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Zone'in Christmas Carol


Cris Rowan profiles 12 years of Christmas Tech, and encourages parents everywhere to consider non-tech Christmas gifts this year.


Best Wishes
to All
from Zone'in Staff 2014


Click to Listen, Share and Comment 

Non-Tech Christmas Ideas


Cris in the News




Interview with Cris Rowan by Cliff & Dougie on RadioWest in Australia talking about balancing the use of technology with healthy activity for kids. Aired on December 4, 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 2.1 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


January 22, 2015 - Courtney BC
Workshop on impact of technology on children with FASD sponsored by Wachiay Friendship Centre
Contact person: Allison Abraham 1-250-338-7793


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 16, 2015 - Comox BC

Keynote and full day workshop for Pro-D sponsored by School District No. 71 on impact of technology on child development, learning and behavior.

Contact: Sheila Powell 1-250-334-5527


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 1-201-518-9715


March 6, 2015 - Vancouver, BC

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

Contact person: Mary Berg 


March 23-April 3, 2015 - India, Sri Lanka, Nepal

Workshops for parents, educators, and health professionals sponsored by Young Presidents Organization on impact of technology on child development, learning and behavior.

Contact: Priya Thakur 


Research and News Review


Childhood Development


Physical activity linked to children's brain and cognitive development, scholastic achievement
Published on December 3, 2014 in News Medical.

Physically active children also have increased concentration and enhanced attention spans when compared to their less active peers.


Mid-brain activation is good for children
By James Gitau November 9, 2014
Experts contended that by helping a child develop greater use of the right brain, you immensely increased the child's learning abilities and made it easier for them to understand new information and have photographic memory among other almost unbelievable benefits.


What lessons can I teach my child during the holidays?
By Sarah Levin Allen, Ph.D., CBIS December 8, 2014
You could help build your child's frontal lobe development by practicing skills like planning meals, deciding the order of food service, keeping calm and sharing, and deciding what to work on first. Just think how much of these skills are used at holiday time. There's meal preparation, waiting to open a gift, and not telling Aunt Lucy that her stuffing was dry! When it comes to promoting brain development, 'tis the season!


Tech Addictions 


Moms Managing Media Help Kick Video Game Addiction

By Kathryn Searles December 15, 2014
Parenting in a digital age takes more skills than the tech devices you to try to pry from your kids' hands. 


Video Games & Porn


Stop the Demand - the role of porn in Sex Trafficking
By Luke Gilkerson and Ron Dehaas
Sex trafficking is defined by the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report as a "severe form" of trafficking in which "a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion." In the US, anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000 American children are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation per year.


Detoxing & Unplugging


19 Places for a Digital Detox

Published by Rough Guides


Getting a digital detox, the Swiss way: One app shows you how to dodge smartphone addiction
By Rogert Laing November 25, 2014 
Can't stop checking your messages? Real life events like going to the cinema or taking your partner to dinner getting in the way of reading your emails? This app may help!


8 Ways to Unplug Your Holidays
By Caroline Knorr December 2, 2014
The trick is to downsize -- not demolish -- your family's reliance on technology over the holidays.


Are you ready for the National day of Unplugging on March 6-7, 2015
National Day of Unplugging Kit for Kids (& FAMILIES & FRIENDS & TEACHERS) - Download here.


Education Technology


Teachers resisting unhealthy children's entertainment 

TRUCE is an organization of educators who work to counteract the harmful impact of media and marketing on children.

Philadelphia Schools Fighting Back - Part 2
Aired December 2, 2014 PBS Learning Matters
Despite drastic budget cuts, Philadelphia superintendent William Hite is fighting back, giving students an incentive to return by opening three high schools with innovative, project-based curriculums.


Tech Radiation


'Cellphones fry young brains'
By Tanya Farber December 11, 2014

The Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa) has issued a stern warning: giving children cellphones and other wireless technology devices carries enormous risks. iPads, for example, contain radiating antennae that should not be held directly on the body, but children's arms are not long enough to create the distance. Babies play with cellphones, and mothers speak on the devices while breastfeeding. 


Social Media & Mobile Technology


A young teen needs to be on social media? For what?
By Denyse O'Leary November 25, 2014

Sure, just like the kid needs the keys to the car or the liquor cabinet. On the other hand, kids need to learn to drive and to drink (if at all) responsibly. Denyse shares two cautionary tales of our times.

Common-Sense, Science-Based Advice on Toddler Screen Time
By Lisa Guernsey November 13, 2014
It's a question always sparking hot debate in parenting circles: Do you let your babies and toddlers use screens? For years, the health and child development establishment has been advising parents to avoid exposing their toddlers and babies to screen media. But daily life increasingly includes video, smartphones, and touchscreen tablets. Questions have been flying: Is staying away really the best approach?


Cautionary note: at this point in time, no researchers have proven that early technology use is safe, with mounting research showing that it's not (link to Cris's article). Technology overuse affects multiple systems, causing impact in multiple areas, with impact more pronounced in young children. Our children only have one childhood, and one chance to build a solid foundation for development and learning. Let's make it a good one! Think of your fondest memory. Bet you weren't playing video games!

Are Your Kids Wired? Be Smart About Phone and Tablet Use
By Alyssa Morlacci November 20, 2014
During the past two years, mobile device usage for ages 2-4 has grown from 39 percent to 80 percent, and usage for ages 5-8 has risen from 52 percent to 83 percent, according to research reported by the nonprofit ZERO TO THREE


Videos of the Month 


The world's most boring television ... and why it's hilariously addictive
TED Talk by Thomas Hellum Filmed August 2014
You've heard about slow food. Now here's slow ... TV? In this very funny talk, Norwegian television producer Thomas Hellum shares how he and his team began to broadcast long, boring events, often live - and found a rapt audience.


Teachers New Real Feedback
TED Talk by Bill Gates Filmed May 2013
Until recently, many teachers only got one word of feedback a year: "satisfactory." And with no feedback, no coaching, there's just no way to improve. Bill Gates suggests that even great teachers can get better with smart feedback - and lays out a program from his foundation to bring it to every classroom. 


Programs, Tools & Techniques


Non tech gift ideas

Melanie Hempe, Moms Managing Media discussing non tech gifts for kids.




Sarah & Katy and the Imagination Blankets

By Julie Stroebel Barichello

Debut children's novel encourages kids to 'unplug'.



What are your kids up to online? 


For those parents who wonder what their kids are doing on those tablets and cell phones all day, now comes a new, free software called Qustodio that can tell parents who their children are talking to, when, how much, what types of games they are playing, apps they are using, and what sites they are frequenting. Why would parents want to know these things? Children today are spending more than one third of their lives online, causing them to be sedentary and often overstimulated with non-stop entertainment technology. Today's video games aren't what they were when we were kids, as they frequently contain violence and pornography which is too graphic for young children, resulting in fear and anxiety, with some children even acting out violent acts they've seen online. Many children use technology in their bedrooms out of sight of parents, leaving them unprotected from online cyberbullying and predators, as well as resulting in sleep deprivation, attention deficit, and children who have difficulty with self-regulation and tantrums. Qustodio helps parents learn how to manage their child's technologies, and puts them back in the control seat, toward safer and more healthy futures for all children. 




Child Development


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


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.


Well Connected Kids 

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 

Education Technology 


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.


Tech Radiation 


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. 


Programs, Tools and Techniques


YouTube channel to help Moms balancing technology with childhood.
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