• 28 JUL 16

    Opinion piece: A response to the Demasi ABC Catalyst situation

    Excerpt

    From Mary Redmayne PhD

    July 28, 2016

    Opinion piece: A response to the Demasi ABC Catalyst situation

    I am shocked with the way Dr Maryanne Demasi of Catalyst programme “Wi-Fried” has been treated. I am a researcher who has been working in the field of radiofrequencies and health for some years. My PhD thesis was titled Wireless phone use by young New Zealanders: Health and policy implications. This was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Monash University. I have many papers in the peer reviewed literature.
    The programme explored extremely important questions regarding health and safety and was, I believe, presented in a balanced way, as discussed below. While some of those interviewed were clearly extremely concerned, most of their comments were well handled. For instance, after Dr Davis showed an illustration of how far radiofrequencies can penetrate a child’s head, Dr Demasi reasonably enough showed surprise and asked, “Now, do we know that this translates into health effects for the child?” Dr Davis said, “No, we don’t ….”. Dr Demasi followed the response by explaining, accurately, that radiation exposure drops off exponentially with distance, distance matters. One comment from an interviewee I take issue with is Frank Clegg’s claim that the Standard in some countries is 100 times safer. The power density limit is indeed 100 times lower, but this does not necessarily translate into 100 times safer. SNIP- Read on

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    • 25 NOV 15

    Dr. Devra Davis on the TODAY Nine Network TV program

    Well worth seeing is the TODAY TV program featuring Dr. Devra Davis on mobile phone and Wi-FI dangers (link below). Dr. Davis has been lecturing in Australia on this issue much to the chagrin of the folks at ACEBR who consistently take the line that its all just a nocebo effect and all we need to do is to stop worrying.

    SNIP

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    • 14 NOV 15

    Baroness Susan Greenfield on IT’s impacts on children

    Although I had mentioned this in a blog last year, considering my recent blogs on Wi-Fi technology in schools, it is worthwhile to revisit Professor Susan Greenfield’s Youtube talk on how new digital technologies are rewiring the brain’s frontal cortex – the area of the brain responsible for cognitive analysis and abstract thought.

    Greenfield suggests that ‘mind change’, brought on by increasing internet use and the popularity of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, will be the new climate change.

    The first part of her presentation deals with how the brain develops and the second part about children and overuse of IT and its impact of their ability to learn and also diminishing interpersonal skills. Points in the presentation include:
    SNIP

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    • 13 NOV 15

    The Hidden Agenda Behind 21st Century Learning

    From Psychology Today:

    The Hidden Agenda Behind 21st Century Learning
    Public-private partnership is strangling our education system.

    Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. Sep 30, 2015

    Excerpt

    How has our public education system gotten so off track?

    High-stakes testing, obsessive data collection, and lofty promises of technology’s potential to “revolutionize” education are contributing to ever-increasing amounts of school-based screen-time. The invasion is occuring with complete disregard for what it taking away from in terms of basic developmental needs, as well as for screentime’s negative influence on nervous system health. Health and development risks aside, research suggests computer use in schools drags down test scores (link is external).
    SNIP

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    • 11 NOV 15

    New paper on children and mobile technology

    Exposure and Use of Mobile Media Devices by Young Children
    Hilda K. Kabali, MD, Matilde M. Irigoyen, MD, Rosemary Nunez-Davis, DO, MPH, Jennifer G. Budacki, DO, Sweta H. Mohanty, MD,Kristin P. Leister, MD, Robert L. Bonner, Jr, MD

    PEDIATRICS Volume 136, number 6, December 2015

    abstract (conclusions)

    Young children in an urban, low-income, minority community had almost universal exposure to mobile devices, and most had their own device by age 4. The patterns of use suggest early adoption, frequent and independent use, and media multitasking. Studies are urgently needed to update recommendations for families and providers on the use of mobile media by young children.
    SNIP

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    • 09 NOV 15

    Are iPads in schools a waste of money? OECD report says yes

    From The Age, September 15, 2015:

    Timna Jacks, Education Reporter

    Excerpt:

    Investment in computers and iPads in schools does not improve numeracy and literacy skills, a new OECD report has warned.

    In fact, the report, just released by the organisation which is considered the definitive authority on global academic performance, found frequent use of computers in schools is often associated with lower results.

    Investment in computers and iPads in schools does not improve numeracy and literacy skills, a new OECD report has warned.

    In fact, the report, just released by the organisation which is considered the definitive authority on global academic performance, found frequent use of computers in schools is often associated with lower results.
    SNIP

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    • 09 NOV 15

    First look at NSW classrooms of the future: But who will consider what happened in Sweden?

    From the New South Wales Department of Education website:

    Friday 6 November 2015 – Excerpt

    Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has unveiled some of the innovative technology and teaching practices being trialed for new and refurbished classrooms across NSW.

    Mr Piccoli visited the Department of Education’s Futures Learning Unit at Australian Technology Park to see students and teachers testing prototyped flexible learning spaces that will enable education to adapt to the digital age.

    “The way our children learn is evolving as times change and it’s exciting to see first-hand how the traditional classroom is being transformed into an interactive learning space,” Mr Piccoli said.
    SNIP
    Now for comparison, see this posting from 2014 by Olle Johansson:
    Is wireless technology in Swedish schools adversely affecting the kids?

    An English translation! — ”KI researcher: ‘Kick out politicians who give students hazardous e-readers with unproven educational value’”

    Thanks to the so-called PISA* (OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment) survey, in Sweden we now know: student scores in maths, reading comprehension and natural sciences are plummeting. The results are prompting rage in Swedish schools. Something is wrong.

    SNIP

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    • 05 NOV 15

    Parent’s success in stopping WiFI installation at Australian school

    The following was written by a mother who took action to inform her child’s school on EMR health issues specific to children. This action resulted in the school enacting an EMR precautionary policy.

    Don

    ***************

    Excerpt:

    An Australian mum has been successful in preventing installation of WiFi at her child’s school and has worked with the school in drafting EMR precautionary measures by requesting compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Article 9: Accessibility from the Conventions on the Rights of the Disabled to accommodate her child’s functional impairment.

    She stated “My child has a sensitivity to EMR, specifically WiFi and Bluetooth elicit symptoms.” The school environment was very good already, to change that by installing WiFi would exclude the child’s access to the school. The first step she took was to register a compliment/complaint/ feedback form on the Dept of Education’s website she said. “I requested help to find a WiFi- free high school and stated my child’s health complaints and symptoms. Rather than sending an email which could get “lost” in the system, I chose to use the education department’s processes for registering my complaint regarding accessibility to schools.” Around the same time, the child’s school initiated the WiFi installation discussion again. This quickly led to further conversations with the school and district education officers covering both accessibility issues……

    SNIP

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