» Julie Woestehoff

Ed Week interviews PAA director on EdTech

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Ed Week detailed our EdTech reports in this week’s print edition, and included an interview with PAA’s interim executive director, Julie Woestehoff. The story begins: An influential parent-advocacy group that has vocally opposed high-stakes testing, the Common Core State Standards, and charter school expansion has its sights on a new target: education technology. Parents Across America, a nonprofit group with 44 chapters across 25 states, last month issued a set of resources warning of the “threats” posed by the explosion …

EdTech: New Heart Assoc. report on dangers of prolonged sitting

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A new report by the American Heart Association reinforces PAA’s concerns that the push for digital learning, which we call EdTech, may result in serious physical health problems due to, among other things, an increase in seat time. Researchers for the AHA reached their findings after conducting a review of the current evidence on sedentary behavior….Based on current evidence, (the researchers) found that spending too much time sitting may raise the risk of impaired insulin sensitivity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and …

EdTech series: Addiction experts warn of “digital heroin”

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There are strong warnings about the dangers of digital device addiction from Dr. Nicholas Karderas in Saturday’s New York Post: We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug. Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in exactly the same way that cocaine does. Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels — the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved …

Personalized learning: corporate reform hijacks another perfectly good idea

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Everyone loves choice — it’s so all-American. And we cheer the idea of student-centered learning because it’s so clearly all about the children. And, of course, ALL parents want personalized learning because every parent knows that their child is unique and has special academic needs and interests. At our parent leadership conference in July, we asked participants what they think of when they hear “personalized learning.” Here’s what they said: “It’s personal to your child.” “It is tailored to your …

EdTech: Parent letters to your children’s doctors on screen time

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We hear that the American Academy of Pediatrics is planning to consider new screentime guidelines for children at their annual conference this October. Currently, their position is that: “Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play. Television and other entertainment media should be avoided …

Parents’ digital learning opt out form to share

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We reached out to Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, author of the just-released book, “Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking our Kids — and How to Break the Trance,” and received his permission to share the excellent sample digital learning opt out letter that is included in the book (see below). Dr. .Kardaras says, “Parents and schools have been misled by tech companies into believing that educational technology leads to better school outcomes; but the research just doesn’t bear that out. …

Parents raise EdTech alarm

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Press release *** For immediate release: August 22, 2016 Contact: Laura Bowman, PAA-Roanoke Valley: 540-819-6385 Julie Woestehoff, PAA interim executive director: 773-715-3989 Our Children @ Risk Parents raise alarm about EdTech’s harmful effects on children’s academic, intellectual, emotional, physical and social development Echoing the 1983 “Nation at Risk” report, Parents Across America (PAA) today declares, “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the takeover of public education by digital technology that threatens our children’s health and …

PAA challenges negative effects of EdTech

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Parents raise alarm about EdTech’s harmful effects on children’s academic, intellectual, emotional, physical and social development PAA has spent extensive time looking into quantities of writing and research that raise red flags about the impact of the EdTech explosion on our children. This high-pressure movement has brought a mishmash of digital devices and online and other pre-packaged programs into our schools, where they are promoted as “personalized,” “competency-based,” “student-centered,” or “self-directed” learning, terms which we refer to together as EdTech. …

Our Children @ Risk: PAA reports detail the dangers of EdTech

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PAA has spent extensive time looking into quantities of writing and research that raise red flags about the impact of the EdTech explosion on our children. This high-pressure movement has brought a mishmash of digital devices and online and other pre-packaged programs into our schools, where they are promoted as “personalized,” “competency-based,” “student-centered,” or “self-directed” learning, terms which we refer to together as EdTech. What we have found out about the EdTech push alarms us, and should alarm any parent. …

Report on PAA conference

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Summary report – PAA Leadership Conference 2016 Parents Across America held our fourth annual leadership conference in Philadelphia PA from July 18-20, with twenty great leaders from twelve states. Most were in the room and some joined us online. We had an excellent mix of new and returning leaders and of geography, cultural background, age, and gender (three men!!!). What we discussed, experienced, and learned We had a rich program of discussion, sharing, learning and planning over one full and …