When Parents Lead, Children Succeed

Technology is an Aid to Education, Not a Progenitor

Technology is an Aid to Education, Not a Progenitor

Hosted By:
Elane V. Scott
Featured Guest:
M. A. Greenstein, Ph.D., R.Y.T.

Dear Stakeholder Leaders,

You’ve undoubtedly heard much in the last few weeks about the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on children under two years of age being sat in front of screens in order to help them learn; to paraphrase gently, the AAP says they shouldn’t be. Ever. “Babies and toddlers should learn from play, not screens” is the bold heading of the news release currently posted on the AAP website. This is not the first time the AAP has made these recommendations either, so this really shouldn’t be news. And yet, a recent study by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco nonprofit group, looked at screen time from birth, including “apps” for the first time ever, and found jaw-dropping results that put very young children in front of cell phones, TVs and computers in alarming quantity each day. Whether they are being used to induce quiet and complacency or under the pretention of use as a learning tool, screens do not teach. Parents and caregivers in direct, one-on-one engagement with children do facilitate actual brain development, memory enrichment and, hence, learning.

On this new Birth2Work Radio program, we are excited to share our remarkably timely conversation on this topic with the Founder and “Chief Brainiac” of the George Greenstein Institute, M. A. Greenstein, Ph.D., R.Y.T. (“Dr. G” for short). She is an author, researcher, whole systems thought leader and innovation strategist, in addition to leading GGI, “a neuro-consulting/design thinking lab dedicated to advancing learning, living and leadership.”

Our dynamic back and forth with Dr. G is anchored in our shared understanding that significant, meaningful brain growth and real learning happens through sensory experiences - all of them - not just light and sound emitted from a screen. “If you are not moving in space, your brain does not actually grow the same kind of memory intelligence that it does just using visual pattern recognition on the computer,” explains Dr. G in the conversation. The ability to acquire bits of new data and integrate them into actual knowledge comes from real experiences that affect all of the senses. If our own discovery in the world is reliant on screens, where already integrated ideas live, as opposed to experiencing new things within our own real lives, we are crippled to come up with our own original thinking.

We invite you to download or stream this podcast in order to give language to the intuition you’ve undoubtedly subdued if your life revolves around young children. It’s OK to turn off the TV and not hand your baby your cell phone. In fact, it’s far better for them! You are your child’s best role model! Talking, singing, physical activity and playtime build the neural pathways in the young brain (and the older brain for that matter) that establish its readiness and ability to do more complex thinking in the later years…like in kindergarten. Parents need to put their cell phones down and talk to their children when they pick them up and drop them off. We must set our kids up to be ready to learn when they get to school. Talk to them. Help them learn to describe their own world. There are no apps for that.

Elane V. Scott