A study from 2018, involving approximately 500,000 individuals, found that more television viewing time was associated with worse cognitive function.
Another study in 2022, involving 146,651 people, revealed that spending more than four hours daily watching television increased the risk of dementia by 24%, while using the computer interactively for over one hour daily decreased the risk of dementia by 15%.
Schools across the U.S. are trying a 4-day week. Why?
7% of U.S. school districts have adopted a four-day school week, with 30% in Missouri and 67% in Colorado implementing this schedule.
Why? It is often a response to the challenge of retaining teachers when districts can't raise taxes to increase salaries. While the shortened week doesn't increase salaries, it serves as an incentive and helps address teacher retention.
However, the move may lose its effectiveness as a recruitment tool, as neighboring districts adopt similar schedules.
There are also concerns about the impact on students, and the cost to parents for additional childcare.
Too little time outdoors, too much time on screens
The World Health Organization warns that by 2030, 40% of the global population will be nearsighted, with the U.S. already experiencing a rise in myopia rates from 25% in 1971 to nearly 42% in 2017.
The increase is particularly prominent in children. Experts attribute this rise to children spending too little time outdoors and too much time indoors staring at screens. For young children, such habits cause their eyes to prioritize near vision, leading to elongated eyeballs and myopia development.
Early onset myopia can result in severe vision problems later in life.
The Science of Reading: Phonics plus Reading Comprehension
Improving reading comprehension involves recognizing the broader "science of reading," which goes beyond phonics and includes building knowledge.
The typical phonics instruction method emphasizes practicing skills on random topics at individual reading levels, disregarding the importance of building knowledge, which could be done at the same time.
Cognitive scientists stress the significance of knowledge and vocabulary in comprehension. Effective strategies include teachers reading aloud, engaging students in discussions, and using content-focused curricula for knowledge building.