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Raising and educating children with technology - Is it sustainable?

Sustainability is defined by the Wikapedia dictionary as the capacity to endure. Wikapedia goes on to state that from an ecological perspective, the term sustainability describes how biological systems remain productive over time. For humans, sustainability is defined as the potential for long-term maintenance of well being. Delving further into the question of whether today's children of technology are sustainable for generations to come, I will discuss the effects of technology overuse on children's physical, mental, social and academic performance, with reference made to these three definitions of sustainability: endurance, productivity, and well being. While some readers might find this notion to be quite esoteric and far-fetched, speaking as a biologist with an interest in promoting sustainable environments, this is an area that I am hoping will peak interest and debate. If the ways in which society is using technology to raise and educate children is indeed not sustainable as I propose, then we as a society owe it to future generations of children to change our ways.

Continue reading here.
Instructor Training

OT's can now take the three day Foundation Series Workshops recorded webinars, and then travel to the beautiful Sunshine Coast July 25/26, 2011 for the two day instructor training with Cris Rowan and become fully certified to deliver these ground breaking workshops in their own communities.
Donate Now!

Zone'in Programs Inc. and Cris Rowan are seeking your support and assistance to ensure sustainable and productive futures for our children. Find out more about how you can help us!
Cris is Presenting at CAOT Conference

Cris Rowan will be presenting at the annual Canadian Occupational Therapy Conference on June 18, 2011 on the impact of technology on children, and the need for health and education professionals to do a routine technology screen prior to costly child behavior diagnosis and medication. 

Screen time and risk behaviors in 10- to 16-year-old Canadian youth

By Carson, Valerie et al for Center on Media and Child Health in 2011
Approximately 10,000 Canadian youth reported their screen time, or time spent with a television, computer, or video game, as well as their participation in risky behaviors such as smoking, drug use, and non-use of condoms.  Youth who reported the highest amount of screen time, especially computer time, were significantly more likely to engage in risky behaviors.  These results suggest that that media use may contribute to youths' decisions to engage in risky behaviors.

Comparison of Problematic Internet and Alcohol Use and Attachment Styles Among Industrial Workers in Korea

By Sang-Eun Shin et al for Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking on May 19, 2011
The results showed that anxious attachment, depression, and anxiety could explain problematic alcohol use. In contrast, both anxious and avoidant attachment as well as depression and phobia explained problematic Internet use. Additionally, depression moderated the effects of avoidant attachment on problematic Internet use. We demonstrated that the interaction of attachment and psychopathology predicts problematic Internet use originating from an earlier stage of life than that associated with problematic alcohol use.

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking Deficits in Early-Stage Face Perception in Excessive Internet Users

By Jin-bo He et al for Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking in May 2011, 14(5): 303-308.
These data indicate that EIUs have deficits in the early stage of face-perception processing but may have intact holistic/configural processing of faces. Whether some deeper processes of face perception, such as face memory and face identification, are affected in EIUs needs to be investigated further with more specific procedures.

Regular and Problematic Leisure-Time Internet Use in the Community: Results from a German Population-Based Survey

By Manfred E. Beutel et al for Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking on May 2011, 14(5): 291-296.
Overall, 9.3% reported at least one negative consequence of Internet use, especially neglect of recreational activities and problems with family/partner, work or education, and health. Problematic use was associated with longer average daily online times, avoidance of negative emotions, preference for certain applications (gaming, gambling, online sex) and an increased rate of depersonalization.

Brain Overgrowth in Tots Is Linked to Autism

By Cody Hazlett, an assistant professor in UNC's Department of Psychiatry, for May 2011 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
The brains of children who have autism spectrum disorder are larger than those of other children, a difference that seems to arise before they are 2 years old, according to a new study.

Are Cyberbullies Less Empathic? Adolescents' Cyberbullying Behavior and Empathic Responsiveness

By G. Steffgen et al for Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking on May 10, 2011
Findings confirm and substantially extend the research on the relationship between empathy and aggressive behavior. From an educational point of view, the present findings suggest that training of empathy skills might be an important tool to decrease cyberbullying.

Effect of Opponent Type on Moral Emotions and Responses to Video Game Play

By Shu-Fang Lin for Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking on May 10, 2011
The results show that when playing against monster opponents, participants felt both less ashamed and less guilty, reported enjoying the game more, and judged their character as more justified than participants who played against human opponents.

Is ADHD a fictional diagnosis - Some psychiatrists argue that ADHD is little more than a marketing gimmick.

By Dr. Fred Baughman, clinical pediatric neurologist for The Mark on May 18, 2011
Some 5.4 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with two-thirds of them taking psychiatric drugs. Sales of ADHD drugs reached $1.2 billion in 2010, a demand level so high that the U.S. is experiencing an ADHD drug shortage. Increasingly vocal contingent of psychiatric experts is speaking up against diagnosing children with ADHD, arguing it is a non-existent condition drummed up by pharmaceutical companies to increase sales.

Five million Facebook users are 10 or younger

On, May 10, 2011
More than 5 million children ages 10 and under-well below Facebook's minimum age of 13-use the service, Consumer Reports has found in its 2011 State of the Net Survey.

