As a mother of a child who struggles to learn and is ADHD, I am always interested in articles that might offer support and ways to help him. This week there was a featured article on Yahoo! that claims more TV time means worse school performance. One quote I found interesting was "The amount of TV kids watched when they were 14 was positively linked with having attention problems later, not doing homework, being bored at school, not finishing high school, and "hating school," the researchers found."
But we also have studies that show that using video in the classroom helps improve student performance. Could it be that the TV is only a problem unless teachers know how to use it for their purposes? You have a classroom of students who are TV addicts? You're teaching your students the purpose of scientific studies and how to conduct a science experiment. Do you A.) Lecture B.) Do a hands on experiment or C.) Introduce your students to the Video Segment of the Myth Busters and the coke experiment and then have your students conduct a non-life threatening, safe experiment of their own to either prove or disprove a popular myth? Choice B is great, they will understand the process - but there will be little connection. Letter C is PERFECT because they can relate to this unorthodox crew, see how they test things out several times before claiming it truth or myth busted, and then they experiment on their own. Make it even better? Add choice D: Introduce lesson with Mythbuster video, have students conduct their own experiments to test out pre-selected myths and film their experiments, and then edit the film into a short "Students of Mythbusters" film to share their results with other students. During the share time, other students could make recommendations to make the experiment work even better.
At home, I'll do my part. Joey's limited to the amount of TV he can watch and is encouraged to play outside and use his imagination. But in the classroom, you need to find ways to make those connections with students in THEIR world, not yours.
If you are looking for something else, maybe something to encourage students to read, check out Flashight Readers from Scholastic. This time around the book is A Dog's Life by Ann M. Martin. Lot's of inter-actives, discussions, and encouragements to read some great books. Some pretty cool choices here! They can also check out the Section. My personal favorite there is none other than Harry Potter. Test your knowledge, discuss the evils (or goodness) of Snape, send an e-Card, download fun stuff for your computer, and more.
Then again, as easily as I'm distracted and tend to go off on a tangent, maybe his ADHD is not from TV but from his mother. Hmmmm.