#WeeklyWebFinds – July 21, 2018

So after last week’s #ThreeforThursday post, I have already altered my goal and will go with a more flexible #WeeklyWebFinds post to highlight articles and other related topics of interest. Anyway, here are three more things that got me thinking last week…

Empowering Kids In An Anxious World – from NPR

This brief article from NPR highlights the thoughts of authors of two new parenting books.  Both cite the lack of free play for children as a major reason for the dramatic rise in anxiety and depression among kids over the last few decades.  The two books are The Good News About Bad Behavior by Katherine Lewis and The Self-Driven Child by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson.  Lewis sums up the problem as follows:

“to build self-control, we need to stop controlling children.”

Flexible Classrooms: Research Is Scarce, But Promising – from Edutopia

This article looks at a study of over 150 classrooms from the United Kingdom that shos that flexible seating options for students CAN have a positive impact on academic performance.  The author notes the difficulty of studying this topic due to the number of variables that are in play (i.e. lighting, acoustics, air quality, etc.).  The takeaway at the end of the article seems straightforward, but it is something that is definitely not enough of a focal point for many schools.

“Flexibility, combined with characteristics like acoustics and air quality, has a real impact on student achievement. If used properly, flexible classrooms produce better academic outcomes among primary school children than more traditional, static classroom designs.”

 

10 Reasons Why we should start showing Middle Schoolers how to use Social Media – By Jennifer Casa-Todd

This is Jen’s response to an article in Psychology Today talking about why middle school students should not be using Social Media.  While I understand the concerns around middle schoolers and social media, I am in Jen’s camp here and feel that we have an opportunity to help middle schoolers understand the opportunities available to them if they learn how to use social media tools constructively.  Jen also cites a 2016 piece from Common Sense Media that highlights the pitfalls of teens using social media tools without any guidance.  Her closing statement says it all for me.

“I’m not sure why we feel it is an all or nothing situation. We need to recognize that the world is different than it was even 10 years ago, and balance our fears with opportunities to help our kids not just survive but thrive and be leaders in online spaces!”

 

 

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