• Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

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Yarm Preparatory School has a technology time-out

Staff, children and parents at Yarm Preparatory School ditched their smartphones and tablets to take part in a ‘digital detox’.

All involved reduced the time spent on electronic devices throughout the course of a week, in an attempt to raise awareness of the negative effects of technology. As a result of its success, the detox will be a permanent fixture in the school’s calendar each year.

Those taking part submitted an individual pledge of how much time would be spent ‘offline’ each day and which devices would be used less. For staff, this included talking to colleagues about queries rather than sending emails and using interactive devices less while teaching in the classroom.

Pupils and parents were encouraged to play games, read books and engage in more technology-free activities at home, rather than playing on tablets and watching television.

Recent data published by the Office for National Statistics revealed that children now spend just 16 minutes playing outdoors each day and an Ofcom report from November 2016 shows that children aged three to four years old spend more than eight hours online whilst those aged five and over devote a worrying 15 hours a week.

Bill Sawyer, Head of Yarm Preparatory School said, “Using phones, tablets or other devices can be extremely useful and can offer some great educational benefits. However, so many people, myself included, have such a heavy reliance on technology that we have to ask whether that is always a good thing.

“The aim of this experiment was to reinforce a positive atmosphere for our pupils and our staff, both inside and outside of the classroom. Physical interaction and communication are key, and it is important to take a step back sometimes and remember that life exists beyond our gadgets. I think that the exercise has made us all more aware of how much time we spend on our devices.”

By admin