That Facebook friend might be 10 years old, and other troubling news

On, May 10, 2011
Consumer Reports survey unearthed several disturbing findings about children and Facebook:
  • Of the 20 million minors who actively used Facebook in the past year, 7.5 million-or more than one-third-were younger than 13 and not supposed to be able to use the site.
  • Among young users, more than 5 million were 10 and under, and their accounts were largely unsupervised by their parents.
  • One million children were harassed, threatened, or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on the site in the past year.
  • Clearly, using Facebook presents children and their friends and families with safety, security, and privacy risks.

Relearning the lost art of child's play

By Tralee Pearce for the Globe and Mail on April 7, 2011
Researchers are spreading the word that everything from kids physical health to problem-solving skills are at stake, but many parents are wondering how to fit unscripted playtime into schedules already crammed with organized sports, video games and homework. As play can be a hard skill to dust off, they're seeking out websites, advocacy groups and child-development experts to expand their play repertoire.

Unmasking the Skin

By Joel Swerdlow for National Geographic
For humans insufficient touching in early years can have lifelong results. "In touching cultures, adult aggression is low, whereas in cultures where touch is limited, adult aggression is high," writes Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Studies of a variety of cultures show a correspondence between high rates of physical affection in childhood and low rates of adult physical violence.

Human Connections Start With A Friendly Touch

By Michelle Trudeau for NPR on September 20, 2010
Social scientists have shown in many studies over the years that supportive touch can have good outcomes in a number of different realms. Consider the following examples: If a teacher touches a student on the back or arm, that student is more likely to participate in class. The more athletes high-five or hug their teammates, the better their game. A touch can make patients like their doctors more.

The Human Touch

By Mark Paterson for TPM Philosophers Magazine in May 2009 Issue 45
The submissive position it is accorded perhaps mirrors the dismissive attitude we accord to touch in everyday experience: so obvious as to be meaningless, with seemingly little need for interpretation. Yet the long history of the relationship between vision and touch in science and philosophy indicates a more complexly experienced and articulated world. In striving for verification, do we reach out to touch something to feel its truth, or do we believe our eyes? And in the notoriously visual culture in which we live, what is the place of touch?

Online exposure - Social networks, mobile phones, and scams can threaten your security

In Consumer Reports magazine, June 2011
More than 5 million online U.S. households experienced some type of abuse on Facebook in the past year, including virus infections, identity theft, and for a million children, bullying, aConsumer Reports survey shows.

Childhood obesity solvable

By Troy Landreville for Langley Advance on April 26, 2011
Author and nutritionist Brenda Wollenberg maps out a diet plan to help children.

One parent's story about how a therapy ball can change a child's life

Read about Daisy

Overweight Kids in a Toothpick World

by Brenda Wollenberg
Describes in detail the nutritionist-designed, family-tested and proven Kids in Balance (KIB) coaching plan for easy weight loss for teens and children.

The Optimistic Child: Proven Program to Safeguard Children from Depression & Build Lifelong Resilience

by Martin Seligman
With over 30% of children depressed, author teaches parents and other concerned adults how to instill in children a sense of optimism and personal mastery.

Please don't zap me

Info card created by an 11 year old to hand out to those who use cell phones to warn of electromagnetic radiation.

Touch Research Institute

Run by Dr. Tiffany Field out of University of Miami School of Medicine to research the benefits of touch.

Video - TED Talks with Arvind Gupta

At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves -- while learning basic principles of science and design.

Kids In Balance

Website expresses concerns regarding excessive use of technology; and seeks to promote what is described as Kids in Balance (KIB).

Authentic Happiness

Authentic Happiness is the website of Dr. Martin Seligman, Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of positive psychology, a branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions.
Private Consultations

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations as guidance for parents, educators, therapists, and government to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology. Give Cris a call and find out how your organization can work to enhance child development.

Click here to learn more or sign up.
Balanced Technology Management Foundation Teams - Join Now!

Child now use 7.5 hours per day of technology, at great cost to their health and academic performance. One third of children enter school developmentally delayed, and one in four children are obese. Child aggression is causing significant behaviour challenges in schools and homes, as evidenced by soaring rates of child behaviour diagnosis and use of psychotropic medications. Sleep deprived, isolated and illiterate, the ways in which we raise and educate new millennium children are threatening their very sustainability.

Keep reading here.
Zone'in Resources  

Virtual ChildVirtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children

By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist.

Virtual Child documents the impact technology has had on the developing child, and proposes tools and techniques to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use.

Need more info? Visit


Foundation Series Workshops

Workshops are offered in the following formats:

Live - Book Cris Rowan now!
Webinar Recordings - Download now!

Buy individual recorded webinars for $99 each

or the first 6 in the series for $499!


You will have two weeks to download your file.  Once saved, you may watch at your leisure, alone or with your friends/colleagues.  Stop and start the recording to suit your schedule - watch as many times as you like! 

Foundation Series Workshops on DVDs


Instructor Training in Vancouver, May 11-15, 2011

Instructor training for Foundation Series Workshops places pediatric occupational therapists on the cutting edge as experts in the field of technology's impact on child development.


Innovative team-based approach to manage balance between activities children need to grow and succeed with technology use.

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations.

Click here to learn more or sign up.
Zone'in Programs Inc. 2011
June 2011
Cris Rowan -
Zone'in Programs Inc.

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Cris Rowan
Cris Rowan is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, author, speaker and champion of easing the job of learning for all children.

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Zone'in Programs Inc.
6840 Seaview Road
Sechelt, BC V0N 3A4

1-877-896-6346 (fax)