Digital Overload: How to Help Kids Adjust to Online Learning


1. Make the 20-20-20 rule a habit

Take a break from the computer, phone, or tablet every 20 minutes, and for 20 seconds, look 20 feet away. “Viewing a computer or digital screen is different than reading a printed page,” according to the American Optometric Association. “Often the letters on the computer or handheld device are not as precise or sharply defined, the level of contrast of the letters to the background is reduced, and the presence of glare and reflections on the screen may make viewing difficult. There’s a free app to help you get into the habit. It’s called Protect Your Vision and it’s compatible with Chrome, Firefox and Safari. It alerts you every 20 minutes to a break.

2. Maintain the Proper Working Distance and Position of Device

The distance from your eyes to your device should not be closer than 13-14" for a phone. A tablet screen should be held at a 25-45 degree angle or propped and held at 14- 20", while a laptop is typically set at 22-26" and a desktop computer should be set at one's fingertips or 26-30" depending on the size of the screen. Your eyes should be at the level of the top of the screen so that you are always looking in down gaze for best comfort.