional information, explore the FAQs.)

Or, extend learning further by challenging your child to read, watch, and listen to new things over winter break (and win prizes) with Longmont Public Library’s  Winter Break Bingo! for Kids & Teens.

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