For a month now, we have had no screens during SFO in the mornings. And with the advent of real summer temperatures lately, no screens during SFO in the afternoons either.
This has partly been to raise awareness about screen use for our “Internet topic week”. The no-screens policy has been almost astonishingly easy to implement.
All things considered, the students’ screen use during SFO was pretty wholesome before the restrictions. Mostly scratch or chess, occasionally the music editing software lmms, or searches for videos of cool kick bike tricks.
Writing in a totally personal capacity here, I still think restricting the screens has been warranted.
- The oldest group is on the brink of puberty and will soon be drawn to a wider variety of content, much of it created for nefarious reasons. Some schools deal with this through censorship and play-acting the Communist Party of China – this does not seem like an attractive option.
- As of yet, the constant use of smart phones among students teachers at other schools report, has not been an issue here. Creating a culture that values face-to-face communication and real life friendships seems like a good way to keep dodging the bullet.
- None of the children are seriously facing an immediate future where they will not be exposed to screens often enough.
- Some of the most enthusiastic computer users during SFO are also very dedicated computer users during project hours. They need opportunities to do other things.
This no-screen policy is not set in stone. But simply removing the computers from SFO has offered an opportunity to better assess when they are useful, and when they’re not.