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Learning Paradox - The more kids use technology, the less likely they are to learn


By Cris Rowan


Today's education systems are globally embarking on an experiment of epic proportion - the prolific use of computers to educate children. Without long term, replicated research data to support the use of computers as effective teaching tools, school administrations blindly move forward with imposing universal computer use. Without knowledge regarding safety from electromagnetic radiation, and with knowledge showing declining literacy and academic success, schools continue to promote prevalent use of computers in learning environments. While the promise of technology in education is profound, the perils are largely ignored, and could prove to be detrimental to children in the long term. The phenomenon of "tech centric" education proliferates education systems, yet little attention is given to the glaring question "In the absence of the teacher, can a child learn"? This article by pediatric occupational therapist Cris Rowan, explores the perils associated with universal use of technology as a teaching tool, and proposes the "Learning Paradox" - the more technology a child uses, the less likely they are to learn. This article also includes a ten step plan for schools to optimize attention and learning termed "The Learning Quotient".


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Cris in the News




An interview with Cris Rowan following her workshops in Hong Kong, China.

Redefining safety for children in a technology-obsessed world - An Interview with Cris Rowan. 


Disconnect to reconnect - Squamish, BC November 16 

Well-known author and speaker Cris Rowan is coming to Squamish to shed some light on possible detriments to the generation of plugged-in youth.




WDVR FM Radio. Technology Today show, hosted by Rich Kazimir. Interview with Cris Rowan discussing Children and Technology. November 11, 2014.




Look for Cris's article 'Tech Neglect - Disconnect from technology and reconnect with children to treat technology addictions' appearing in Holistic Parenting magazine, Issue No.7, January/February  2015




Huffington Post has recorded over 1.7 million Facebook likes for Cris Rowan's article 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12.


Click here to see the article. 


Foundation Series Workshop Schedule


November 16, 2014 - Squamish, BC

Workshop on the impact of technology on children sponsored by Quest University

Contact person: Luce Melancon 1-888-883-7808


January 22, 2015 - Courtney BC
Workshop on impact of technology on children with FASD sponsored by Wachiay Friendship Centre
Contact person: Allison Abraham 250-338-7793


February 5, 6, 2015 - Rivers Inlet, BC

Workshops on self-regulation, literacy, technology balance, and attachment, sponsored by Vancouver Coastal Health grant

Contact person: Kevin Gianakos 1-250-949-8881


February 19, 2015 - New York NY
Workshop on the impact of technology on children and parents sponsored by Toppan Printing Company Inc.
Contact person: Sarah Reilly 201-518-9715


March 6, 2015 - Vancouver, BC

Workshop on school design for success sponsored by Cross Currents Special Education Conference

Contact person: Mary Berg 


Research and News Review


Addictions & Drug Use


Clinical Relevance of the Proposed Sexual Addiction Diagnostic Criteria: Relation to the Sexual Addiction Screening Test-Revised.

By Patrick J Carnes, Tiffany A Hopkins, Bradley A Green Journal of Addiction Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.73). 10/2014

The present article examines and compares the various diagnostic rubrics proposed to codify symptoms of sexual addiction, and then briefly summarizes the ongoing controversy on whether sexual addiction is a valid construct.


Group helps parents, kids handle video games

By Elisabeth Arriero September 30, 2014
Melanie Hempe and Andrew Doan launched Real Battle Ministries, a nonprofit organization that educates parents on the effect of children's over-consumption of electronic media. From that, Hempe established the local organization Moms Managing Media.

Suffering from Smartphone Addiction? Try a NoPhone.
Makers of the noPhone ingeniously came up with a way to overcome nomophobia.


Detoxing & Unplugging


At What Age Should We Put Kids on a Digital Media Diet?

By Natalia Kucirkova, The Open University October 25, 2014

A recent New York Times article points to a glaring inconsistency between the amount of "screen time" toddlers have using tablets, phones and computers - and the advice of many early years specialists.


Child Development


Are Kids Forgetting How to Play? 

