March 27, 2023

Becoming Informed About Technology Use Among Elementary Children

This is my 30th year as an educator and one of the things that I’m greatly concerned about is how many of our students have access to devices at home and apps that they are most likely not mature enough to be responsible with.   Over the past 5 years or so, I’ve received numerous complaints from parents and students regarding upsetting and/or offensive posts or messages that were received through such apps.  If you study the typical development levels of children or observe children you know that kids don’t have a developed impulse control nor can they think through potential outcomes when they’re excited, disappointed or angry.  I’ve become aware of some very hurtful messages that children have posted using apps such as SnapChat,, FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram.  I cannot emphasize this enough:  elementary age children are not mature enough to have access to these apps!   There is a wonderful opportunity coming up next week sponsored by Good Beginnings that I strongly endorse and encourage you to attend.  (See below and also follow the link below for more excellent resources)

Here are a few other resources for you to read and consider: 

3 Reasons Why Social Media Age Restrictions Matter

What Age Should My Kids Be Before I Let Them Use....   (Common Sense Media

www.   (Common Sense Media is my go to resource and I encourage you to sign up for their free newsletters for parents.)

What is Facebook?
Developed in 2004 by then Harvard University student Mark Zuckerberg,
Facebook is a social networking site used by more than 500 million people in
every country on the planet, so far in 70 languages. The site’s minimum age is 13, but teens represent only a minority population on Facebook.  A Parent's Guide to Facebook

Raising Screenwise Kids, presented by Dr. Devorah Heitner, PhD

Sep 27, 2017 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm - Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World; presented by the Dorothy Campion Corcoran Fall Lecture Series of Good Beginnings

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital Auditorium E-F
1 Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03766

Free and Open to the Public Good Beginnings presents the 11th annual Dorothy Campion-Corcoran Fall Lecture Series Raising Screenwise Kids presented by Dr. Devorah Heitner, PhD, helping kids thrive and survive in their digital world 6:00 PM Refreshments: 6:30-8:00 PM Lecture/Audience Q&A

Cost: free - Free and open to the public

Contact: 603-298-9524info@gbuv.org

The Norwich Bookstore will have copies of the book available for purchase at the lecture

The White River School Technology Committee is also addressing these concerns by developing consistent, common language and messaging in helping our young students understand the HSD’s Acceptable Use Policy.  (See our Family Handbook for the complete policy as well as the HSD website:

Additionally, our teachers explicitly teach about how to be an honest, ethical digital citizen and how to keep oneself safe when using technology by not sharing information that can put one at risk.  HOWEVER, OUR STUDENTS’ USE OF TECHNOLOGY IS VERY LIMITED WHILE AT SCHOOL AND NONE OF THE APPS LISTED ABOVE ARE USED WHEN STUDENTS ARE IN SCHOOL!  In other words, we can carry the message but we cannot enforce it when students are not in school.  Every complaint that I’ve received has occurred when students have used devices when not in school.