“Screenagers” Come to Kuper
April 7 the Kuper community had the pleasure of screening the documentary “Screenagers”, exploring the affects of tech screen time on young people, and hearing from the film’s maker Dr. Delaney Ruston. It was a real marathon session for Dr. Ruston. Her day started at 9:00 am with a “meet and greet” over coffee with elementary school moms and various educators. The discussion around the table revolved around how to best manage students’ screen time, both at school and home. Dr Ruston provided well documented and tried advice.
At 9:45 the movie was shown to grade 5 and 6 students as well as to those anxious moms. Dr Ruston hosted a question and answer period following the screening and students expressed their concern that the time they spent in front of screens was done at the expense of their family relationships. A young girl was upset that her mother seemed completely consumed with her cell and that she would like her to give her more attention. Needless to say, there were a few moist eyes in the room. Technologocal dependency is not limited to young people.
Dr. Ruston had a nice lunch with staff members and the co high school presidents, Chelsea Sahakian and Josh Janna. The conversation was quite engaged between the two student leaders and Dr. Ruston.
At 1:30 PM the entire high school population congregated for the viewing of “Screenagers”. Meanwhile, Dr. Ruston was busy being interviewed by CTV News. Several select Secondary V Communication Profile students eagerly watched the “pros” ply their trade. Immediately following the interview with CTV, our budding journalist conducted a very robust and well prepared press conference. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/kuper-academy-students-get-schooled-on-screen-time-1.2862280
Dr. Ruston fielded questions for 45 minutes but also engaged students, inquiring about their understanding of the school policies as well as their thoughts on the impact of technology on learning.
After the screening Dr. Ruston engaged the high school students on this very important issue. The student body was divided over whether they spent too much time with their technology. It was obvious that Dr. Ruston forced many students to look closely at their tech habits.
Following a few hours of down time, Dr. Ruston returned to the school for her final engagement of the day. The movie was shown to member of the community at large. Parents, university students, therapists, health care professionals and educators all had the opportunity to exchange ideas and thoughts with Dr. Ruston. She was certainly at her best when she relayed her concerns as both a health care professional as well as the mother of teenage children, connecting with all those in the audience.
“Screenagers” and Dr. Ruston’s presentations profoundly affected the school community. We are now more aware of the importance of curbing screen time and of fostering healthy interpersonal relations. We hope to put into practice many of Dr. Ruston’s Recommendations.
The International Speaker Series organizers wish to thank all those who helped make this event possible. Dr. Ruston was the eleventh guest speaker to address the Kuper community. We are now busy planning next year’s event