This is a guest post from Greg Toppo, author of the book The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter. He is USA Today’s national education reporter.

More than 15 years ago, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded that intensive media coverage of suicides may serve to “tip the balance” for at-risk young people who are considering suicide. Research suggests that consuming this type of media makes vulnerable people feel that suicide is “a reasonable, acceptable, and in some instances even heroic, decision.” Read more

Taiwan just made it illegal to give kids too much screen time. The most notable thing about the law is that it fails to differentiate types of screen time. For example, watching a Disney movie is a lot less likely to be educational than, say, watching a video that describes photosynthesis. Read more

One of the big reasons that super smart kids do not do well in the work world is their limited executive function—the skill that tells you to stop eating berries and run away from a lion. Natural selection has made us into executive function geniuses (though we still cannot multitask  with any competence, at least we know what to do first.) Read more

This is a guest post by Lisa Nielsen. She’s in charge of technology and teacher training for the New York City public schools, and she is the author of  the book Teaching Generation Text. None of the opinions in this post reflect the views, opinions, or endorsement of her employer. 

There’s nothing the press likes better than a story that generates real parental panic…especially when it has the stamp of science to give a the panic an extra edge. Read more

Screen time is a scapegoat for people grappling with parenting problems of the Information Age. Our kids would be better off if we started taking personal responsibility for our parenting difficulties. But this shift requires us to rethink the meaning of screen time in our lives.

I think about this topic a lot, because we have unlimited screen time in our family, so I’m constantly evaluating and re-evaluating the research on screen time to make sure I still think it’s a good idea. Here are four lies we tell ourselves about screen time: Read more

Obsessive video game play is the most beneficial of all screen time

Today all parents are faced with the choice of how to regulate screen time for their kids. It’s a decision made more difficult because much advice about video games and parenting comes from people who are too scared to question the status quo  or people who are too scared to imagine their kids having a childhood different from their own.  Read more

You don’t need to worry how your kids use technology because you have no idea what is going to matter when they are older. You have no idea how people will communicate when it comes time for your kids to pay their mortgage and put their kids through college – although you can be pretty sure that they won’t be doing either of those things.

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This is a guest post from my son. I dictate blog posts in the car, while we drive. And a few days ago, I was talking about how video games help kids succeed at work, and he told me he wanted to dictate a post. I said okay. Here’s what he wrote. 

So I was trying to tell mom that RPG is the most educational type of game. And she told me to write a blog post.

1. You learn a lot of patience because you have to grind things. Grinding means spending a long time doing stuff. For instance, beating enemies for a while in order to get money. You can also grind for experience. You have to beat an enemy to level up. The higher the level you are the harder it is to level up, which means the more experience it takes to level up. Read more

I am going to summarize the findings presented in an incredible TED talk by Ali Carr-Chellman professor of education at Penn State. Like much of the education research coming out today, her conclusion makes it completely clear that parents should homeschool boys. But that’s too controversial for her to say. So I’m saying it.

Here’s the research she presents:

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When I started homeschooling, I used workbooks. I got my kids through a whole grade level in about two months. But I found myself forcing my kids to learn stuff they were not interested in learning. The constant arguing killed me, and the lack of excitement over learning seemed like the opposite of what we were aiming to do. Read more