Lack of unstructured outdoor play is affecting children's development, says expert

By Justina Reichel, Epoch Times January 29, 2014

Combine social media with TV, video games, and smartphones, and screen time is replacing human time more than ever. It may take a village to raise a child, but that village, increasingly digitized, is vanishing.


Childhood Disability


Exercise Can Be an ADHD Medication 

By Dr. Mercola October 17, 2014

Recently reported, new research suggests "exercise is ADHD medication,"1 and should be "prescribed" to any child who's struggling to maintain focus and resist distractions at school (or elsewhere). 


Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD

French children don't need medications to control their behavior.
Published on March 8, 2012 by Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D.  in Suffer the Children
In the United States, at least 9% of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5%. How come the epidemic of ADHD-which has become firmly established in the United States-has almost completely passed over children in France?.


Education Technology


Los Angeles Unified School District Accommodates Teacher Who Fell Ill After Wireless Installation

Students were bleeding from the ears and nose and no incident reports were allowed by the school states the teacher who required medical intervention.

 Publsihed on PRLog October 10, 2014
On September 18, 2014, LAUSD, the second largest public school district in the US, officially accommodated teacher Ms. Anura Lawson by approving her request to have the Wi-Fi turned off in her classroom during the 2014-2015 school year and alternatively approving a reassignment to a different school site where Wi-Fi has yet to be installed.


Social Media & Mobile Technology


5 Tips to Protect Your Child from Digital Dangers

By Ben Halpert | October 23, 2014

What happens if you teach your child about security, privacy, empathy, bully response, screen-time balance, and other aspects of cyber ethics starting at three years old?


Seniors citizens flock to Facebook 

By Jessica Contrera October 23, 2014 in The Washington Post
Since 2000, the number of adults 65 and older who use the Internet has increased from 14 percent to 59 percent. And in that group, nearly half usea social networking site such as Facebook.


Put Your Phone Away and Pay Attention to Your Kids

By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
This psychologist is worried. It seems that everywhere I go a sizable number of the parents are ignoring their kids.


Chinese city gives smartphone users their own sidewalk lane

By Luke Dormehl September 14, 2014

Tools like hands-free kits and Siri might mean that you don't have to have your face constantly buried in your iPhone, but for most people the reality is that using a smartphone suggests your focus is not entirely on the real world around you.
Tackling this problem head-on is a place called Foreigner Street in Chongqing city, China, which has installed a special walking lane for smartphone users.


Programs, Tools & Techniques


Control Screens So They Don't Control Your Family 

Is technology pitting you against your kids with endless power struggles over video games, TV, cell phones and social media? Do you feel pressure to give your toddler an iPad already? Are you afraid your child's imagination, creativity, and social skills are being stunted by reliance on technology? Are your teens pulling away, afraid they will miss out if they are not online 24/7?

Stop the constant power struggles. Every family must listen to this together WITH their kids.


Is Meditation Really Worth It?

By Markham Heid October 8, 2014
Do enough mental push-ups, and you may be amazed at how strong your mind muscle can get. 


The SelfDesign Learning Community is among the largest distance/distributed learning schools and personalized learning programs in British Columbia, Canada. Funded by the BC Ministry of Education, SelfDesign enables learners to complete K-12 by exploring their passions and taking the lead in their own learning and life. With personalized guidance from BC-certified educators, learning unfolds at home and within local and online communities.

Video Games

Feminist Critics of Video Games Facing Threats in ‚€˜GamerGate‚€™ Campaign 

By Nick Wingfield published October 15, 2014 in the New York Times.

The atmosphere has become so toxic that critics and developers are urging big companies in the $70-billion-a-year video game industry to do more to stop it.


For South Korea, E-Sports Is National Pastime 

By Paul Mozur published October 19, 2014 in The New York Times

"In Korea, games are the barometer of the generation gap," he said in an interview. Parents view games as distractions from studying, he said, while children see them as an important part of their social existence. Mr. Jun is promoting new educational guidelines that encourage schools to warn students about addiction, while also helping parents better understand gaming. "The best way to avoid addiction is for families to play games together," he said.


Biometrics For A Better Gaming Experience 

By By Noah Nelson October 9, 2014

Some game designers are looking to biometric feedback as a way to make video games more immersive and more personal than ever.




