Master of Science
Department or Program
Department or Program Chair
Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.
Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.
Screen time no longer means just the amount of time one spends in front of the television. Now it is an aggregate amount of time spent on smartphones, computers as well as multitasking with different devices. How much are the glowing rectangles taking away from adolescent social and emotional health? How is it changing how students learn and how they communicate with the world? How much is too much? The purpose of this study is to determine whether the 1-1 student-to-iPad pilot at an affluent public school in the greater San Francisco Bay Area is helping students succeed in their education and critical thinking skills or if it is hindering their progress and attention span. Whether adding technology at school is allowing students to be more connected, or if they feel forced to use technology. How is the additional technology affecting their brains? How is it affecting their social and emotional wellbeing? Students from a local high school in two small learning communities (SLC) were given iPads as part of a pilot program within the New Tech Network. Two general education art classes were given a survey to find the emotional and social factors of this added technology in their lives. Of the forty-one students surveyed, thirty-one were part of the iPad pilot programs. Nine teachers both within the SLCs and without were interviewed about their technology use in the classroom as well as their opinions on the effects of technology on adolescents outside of the classroom. One school counselor was also interviewed. The findings indicated that all students surveyed have access to the Internet and only one student of the forty-one students surveyed does not own a cell phone. All students who own a cell phone send and receive texts. Students are constantly using some form of technology in and
outside of the classroom, whether for schoolwork or to stay in touch with friends. All students are using some form of technology within two hours of going to bed. Texting is rampant in all classrooms. Many of the teachers interviewed agreed that there is an epidemic of anxiety and depression as well as an addiction to texting. Students are less connected to their peers and teachers because of technology. Four out of five iPad Pilot teachers are using the iPads 50-75% of class time, that’s an additional two or more hours of screen time per day, and at least six hours more of screen time per week in school. All teachers know students use their various devices in and outside of class in addition to the added class work on those devices.
DeWeese, Katherine Lynn, "Screen Time, How Much is Too Much? The Social and Emotional Costs of Technology on the Adolescent Brain" (2014). Master's Theses and Capstone Projects. 32.