Before taking vacation, I caught up with Mel McGee during a coding camp she runs in Shaker Heights, Ohio. She was explaining to a handful of preteens how to use red stone dust to make an electrical wire.
“We try to drop some engineering stuff, real-world concepts in there and how it relates to what they’re building in Minecraft,” she says.
So, if you’re using it for good, does it count as screen time? I asked Dr. Victor Strasburger, who helped write the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations 15 years ago.
“We’re not a bunch of old fuddy-duddies sitting around trying to figure out how we can poke a hole in kids’ entertainment options,” he says.
Research has established that kids who sit in front of TV or video for hours have higher rates of obesity and possibly other health problems. But Strasburger says it’s more complicated than just setting strict time limits.
The academy has no set recommendations on educational screen time or even the use of different types of screens.