How much time will my tamariki spend on a computer?
This will vary depending on the age of your tamariki. It will also vary depending on the topic of study and your tamariki learning preferences.
Teachers have estimated the amount of computer usage students might expect at different year levels but are quick to note that it is usually much less and occasionally a bit more.
Years 1 - 3
In the first 3 years of school, computer usage is very limited. Tamariki may spend 5- 15minutes using an educational app or game on the ipad or one of the desktop computers 2 or 3 times a day. Tamariki may also use the ipads to record video clips and photos as part of their inquiry topic learning. They may also go a whole day or even a week without even touching an ipad!
Years 4 - 5
In Years 4 - 5, tamariki are learning to use Google Docs and will do some of their writing on a chromebook. They will use Chromebooks to research their inquiry topics and to record what they've found out.
At this level tamariki may spend up to 20% of their learning time on a device.
Students may bring their own devices to school and we encourage them to do so as it allows them to have ready access to complete a task on line when and how they want to.
Years 6 - 8
In Years 6-8 tamariki need to bring their own device to school and will be using it more frequently throughout the day. Nearly all written tasks will be done using a Google app, and tamariki may use a device in some way for up to 70% of their day. However even at the top end of usage, the actual screen time would be much less because of the way learning is structured.
How much screen-time is too much?
The Netsafe website points out that all screentime is not equal, and that parents need to understand how their tamariki are using computers (or other 'screens') in order to think about how much is too much. This means differentiating between recreational screen time and using a device at school for learning.
Parents should also note that when tamariki are using a device at school for learning they are usually also involved in conversations with other students and that the actual amount of screen time will be broken up with discussion, thinking, or writing notes by hand.
It is also important to recognise that working collaboratively online (e.g. with Google Docs) can be a very social activity, and that using a device does not always mean working alone or in isolation. As students interact in online activities they are potentially building a range of social skills.
"I have concerns about the amount of time in class spent on devices verses time spent on fine motor skills"
Your tamariki will be developing their gross and fine motor skills as they participate in a range of activities across the curriculum and as they play games at home and school. The arts and physical education are still important parts of our curriculum, and provide numerous opportunities for development of motor skills.
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