In Spring 2023, the PTOs of Crest View Elementary and Foothill Elementary collaborated on a three event discussion on Technology and our Children. Each event had a 60-minute presentation and 30-minute parent-led Q&A. Event summaries with presentation slides and recordings for the first and third events can be found below.

Understanding the Allure of Screen Time- Let’s Take a Look Behind the Curtain

Thursday, March 9th 5:30-7pm at Crest View

Our first event focused on the top 5 digital media applications (e.g., social media, video games, explicit content, information overload and compulsive spending) that are developed to lure kids in, and what every parent needs and wants to know about them. The allure starts with brain science, and persuasive design ~ how devices and apps are developed with our human vulnerabilities in mind. Lastly, tips & strategies were shared to support parents to take small, achievable steps towards creating a screen time balance in the home.

The Balancing Act- Screentime & Mental Health

Thursday, March 23rd, 5:30-7pm at Foothill

Our second event focused on the key areas meant to support mental health and healthy lifestyle habit development while considering the digital age kids are growing up in. A brief introduction to current statistics related to mental health factors and screentime was shared. One size doesn’t fit all; we discussed the recommended time on devices and the use of apps based on age, and paired that with the risk factors and protective factors that are important for parents to know to create an individualized digital access and wellness plan for their child. An overview of a child with healthy use was presented, along with yellow flags/time to make changes, and red flags/time to act. Part 2 was completed by sharing support & educational resources.

Digital Guardrails – Protecting Your Child’s Healthy Development & Wellbeing

Tuesday, April 25th, 5:30-7pm at Crest View

Our final event focused on educating parents on the ‘training wheels’ that are critical to ensuring children’s online safety and security and prepare them to learn healthy habits related to the use of devices and apps. This includes introducing devices, both phones and watches, that have been consciously developed with children’s vulnerabilities and developmental needs in mind, as well as introducing parental control applications along with short demonstrations to support parents to feel more confident in their ability to utilize them. We wrapped up by talking about the important tips for success, as well as share the common “get arounds” that children discover to override parental controls.

Meet our Speaker – Tracy Markle, MA, LPC

Tracy Markle, MA, LPC, a nationally renowned digital media addiction treatment expert and educator, is the founder and co-director of Digital Media Treatment and Education Center (dTEC®) located in Boulder, CO. Tracy and her team focus on developing and providing education on prevention and intervention strategies for professionals, parents, and children of all ages, as well as developing effective approaches to treat digital media overuse issues and the common co-existing factors, such as academic challenges, family conflict, anxiety, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder. Tracy created a systemic treatment approach, called the FITS IA®; Family engagement, Integrated Treatment, Social connection for treating – Internet Addiction. She is a featured author along with other experts from around the globe, in the book: “Internet Addiction in Children and Adolescents; Risk Factors, Assessment & Treatment”. This is the first book to thoroughly examine how early and easy access to the Internet-based digital media and devices impacts children and adolescents.

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