A frequent guest on CBC radio, and to be featured on CBC TV’s Doc Zone documentary on “information Overload” in November 2010, Cris Rowan is an impassioned pediatric occupational therapist who has first-hand understanding and knowledge of how technology can cause profound changes in a child’s development, behavior and their ability to learn.
Cris has a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and is a SIPT certified sensory integration specialist. Cris is a member in good standing with the BC College of Occupational Therapists, and an approved provider with the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, and Autism Community Training. For the past fifteen years, Cris has specialized in pediatric rehabilitation, working for over a decade in the Sunshine Coast School District in British Columbia.
Cris is CEO of Zone’in Programs Inc. offering products, workshops and training to improve child health and enhance academic performance. Cris designed Zone’in, Move’in, Unplug’in and Live’in educational products for elementary children to address the rise in developmental delays, behavior disorders, and technology overuse. Cris has performed over 200 Foundation Series Workshops on topics such as sensory integration and attention, motor development and literacy, attachment formation and addictions, early intervention, technology overuse, media literacy programs, and school environmental design for the 21st century for teachers, parents and health professionals throughout North America. Cris has recently created Zone’in Training Programs to train other pediatric occupational therapists to deliver these integral workshops in their own community. Cris is an expert reviewer for the Canadian Family Physician Journal, authors the monthly Zone’in Development Series Newsletter and is author of the following initiatives: Unplug – Don’t Drug, Creating Sustainable Futures Program, and Linking Corporations to Community. Cris is author of a forthcoming book Virtual Child – The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children.
It’s back to school time, and there isn’t a parent out there who doesn’t want their child to make friends and do well. Preparing children for school isn’t just about getting new clothes and re-establishing sleep routines, it’s also about making sure children’s minds are able to pay attention and learn.
Studies have found that children who use more that 1-2 hours per day of combined technology (TV, video games, internet, texting), are likely to encounter a variety of difficulties, both at home and at school.
A wise parent might consider helping their children “unplug” their way back to school, but “pulling the plug” is too extreme. Parents should manage a balance between activities children need to grow and succeed, with technology use.
Balanced Technology Management (BTM) is a concept developed by Cris Rowan, a pediatric occupational therapist and child development expert with Zone’in Programs Inc. Cris states that children need to learn how to manage balance between activities they need to grow and succeed, with technology use.
1. What do kids need to grow and succeed (e.g. what are the 3 critical factors for child development)?
2. What is the impact of technology on child physical, mental, social, and academic health?
3. What can parents, teachers and therapists do to balance achieving critical developmental factors with technology use?