The Limits of Friendship 

By Maria Konnikova, published October 7, 2014 in The New Yorker

With social media, we can easily keep up with the lives and interests of far more than a hundred and fifty people. But without investing the face-to-face time, we lack deeper connections to them, and the time we invest in superficial relationships comes at the expense of more profound ones.


The Influence of Pornography on Sexual Scripts and Hooking Up Among Emerging Adults in College
By Braithwaite SR, Coulson G, Keddington K, Fincham FD. Published September 20, 2014
The explosive growth in access to the Internet has led to a commensurate increase in the availability, anonymity, and affordability of pornography. An emerging body of research has shown associations between pornography and certain behaviors and attitudes; yet, how pornography actually influences these outcomes has not been documented.


Why CFL's Aren't Such a Bright Idea 

Are energy efficient bulbs getting on your nerves?

By Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D. in Mental Wealth September 15, 2014New (and old) research points to fluorescent light causing not just poor sleep, but physiological stress reactions. In light of rising neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism and ADHD seen in children, are energy-saving CFL's costing us dearly?


Instant Gratification
By Paul Roberts September 8, 2014
As the economy gets ever better at satisfying our immediate, self-serving needs, who is minding the future?


Surrey parents threaten to boycott Guildford mall after play area replaced with iPads
By Adrian Macnair, Surrey Now September 24, 2014
A new interactive play park opened at the Guildford Town Centre over the weekend, offering interactive games for children along walls decorated with colourful cartoon insects. Part of the new space has a giant beehive which houses four iPads with seats for children.


What is 4chan? The underbelly of the internet explained
By Elyse Betters 22 September 2014
Nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other Hollywood stars were recently leaked online in a massive scandal involving at least one hacker who correctly guessed weak iCloud passwords and security questions. And the stolen photos mostly surfaced from one dark corner of the internet, known as 4chan.



Institute of Digital Media and Child Development
Stimulating a national dialogue on the impact of digital media on children and adolescents through funding, conferences, ongoing forums and publications.  Composed of a collaboration among 160 national experts in the fields of neuroscience, child psychology, child psychiatry, pediatrics, public health, education, communications and many more.  Organizing a conference for the National Academy of Sciences in October, 2015.  Founder:  Pamela Hurst-DellaPietra


Struggling Teens 

In 1995, went online as the original website for information about the many schools and programs available for troubled teens. The news and articles listed within this site provide an invaluable resource for both parents and professionals, as well as anyone interested in helping troubled teens find successful paths to adulthood.


New Perspective on Child Development in the Wireless Age  

Information on EMF by Liala Epstein, EMF Expert, Advanced Health Technologies, Canadian Distributor for EarthCalm Products.


Canadians for Safe Technology

Canadians 4 Safe Technology is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based coalition of parents, citizens and experts whose mission is to educate and inform Canadians and their policy makers about the dangers of the exposures to unsafe levels of radiation from technology and to work with all levels of government to create healthier communities for children and families from coast to coast.


Kawartha Safe Technology Initiative 

Kawartha Safe Technology Initiative represents informed citizens including parents, scientists, doctors, engineers, and educators. Our purpose is to raise awareness about, and advocate for, the use of safe, wired technology, rather than the use of wireless technology. This is based on mounting international evidence and warnings from governments, doctors and scientists alike, linking prolonged microwave radiation exposure to serious health effects, particularly for children. 

Chamakanda Blogs

Explore the world of the young child with writer, speaker and consultant Stephen Spitalny. Steve was a kindergarten teacher at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School for 24 years and is a former member of the Board of WECAN (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America). His book "Connecting with Young Children: Educating the Will" was published in 2012. Steve now offers workshops, coaching and mentoring in the U.S. and around the world.


Fearless Parent

Fearless Parent is informed by the trends of our time: desire for scientific integrity, deep respect for nature, love and compassion, simplicity, vulnerability and authenticity, passionate activism, and a clear-eyed understanding about business, economics, and politics.


YouTube channel to help Moms balancing technology with childhood.

Great website and resources for parents of infants and toddlers, who want to learn more about the importance of physical and sensory experiences in the early years.

