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Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

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Kids Were Born Unplugged
Sarah Lopez

This Thursday, February 28, Crane School will celebrate a Day of Unplugging. (The actual National Day of Unplugging takes place Saturday, March 1 through Sunday, March 2.) As a school, we often communicate with students the need to unplug from devices from time to time, to keep technology devices out of bedrooms, and the benefits of getting outside and engaging in physical activity.

This Thursday, February 28, Crane School will celebrate a Day of Unplugging. (The actual National Day of Unplugging takes place Saturday, March 1 through Sunday, March 2.) As a school, we often communicate with students the need to unplug from devices from time to time, to keep technology devices out of bedrooms, and the benefits of getting outside and engaging in physical activity. 

While I love technology and all that it encompasses, I try to embrace the times when I am forced to go without technology. I freely admit to flashes of angst when I am unable instantly Google this or that, or listen to my favorite playlist in Spotify; but, once I have forged through the initial apprehension, I am often enjoying the opportunity to be present and engaged instead of time slipping away distracted by the Internet.

In a recent TIME survey, five thousand people were polled regarding their daily use of mobile devices. Eighty-four percent reported they could not go a single day without their mobile device, and twenty-five percent of those individuals stated that they check their cell phones every thirty minutes.

In a recent discussion regarding the Day of Unplugging, fifty-five Upper School students took part in an anonymous survey about the Day of Unplugging. After answering questions and explaining that all teachers are aware of this day and would plan accordingly, students shared their thoughts and feelings.

Out of fifty-five respondents, only eleven were unhappy or annoyed at the thought of a day without their laptop. The remaining forty-four students were "okay" or even "happy" about the idea of an unplugged day, with one student stating, "It's a good thing for us."

One of the questions asked if students felt they could go 24 hours without any device, laptop, cell phone, iPad, computer, etc. Almost 80% thought that they could do it without any issues. On the flip side, when asked about a member of the family that uses technology often, over 45% felt the heavy user in their family would find it "difficult" or "can't imagine doing it." 

We will see how students feel on Thursday after a day of no devices at school. My hope is that this will be a positive experience. If at all possible, I encourage you to take the challenge of an unplugged day along with your children, whether it's this weekend or at some point in the future. 

Some interesting articles on the topic:

Nine tips for helping your child unplug from screens
9 Reasons You Need to Unplug
14 Scientific Reasons to Disconnect This Weekend 

Sarah Lopez
Technology Specialist & Laptop Coordinator 

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