State of Ohio Education

Think about the screens we look at and use every day: computers, televisions, GPS, telephone, video games and electronic billboards and signs are among the many electronic faces that stare back at us every day. Have you ever thought about how much time you spend looking at electronic screen or display?
The folks at the Ball State University Center for Media Design not only thought about the time we spend staring at screens, but have completed a study that tells us which screens we’re looking at and how much time we spend with our electronic “friends and coworkers.”

Adult Americans spend an average of more than eight hours a day in front of screens — televisions, computer monitors, cell phones or other devices, according to a new study.

Of the eight and a half hours a day of screen time, television is the big winner with the average American adult spending approximately five hours a day watching television. The study found that the total average time spent in front of screens is consistent among age groups (8.5 hours a day), but that the time for devices varied based on age. Adults over 65 years of age spent more time watching television while adults 18-24 spend less time with television and more time with mobile devices and video games. Adults aged 45 – 54 years of age average the most amount of screen time at nine and a half hours a day. I wonder how they count the time people spent in front of a computer screen talking on their cell phone while watching television? (What can I say? I’m all about multi-tasking.)

All the subjects in this study were over 18 years of age, but I couldn’t help but think about our children’s screen time and the implication for education. Are we using technology as an instructional tool too much or too little? Do we understand that students not only view technology differently but utilize and relate to it differently as well? Can we break free of the “one size fits all approach” to educational technology? Are we getting the return on our investment students deserve and taxpayers need?