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New guidance for safer screen use in education settings

In collaboration with other authors, including a diverse group of local and international scientists, educators, clinicians, and experts in digital media use, we have developed recommendations for the use of digital technologies in schools, kura and early childhood education.

These recommendations have been reviewed and endorsed by the Paediatric Society of New Zealand, Brainwave Trust, The Pasifika Principals Association (NZPPA), The Office for Early Childhood Education and the Sensible Screen Use Task Force.

Lead author Julie Cullen notes that these recommendations are timely, after a United Nations General Assembly report has called for urgent discussion and regulation of the digitisation of education, with UNESCO highlighting the risk that excessive screen use in school can contribute to children's overall risk. New Zealand students have amongst the highest rates of screen use in the world, both at home and in the classroom.

These informed recommendations have been developed as a resource for teachers, kaiako and principals, to students to make the most of opportunities that digital technologies can offer to learning, with lower risk than some are currently facing.


The recommendations focus on evidence-based advice to support students to develop safer screen behaviours in education settings, across different ages and stages of development. They include interventions to reduce risks such as taking eye breaks, blinking exercises, advice on safer use of headphones and earbuds, ergonomics, limits on screen time or a balance of screen-based learning with screen breaks and non-digital activities, and many others.

'These guidelines provide practical and comprehensive recommendations to maximise the educational benefits of digital technologies while minimising potential health risks. 

The document is the result of extensive research and consultation with experts in education, health, and digital safety. It outlines actionable strategies for balancing screen time and promoting the best outcomes for all children, including those with special learning needs.'

Full the full recommendations see 'Recommendations' or click the pdf below.

If you appreciate our non-profit work, please support us by sharing this information on your social media channels, and with principals, teachers, kaiako, board of trustees and caregivers.

Download PDF • 1.74MB

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