A Day Unplugged: Could you do it?

A Day UnpluggedAs a September experiment, Hyde School-Woodstock has committed to setting aside cell phones, texting, email, and Internet each Tuesday in September.

The moratorium comes about through community discussions about the effects of technology on individuals and the larger school community.

“We’re talking about and tackling this as a community…It takes a high level of awareness and fortitude to recognize the common traps we all can fall into with regard to the use of technology because it is a tool that is helpful and fun, to step back and be able to identify what isn’t so great about it-and then do something about it,” Hyde Head of School Laura Gauld  explained. (No-Tech Tuesday, Hyde School)

Constant connections and information stream can be great, but just about everyone has a story of being unable to disconnect and/or a vignette covering some way that technology has lesson life quality that they enjoy.

“…technology has also paradoxically resulted in isolation for many young people, often turning them away from meaningful relationships with their families, friends, and peers…”(No-Tech Tuesday, Hyde School)

Hyde’s discussions revealed a community undercurrent desiring more ‘face time’ versus texting/e-mail, etc.

“…One common pitfall expressed [in discussions] was the decline of face-to-face interaction as a result of choosing electronic messaging over any other form of communication. Suspending use of technology on “No-Tech Tuesdays” is one way the school hopes to encourage face-to-face connectedness and sharpen social skills…”(No-Tech Tuesday, Hyde School)

No-Tech Tuesdays are not an answer, or, a solution.

The experiment is about exploring choices, priorities, what they mean, then, deciding what’s important and what works best. We hope Hyde community members will write and reflect on how the experiment played out and whether, or not, the results prompt any changes school community thinking and policies.

This could be the first brick laid in a slow school movement.

What do you think? Could you stick to the experiment?

Photo credit: Mykl Roventine licensed under Creative Commons

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