Digital Detox

The Digital Detox countdown has begun!  With 5 school days to go until 14 March, everyone in school is preparing for the great day “D-Day” when mobile phones, smart devices and earpods/headphones are put away whilst in school.

In anticipation of the beginning of the five-day countdown and “D-Day” itself all the year assemblies last week were on the theme of the Digital Detox.  Mr Bennett led the assemblies outlining what the Digital Detox would involve and the many benefits of focusing on being in school and learning and leaving electronic distractions behind.

Starting with some research*, Mr Bennett presented some interesting findings which shows that it can take nearly 25 minutes to recover from a distraction whilst working and to refocus on the task at hand which can amount to about 50% of a lesson time.  Just an alert from an app can do this, even without reading or looking at it.

“You are here to learn,” said Mr Bennett, “that is our task, pure and simple.”  The Digital Detox is about permanently realigning ourselves with this aim, he went on to say.

From Monday 14 March no mobile phones, smart devices (such as watches) or earbuds (including AirPods and headphones) will be allowed to be seen or heard in school.  They must be switched off and in a bag or locker, not carried in a pocket or one’s person.

Dopamine Rush

In an extract Mr Bennett played from a TED talk, presenter Barbara Jennings says that wanting and seeking information creates dopamine addiction in us.  As a result our attention span is becoming shorter, we flip from topic to topic and we’ve become less discriminating about information – we tend only to look at the first responses.  “Everything about this technology is designed to rope us in… we buy into it because we’ve become information seekers.”  The addiction is not to the phone itself but to the dopamine we get every time we get a message.

“Essentially, we are implementing our existing policy on phones, smart devices and headphones now that some sense of normality is returning to our everyday lives,” Mr Bennett said.  “It means a firm ‘not seen or heard’ approach and that devices are off and at the bottom of bags whilst in school.”

Digital Detox: What it Means

Countdown starts on Monday 7 March with Detox starting from Monday 14 March.

  1. No phones or devices seen or heard in school
  2. Switch it off!
  3. Stored in your bag or locker