Check out The Children's Mental Health Learning Series, funded by The Government of Alberta, recently broadcasted its eighth session. The sessions posted are:
  • The Core Story of Child Development
  • From Youth at Risk to Kids at Hope
  • Healing the Traumatized Parent and Child
  • Resilience in ADHD: Promoting the Positives in Challenging Children
  • Vicarious Trauma for Front-Line Service Providers and Parents
  • Creating Healthy Relationships and Settings to Prevent Peer Bullying and Victimization
  • Ameliorating psycho-social risk among mothers with intellectual disabilities and their children
  • Baby Steps and Giant Leaps: Infant Preschool Mental Health


The Glass Cage - Automation and Us

By Nicholas Carr

At once a celebration of technology and a warning about its misuse, The Glass Cage will change the way you think about the tools you use every day.


Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention, and Relationship-Based Therapies. A Neurorelational Framework for Interdisciplinary Practice
By Connie Lillas
A ground breaking neuroscientific understanding of infant and child development, including a CD-ROM with supplementary worksheets, figures and tables.




DefenderPad Laptop EMF Radiation & Heat Shield  

The DefenderPad Laptop EMF Radiation & Heat Shield is a unique and pioneering solution that provides ultimate EMF protection while using today's modern mobile technology. Incredibly sleek and functional by design, it offers a comfortable and convenient workspace. More importantly, the FCC certified lab-tested DefenderPad blocks virtually 100% of all potentially harmful Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and greatly reduces heat emitted by laptops, tablets and other modern devices.




Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?  

By Prince Ea

Why I Refuse to Let Technology Control Me.
You need not delete your social networks or destroy your cell phones, the message is simple, be balanced, be mindful, be present, be here. :) 


Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley
Filmed April 2013 at TED Talks Education
Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish - and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.


WiFi Health Effects: Presentation to Portland Public Schools Board of Education
Published on 7 Oct 2013

Dr. Martin Pall, Professor Emeretis of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences, and Merry Callahan, health advocate, present updated information on the health impacts from EMF radiation. 2013.


Drugging Children-Did You Know?
Published on 9 Oct 2014
The fact is that more than 1 million children aged 0-5 are prescribed psychiatric drugs in the U.S. alone- and a total of 8.5 million kids aged 0-17. Parents are not being informed of the risks of the drugs prescribed them, or given alternatives to drugs that are documented to have severe and even life-threatening side effects.


What's Your End Game: Winning in the Digital Age

Published on 9 Oct 2014

Internet Addiction & Link to Human/Sex Trafficking in the United States - presented by Andrew Doan, Md, PhD & Julie Doan, RN from Real Battle Ministries and Opal Singleton from Million Kids.


Ways Caregivers Impact Brain Development

Published on The Challenge by Erin Nelson October 15, 2014

Holding, talking with children, allowing them to play and explore, building trust, helping children talk about their emotions helps build the brain in positive ways: creating children who learn easily, are calmer, independent, have high emotional resilience, and build better social relationships.


Zone'in Products

Sedentary, neglected, isolated, and overstimulated, the new millennium child can no longer pay attention and learn. Zone'in Products are designed by an occupational therapist to enhance child development and learning, ensuring successful futures.


Zone'in - enhancing attention, learning and self-regulation.

Move'in - teaches children to print, the foundation for literacy.

Unplug'in - builds skill and confidence in activities other than technology.

Live'in - media literacy guide for home, school and community.


Product Preview  


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

Virtual Child

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


About the Author
Cris Rowan is a pediatric occupational therapist committed to enhancing child health and academic performance. Well known activist, speaker, sensory specialist and author, Cris is the "Go To" expert on child learning, development and technology overuse. Cris has provided over 200 workshops for health and education professionals, and is currently developing the Creating Sustainable Futures Program for a First Nations Community.
Training & Consultation

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.

Zone'in Training

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. 

Care to Donate?
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!
Contact Us
6840 Seaview Rd. Sechelt BC V0N3A4 
Tel: 1-888-896-6346
Fax: 1-877-896-6346
© Zone'in Programs Inc. 2014