Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘ergonomics’

Do teachers believe they are competent to promote healthy ICT use among their students?

R. Zlamanskia, M. Ciccarelli (2012) Do teachers believe they are competent to promote healthy ICT use among their students?  Work, A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation Vol, 41 (2012) 869-875

Information and communication technologies (ICT), including computers, are becoming common place tools for learning by school children in Australia and around the world. Teachers are responsible for integrating ICT into the school learning environment; however, they may not recognize how and when ICT use may compromise their students’ physical health. Children’s exposure to physical harm through the unhealthy use of ICT may have liability implications for the education sector.  All Catholic Education school principals in Western Australia were sent an email link to the survey for distribution to teachers at their respective schools. Fifty-five percent of teachers agreed they were concerned about their students’ physical health when using ICT. Only 19% of teachers reported they frequently or always provided their students with information on how to use computers in their class in a way, so as to promote physical health. Teachers identified barriers to promoting healthy computing use among students including; insufficient time (47%), non-adjustable furniture (46%), and insufficient knowledge (41%).  Designing and implementing school-based computer ergonomics education programmes may assist teachers fulfil their duty of care in regard to the physical health and well-being of their students.

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How do parents perceive preschool children’s screen time?

De Decker, E., De Craemer, M., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., Wijndaele, K., Duvinage, K., Koletzko, B., Grammatikaki, E., Iotova, V., Usheva, N., Fernández-Alvira, J. M., Zych, K., Manios, Y., Cardon, G., ToyBox-study group (2012) Influencing factors of screen time in preschool children: an exploration of parents’ perceptions through focus groups in six European countries, Obesity Reviews, Volume 13, Issue Supplement s1, pages 75–84, March 2012

Preschoolers already spend significant proportions of their waking hours being sedentary. Screen time (i.e. television/DVD viewing and computer use) has been negatively associated with several health outcomes but interventions aiming to reduce preschoolers’ sedentary behaviour are scarce. This study aimed to explore parents’ perceptions of their preschool children’s screen time. One hundred twenty-two parents of low and medium-high socioeconomic status from six European countries with children between 4 and 6 years old were involved in 24 focus groups. Following a qualitative content analysis, the available information and key findings were centrally analysed. Results showed that children tend to like watching television (TV) and most parents do not express worries about their children’s TV viewing time. Education is considered to be the main benefit of watching TV and in general, parents only have informal rules about TV viewing. Computer and active games use are less frequent compared with TV viewing. No univocal results are found about the influence of siblings or friends on children’s screen time. Weather conditions and parental habits at home are the most important factors influencing children’s screen time. Alternatives for screen activities and information on how to set rules for screen time should be provided to parents to assist them in decreasing their preschool children’s screen time.

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What are the physical risks of Screen Time for six year olds?

Louise A. Baur, Ph.D.; Jie Jin Wang, Ph.D.; Louise Hardy, Ph.D.; Erdahl Teber, Ph.D.; Annette Kifley, M.B.B.S.; Tien Y. Wong, M.D., Ph.D.; and Paul Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D (2011) Kids’ ‘Screen Time’ Linked to Early Markers for Cardiovascular Disease, ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2011)

Six-year-olds who spent the most time watching television, using a computer or playing video games had narrower arteries in the back of their eyes — a marker of future cardiovascular risk, in a first-of-its-kind study reported in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Link to original Research Paper

With more an more ipads and laptops in the classrooms how can schools introduce best ergonomic practices?

Studies indicate that musculoskeletal discomfort and back pain problems are evident not only in adults, but also in children [11,13]. We believe that educating towards a balanced-posture, body-function and movement patterns, as well as their ergonomic implications, can minimize and even prevent these problems. Such an ergonomics awareness educational program has to start at childhood and should be an integral part of the curriculum in the schools. This article presents the educational program “Ergonomics, Movement & Posture” (EMP), which is taught in elementary schools by Physical Education (PE) students of the Kibbutzim College of Education in Israel, as part of their practicum. Although there has been no formal evaluation of the effectiveness of the program, so far, participating children, their parents, the teachers and the principles have offered positive feedback.

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