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New publication: supporting students to develop safer screen behaviours

Updated: Jul 6

We're pleased to share our new publication today in the New Zealand Medical Journal about the new recommendations for using digital technologies in education settings, from early childhood to high school. For a short podcast, click here. See the video link for a brief news story.

The recommendations are available through the Paediatric Society of New Zealand's website, at, and through Brainwave Trust.

'New limits are needed for screen time in New Zealand schools, say a group of experts who found that excessive use of digital technologies was linked to poor physical an mental health in young people.'

'New Zealand children have some of the highest rates of screen use in the developed world, partly because of the early adoption and widespread use of digital devices in classes.

A New Zealand Medical Journal (NZMJ) editorial published today said these technologies offered great benefits to young people but also presented a risk of harm.'

'The review found it was difficult to define “excessive” screen time but most of the identified harms were linked to daily screen use of two to six hours a day. Young New Zealanders could exceed that limit with educational screen time alone, the editorial said.'

'A Ministry of Education spokeswoman said the ministry welcomed the review and its recommendations, which provided clarity to the education sector on how to safely use devices for learning outcomes.'

'Mt Eden Normal principal Alan Jackson welcomed the recommendations, saying there was no national guidance on technology use within classes and a relatively low level of awareness of associated health and safety concerns. It was generally perceived as a problem linked to recreational use of screens, he said.'

'Jackson said many schools had “gone down the rabbit hole” with technology and integrated digital learning into reading, writing, maths and other areas of learning without fully considering the consequences.'

'Chris Abercrombie from the Post Primary Teachers' Association said the union would agree with the research, particularly around encouraging conversations with young people around how to find a healthy balance between the educational benefits of technology and potential harms. The effects of excessive screen time on children and young people are increasingly concerning, and we would like to see the Government invest in some robust research into this.'

See for further information.

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