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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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Feb 15, 2018

The newest generation of children is exposed to technology more than any who have preceded them. For many, this technological interaction begins at infancy. Does this ubiquity represent a wonderful opportunity to connect around the world or the first step in creating a generation that’s emotionally and socially dependent on screens? Education and technology expert Anya Kamenetz offered us a refreshingly practical look at the subject with her new book The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life. She shared findings from hundreds of surveys of fellow parents on their practices and ideas, cutting through inconclusive studies and overblown claims. Kamenetz honed down to a simple message (a riff on Michael Pollan’s well-known “food rules”): Enjoy Screens. Not too much. Mostly with others. She invited us to discuss the backbone of a philosophy for parents to adjust to the technology in their children’s lives. Kamenetz outlined how a new doctrine of sophisticated yet practical thinking is a necessary cure for an age of anxiety—one that will help parents curb their panic and create room for a happy, healthy family life.

Anya Kamenetz is the lead digital education correspondent for NPR, and has won multiple awards for her reporting on education, technology, and innovation. Previously she worked as a staff writer for Fast Company magazine, and has been a contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, New York Magazine, Slate, and others. She is the author of three books on education and technology, Generation Debt, DIY U, and The Test.

Recorded live at Phinney Neighborhood Association by Town Hall Seattle on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.