The use of electronic devices by students, parents and teachers before and after the transition to distance learning

About authors

1 Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russia

2 Burdenko Voronezh State Medical University, Voronezh, Russia

3 Voronezh State Pedagogical University, Voronezh, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Svetlana V. Markelova
Ostrovityanova, 1, Moscow, 117997, Russia; ur.umsr@vs_avolekram

About paper

Compliance with ethical standards: the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University (Protocol № 159 dated November 21, 2016). The survey did not encroach upon human rights, did not expose the respondents to any dangers and complied with the principles of biomedical ethics.

Author contribution: Milushkina OYu, Popov VI, Skoblina NA planned and supervised the study, analyzed the obtained data and wrote the manuscript; Markelova SV, Sokolova NV analyzed the literature, collected and processed the questionnaires. All authors participated in manuscript revision.

Received: 2020-05-14 Accepted: 2020-06-15 Published online: 2020-06-28

 Transition to distance education in spring 2020 led to the overuse of information and communication technologies by the participants of the educational process. The aim of this study was to characterize the patterns of using electronic devices in high school students, their parents, and teachers in the settings of traditional brick-and-mortar education and distance learning. We created online questionnaires that were used to survey 200 high school students, 389 teachers and 251 parents before the transition to distance learning and also 658 teachers and 500 parents after the transition. Statistical analysis was conducted using Student’s t test, χ2, and Pearson’s contingency coefficient; relative risks were calculated using fourfold contingency tables. Differences were considered significant at p ≤ 0,05. After the transition to distance learning, the number of electronic devices used by each student increased for 96.6% of the surveyed students; the average screen time also increased. About 80% of the surveyed parents reported that their children had more health complaints; of them, 60% reported symptoms typical of computer vision syndrome. We established a correlation between the readiness to cut down on screen time and the subjective assessment of vision as perfect or good by the respondents (Pearson’s contingency coefficient 0.3; p ≤ 0.05). Our study confirms the relative risk for subjectively assessing one’s vision as satisfactory or poor in individuals who use ED on a daily basis; the risk is 1.13 for students, 1.41 for parents, and 1.27 for teachers (p ≤ 0.05). The study proves that eliminating screen time from daily activities for at least one day per week is an effective measure for preventing vision disorders.

Keywords: students, electronic devices, teachers, parents, distance learning, health risk behavior, information technologies