“A timely addition to the growing chorus of voices calling for a moratorium on unbridled technological 'progress'”

Toby Newton, Head of School, ICHK Secondary

Screens That Eat Children by Ross Parker

Living, parenting and teaching in an age of digital devices.

How did we end up with a device in every pocket, a screen in every hand?

How did childhood change from a time of relative freedom, to a period of electronic tethering? This book invites you to rethink the story of digital technology, and to ponder how we came to build a global machine that eats childhood.

Written by Ross Parker, educator and technologist, and based on research, professional experience and personal anecdote, this book raises questions around how we choose to raise and educate our young, and points to ways to live better in an age of ubiquitous devices.

About the Author

Ross Parker is the Director of Technology & Assessment at International College Hong Kong, a small, innovative school in the North East of Hong Kong’s New Territories. Born in Hong Kong to Austrian and English parents during the final years of Britain’s empire, Ross has lived most of his life in a state of identity confusion.

As an educator, Ross is passionate about making learning a positive, anxiety-free process centred around personal transformation. Once an enthusiastic advocate for the role of technology in education, and in life, he has gradually become increasingly sceptical, and now chooses his tools very carefully. In the search of better ways to use technology, Ross founded Gibbon, the open source school platform, through which he has also developed the Free Learning pedagogy. Ross believes that education should focus on learning to learn through choice, rather than simply studying content to pass an exam.

Learn more about Ross Parker and the ICHK approach to Human Technologies and Information Technology.

Ross enthusiastically shares his views on technology and schooling in a number of speaking engagements. Be sure to get in touch with him if you'd like Ross to present at your conference or organization.

Reviews & Testimonials

"Ross Parker captures the essence of the impact of devices on our students, by providing clear and direct facts, guidance and solutions to support our parents and teachers. This helps students understand and identify the complexities of overuse of devices. He articulates soundly on this important topic, with a sense of positive urgency to help weave our way forward through the layers of device use."

Ethan Stone, ISF Academy, Hong Kong

"A provocative read that stings us with some stark questions about how we educate our young people. Why have schools stagnated in their progress whilst society has evolved so rapidly? Parker also provokes us in our thinking to consider how we have allowed technology to dominate our life in such toxic ways, but offers us hope to reinvent the relationship we currently have to regain control. A recommended read for all educators who realise how imperative it is for us to reform how we educate our young people."

Jennifer Goldthorpe, Masada College, Australia

"I finished this book in two sittings, providing as it does a simple and compelling account of the prevalent dangers of technology to modern society but particularly young learners. The fact we are not the user but the product and that our attention and thoughts are for sale is deeply disturbing, and Ross Parker does an excellent job of stitching together his role and experience as a father and educator, the history of global capitalism, the rise of computing technologies to arrive at what once seemed the utopia offered by a digitally connected world, to the reality in which we find ourselves controlled by the corporate digital giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter- they once offered salvation but who now profit from the worst clickbait driven tendencies of our nature."

Jon Rees, ICHK Secondary, Hong Kong