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Why Teenagers Should Understand Their Own Brains (And Why Their Teachers Should Too!)

NPR – Elissa Nadworny

“A teenage brain is a fascinating, still-changing place. There’s a lot going on: Social awareness, risk-taking, peer pressure; all are heightened during this period. Until relatively recently, it was thought that the brain was only actively developing during childhood — but in the last two decades, researchers have confirmed that the brain continues to develop during adolescence — a period of time that can stretch from the middle-school years into early adulthood.” (more)

Is Technology Bad for the Teenage Brain? (Yes, No and It’s Complicated.)

Ed Surge – John Medina

“It’s a question as frustrating as a hangnail, asked virtually every time I give a public lecture on teen brain development. It’s some form of: “is the digital world bad for the adolescent brain?” I’m frustrated because I can’t really give a satisfying answer. I end up misting the auditorium with questions, gentle as rolling fog, and just as obscuring. “What is meant by the ‘digital world?” I ask, “Xbox? Laptop? iPhone? Texting? Snapchat? Instagram? Facebook (for the two teens who still use it?)” Then I pause. “Perhaps you mean video games? If so, is MarioKart the same thing as Grand Theft Auto?”” (more)

Should there be a moratorium on high school football?

The District Administration – Mark A. Serva

“With the latest season of high school football concluded, now is perhaps an ideal time to consider whether or not there should be another. The game’s big hits generate excitement, but a growing body of research indicates that the human brain is not equipped to absorb such violent impacts. Microscopic tears and plaque (dubbed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE) gradually diminish the capacity of players’ brains. Early symptoms include dizziness and confusion, which can eventually progress to memory loss, tremors, speech impediments and even dementia.” (more)

A parent’s guide to why teens make bad decisions

Medical X-Press – James Mccue

“From getting beyond drunk at a friend’s party, to some seriously questionable outfit choices, teenagers often do things that seem outlandishly stupid. But we now know why: the areas of the brain that control decision-making don’t fully develop until early adulthood. A teen’s developing brain places them at greater risk of being reactive in their decision-making, and less able to consider the consequences of their choices. So how can parents help their teenagers learn and apply good decision-making skills?.” (more)

Ex-NFL stars urge no tackle football before age 14

The Daily World – Bob Glauber

“With increased evidence that repeated hits to the head frequently lead to degenerative brain disease, one of the country’s leading advocacy groups on head trauma has called for the abolition of tackle football until players reach age 14. Backed by renowned former NFL linebackers Harry Carson, Nick Buoniconti and Phil Villapiano, the Concussion Legacy Foundation launched the “Flag Football Under 14” initiative Thursday at a news conference in Manhattan.” (more)

The Possibilities for Tech (and Screentime) in the Preschool Classroom

Ed Surge – Sara DeWitt

“We’re a military family, which means my five-year-old has already lived in four states. By my calculation, he has experienced seven different daycare, preschool and elementary school classrooms. While the classrooms centers, teacher ratios and playground equipment may be different, every center but one made the same comment to us during registration: “And, of course, we don’t do any screen time.” Kids live in a world where they see technology all around them. For better or worse, the adults in their lives are using it all the time. I love that preschool classrooms are often a place where children dive into the hands-on experiences of building, touching surfaces, singing songs and stomping their feet, but do they have to be completely guarded from technology? I would argue that preschool is a place where we can thoughtfully introduce technology and, more importantly, model appropriate and informed uses of digital platforms.”(more)