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July 7
1919 - Mike Shuman, Placerita Junior High School principal, born in Fitchburg, Mass. [story]


Parents have always wondered if too much screen time was harmful for their kids. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reliance on the internet and technology has increased to such a degree, that what was once considered spending too much time on screen has now become the norm for millions of people across the country.

This situation is presenting a perfect research opportunity for California State University, Northridge psychology professor Delinah Hurwitz, who for more than 20 years has studied the effect being online over different platforms and periods of time has had on people. She is now studying the impact that excessive screen time is having on students, socially and academically, in the age of seemingly endless virtual interactions brought on by the pandemic.

“It seems everything we do is related to being online now,” Hurwitz said. “Twenty years ago, I became obsessed with what people were putting out on screens for everybody to see that they might not normally get up in front of a group of people and talk about publicly.”

Prior to the pandemic, Hurwitz said, young people were accustomed to hearing that they should limit their time online. In the classroom, Hurwitz said, she was a big proponent of teaching her students to create boundaries with their cell phones, tablets and laptops to regulate the time they spent online in order to decrease their anxiety.

“The first thing young people think is that folks like us are saying, ‘Never be online. It’s a terrible place,’” Hurwitz said. “The reality is, there is no line in the sand that says how we should regulate our screen time.”

When COVID-19 spread the U.S., millions of adolescents in middle school, high school and college had to transition to virtual learning. Hurwitz noticed her 14-year-old daughter had a hard time adjusting to having class on Zoom, a similar experience of many of her own students.

impact of social media

“The first week was chaos,” she said, pointing out that as faculty scrambled to move their courses online, the result was often confusing and inconsistent. She noted that some professors tried to replicate their classroom experiences by giving full-length lectures over Zoom, which created Zoom fatigue among some students. Other professors put all their work online and were not very present digitally for their students, she said.

From a social perspective, Hurwitz said, the transition to stay connected with friends and peers started off rocky, as young people had to learn to fully engage with their peers through video calls.

“It used to be that if you were just sitting with your friends, everyone would just be on their phones and not be talking to each other,” Hurwitz said. “Now, they have to engage because it feels a bit awkward and embarrassing if they are just staring at each other on a Facetime call.”

Through the course of the pandemic, Hurwitz said she has observed at least two ways young people might be impacted by mandated virtual learning and interactions.

“There are some who are discovering that they don’t want to be on their screens as much, and that wouldn’t have come naturally prior to the pandemic,” Hurwitz said. “But there are also people who have high social anxiety. They are more at ease on screens. Once they come face-to-face again, they might struggle to be able to engage the same way.”

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HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Friday, Jul 3, 2020
The Committee for College of the Canyons — Yes on Measure E has been ordered to pay a $9,000 fine for infractions committed in 2016 and 2017.
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020
California State University, Northridge officials have released details for a primarily virtual fall semester, with a handful of graduate and undergraduate courses and labs being offered face-to-face. Named “CSUN as One,” CSUN launched a website for the campus’ fall 2020 instruction and operational plans.
Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020
Governor Gavin Newsom and California legislative leaders reached an agreement on Monday on an amended state budget for 2020-21 which prevents cuts to apportionments and categorical programs for California community colleges.
Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a video/teleconferencing business meeting Wednesday, June 24, with open session from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools across the nation transitioned to meeting online. Given the abruptness of the transition and lack of preparation parents had in becoming in-home teachers’ aides, many parents and educators are worried about a “COVID slide” or “COVID slowdown,” where students fail to retain any new information learned before and during the pandemic — as well as over the summer, when students are not in school.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday the highest number of new cases of COVID-19 reported in a day with 4,015 new cases and 46 new deaths. The high number of cases are, in part, due to a backlog of about 2,000 test results received from one lab who just submitted lab results from July 2 through July 5.
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The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will hold its regular meeting virtually Thursday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m
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1919 - Mike Shuman, Placerita Junior High School principal, born in Fitchburg, Mass. [story]
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After breaking a daily coronavirus testing record over the July 4 holiday weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday said hospitalizations remain alarmingly high as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state’s largest counties.
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A brush fire dubbed the Soledad Fire burned more than 1,000 acres and shut down Highway 14 Sunday, and as of 9 a.m. Monday was 30% contained, according to Los Angeles County Fire Chief Deputy David R. Richardson Jr.
Soledad Fire in Agua Dulce Burns 1,500 Acres, 48% Contained
Smoke from the Soledad Fire burning near Agua Dulce has caused unhealthy air quality in the Santa Clarita Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains, sparking a smoke advisory from Los Angeles County Public Health officials.
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As firefighters worked through the night battling the Soledad Fire in Agua Dulce, a second blaze, named the Cambria Fire, was reported Monday morning in nearby Placerita Canyon.
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The city of Santa Clarita has canceled the 2020 Concerts in the Park series due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and in accordance with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Safer at Home order.
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After improving the data processing systems, which resulted in no data being reported since Thursday, July 2, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Sunday reported an increase of 7,232 new cases for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
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1850 - Town founder Henry Mayo Newhall arrives in California to look for gold [story]
Henry Newhall
1914 - Rev. Wolcott H. Evans, the future "pastor of the disaster," named pastor of Newhall's First Presbyterian Church [story]
church
1932 - Robert Poore wins the greased pole climbing contest and $2.50 at Newhall's July 4th celebration [story]
4th of July Parade
Park officials have announced Los Angeles County regional parks and natural areas, which include William S. Hart Park, Placerita Nature Center and Vasquez Rocks, will now be closed Mondays and Tuesdays due to staffing reductions.
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As the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suspends daily reports until Monday, the California Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed a total of 248,235 cases statewide as of July 2 (up from 5,688 from July 1 and another 2,352 results received), with 6,263 deaths (up 100 from July 1) from the disease.
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The Old Town Newhall Library will exhibit works by Santa Clarita artists created during "The Quarantine Art Challenge" from July 14 to October 9.
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The Committee for College of the Canyons — Yes on Measure E has been ordered to pay a $9,000 fine for infractions committed in 2016 and 2017.
Committee for College of the Canyons Bond Measure Ordered to Pay $9K Fine
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