I must admit as an educator and a parent the article “Playing High-Action Video Games May Speed Up Learning, Studies Say” in Education Week surprised me. “Clearly people are getting better at playing action video games,” Ms. Bavelier said, “but they are also getting better at other tasks in the lab that have a quite different flavor.” These include perception, attention, task-switching, and the ability to mentally rotate objects, a skill associated with higher math and geometry performance.”
This is contrary to what I have been taught about limiting screen time and how faced paced games can been too stimulating for young minds. On a daily basis, I talk to parents about limiting children’s exposure to ipads, computers, and video games. I do think my position will remain unchanged when it comes to children under the age of four. I still believe they need to play with real object, toys, and peers. But the research is changing. It is telling a different story.
The article “Is my child spending too much time playing video games?” in the Guardian gives some suggestions about how parents can set up their own healthy parameters around video games. “Excessive behavior in any area of life rightly signals alarm bells for parents. However, for emerging technology like games, it can be hard to identify excess over enthusiasm. Is an hour a day okay? Two? It’s even harder to judge if you do not play games yourself.” I do not play video games and this is my challenge.
I think the take home message for me is- be involved. Monitor what your children are playing, when they play, and the time duration. Any activity done in moderation is an experience, a life lesson, or a teachable moment.